Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 24th 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, January 24, 2017 NEWS 7
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Fair go for
IN the lead-up to Australia Day, the RAA is
calling for Riverland fuel retailers to drop their
petrol and diesel prices.
The call follows a spike in petrol prices in the
new year, which saw the cost of unleaded in the
Riverland hit $1.29 a litre.
Renmark’s fuel rating dropped to 2.6 in
December (down from 2.7 in November), and it
languishes at 12th in the RAA’s monthly regional
RAA senior analyst Chris West said regional
prices had increased to reflect the impact of ris-
ing oil prices and the falling Australian dollar late
“Despite this, the wholesale price of petrol and
diesel is falling now and this must be reflected in
pump prices across regional South Australia,” he
“We’d expect prices to hit the mid $1.20s by
Australia Day or by the end of the month, at the
Broken Hill had the fairest petrol prices in
December, followed by Clare and Port Pirie.
The RAA is calling on fuel retailers in the
Riverland to drop their prices after they peaked at
about $1.27 in the new year.
PHOTO: Christian Longobardi
WILD weather and a mild winter have
wreaked havoc on local dried apricot
producers, resulting in a light crop, says a
Some local growers’ crops this year are
a third of the size of last year’s harvest due
to low levels of frost, wet weather during
spring and a storm that ripped through the
region in November.
Cooltong apricot grower Jim
Koumbarakos blamed the light crop on the
“We had a bit of damage because the
weather played a bit of a havoc throughout
the season, but other than that the quality
is pretty good,” he said.
“The worst thing was the mild win-
ter, and the spring rain during flowering
caused a lot of damage.”
Mr Koumbarakos said the damage had
resulted in lower yields compared to previ-
“We’re down a third on last year, which
most growers would be experiencing,” he
“That’s the thing with apricots though –
they are a hard one to grow.
“You tend to get a booming season, and
then a lighter one, but I didn’t expect it to
be this light.”
Renmark apricot grower Phillip Sims
said his crop was smaller due to the lack of
frost and a mild winter.
“Moorpark apricots, which are one of
the older varieties, have been badly affect-
ed this year, although some of the newer
varieties are not so bad,” he said.
“So, I’ve only been able to produce a
very small percentage of fruit, compared
to my average crop.”
Darrel Size, of Renmark, grows a wide
range of new and old varieties of apricots,
including river ruby and riverbrite.
He said the season was reasonable,
however the weather conditions made it a
longer season than last year.
“Some varieties need a bit more frost,
but I didn’t think it was too bad and I had
an average crop,” he said.
“I had excellent size on most of my
varieties so all in all it was a pretty good
outcome apart from two types which I’ve
had trouble with every year.
“However, the hot and the cold weather,
and rain hasn’t made drying easy.”
Mr Koumbarakos was optimistic, saying
a light crop usually led to higher prices for
“I think the only positive to come out
of this season is that prices will be up,
because there’s no fruit,” he said.
“Angas Park got a lot of damage
because of the hail. They didn’t do any
cutting. So there’s not much fruit around.”
Renmark dried apricot producer Phillip Sims says the lack of frost during winter has resulted in a much lighter crop this year.
PHOTO: Christian Longobardi
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