Home' The Murray Pioneer : March 24th 2017 Contents 16 NEWS www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, March 24, 2017
COMMODITY FRUIT FLY
The State Government spends more
than $5 million a year to prevent fruit
fly entering South Australia.
A cross commodity meeting hosted
by PIRSA on Monday afternoon identi-
fied the Riverland’s fruit fly risks and
pressure points in the region.
PIRSA staff outlined the strategy
to minimise the risks of a fruit fly
outbreak by managing the greatest
pressure points. PIRSA also has a dis-
ciplined procedure in place to manage
an outbreak to ensure it complies with
the International Code of Practice.
It is evident that the Riverland has a
major competitive advantage by being
fruit fly free and everything possible
should be undertaken to retain this
advantage. PIRSA cannot implement
this strategy on its own and requires
the assistance of the broader com-
munity and industry to help keep the
Riverland region fruit fly free.
Growers can play a leading role
in assisting PIRSA and the Riverland
region by considering the following:
- Orchard biosecurity: Reduce
risks by identifying weak spots such
as close proximity to caravan parks,
inspect creeks for potential hosts,
develop your own biosecurity protocols
and train staff on your response plan.
- Identify risk points close to your
property: Abandoned orchards, dispos-
al bins, tourist parks, feral trees, back-
yard trees or interstate guests bringing
in granny’s favourite apple!
- Vehicle movement: Pest are known
hitchhikers, so be aware who is driving
through your property and check if any
of your vehicles have been interstate.
Ensure farm machinery has been
cleaned especially if it has moved
between properties or interstate.
- B ins/transport: Inspect bins com-
ing onto the property, check second-
hand equipment purchased and what
trucks are transporting.
- People: Be mindful of tourists and
visitors, educate seasonal pickers
especially those travelling from inter-
state, pest scouts and researchers
visiting your property.
- Fruit with maggots: In the event
fruit is found with maggots please
contact the hotline, freeze the fruit or
put in a sealed black bag in the sun for
a few days
- Post-harvest: Treat or remove
excess or waste fruit and clean equip-
ment after harvest and packing.
Please help us keep the Riverland
fruit fly free and call the fruit fly hotline
if you have any queries or information
to report on 1300 666 010.
The Riverland Storm Recovery
committee met again last week.
Affected growers from all council
areas are still being encouraged to
apply for the $10,000 grant package.
It is intended to provide short-term
assistance by reimbursing reinstate-
ment and clean-up costs as well
as the removal of storm damaged
fruit from trees. Ensure you read the
documentation thoroughly and include
all relevant information. Phone the
Storm Recovery Centre at the Loxton
Research Centre on 8595 9100 or
visit http://www.pir.sa.gov.au for more
FULL LINK FOR E-VERSION: http://
FROM FAB MENTORS
Many growers who suffered crop
damage from the storm will need
There are many services available
including the Family and Business
(FaB) mentor program. The three
Riverland mentors are Robyn Cain,
Brent Fletcher and John Chase.
They can help you identify key
issues and can put you in touch with
more specific service providers or sup-
port workers. The free service is avail-
able to all individual or family horticul-
turalists in the region and supported
by PIRSA and Riverland Wine. If you or
someone you know could benefit from
this program, please contact Brent
0439 409 430, Robyn 0411 633 085,
John 0419 848 672 or call the Loxton
Research Centre on 8595 9100.
SEASONAL UPDATE FROM
Management: Fruit size and crop
load: Fruit are currently in the cell
expansion stage. There is high variabil-
ity in crop load and fruit size in navel
oranges but a near or slightly higher
than average yield is expected. Fruit
size is smaller than previous years
(one or two counts), however it is
hopeful that the current good grow-
ing conditions will continue to help
improve fruit size. Mandarin crop loads
are above average and as expected
fruit size is below average. However,
fruit size for both mandarin and navels
is expected to be in acceptable mar-
GA for rind development delay:
Late March to the end of April is the
second timing for gibberellic acid.
This application delays rind develop-
ment and is generally used for blocks
which are expected to be harvested
two to three weeks later than normal.
Discuss application rates and timing
with your packer as this will impact
on the harvest schedule. Late navel
varieties are more sensitive to autumn
GA application and you should seek
Nutrition: Nutrient application
should be dramatically reduced or
even ceased in March. Excessive
and or late application of nitrogen
can exacerbate fruit quality problems
such as coarser rinds, higher acidity
fruit and delay colour development.
Further application of potassium is not
expected to have an impact on fruit
growth (unless trees are deficient).
Phosphorous can assist in counter-
acting some of the negative effects
(rough texture & delay in colour devel-
opment) of high nitrogen or potassium.
Anecdotal evidence suggests foliar
applications of MAP can help reduce
rind coarseness in situations where
phosphorous levels are low.
Leaf Analysis: Early March is the
time to check the nutritional status
of your orchard with a leaf analysis.
Ensure you pick 4-7 month old spring
flush leaves for sampling. Leaf analy-
sis should not be the sole indicator
to determine next season’s nutrient
status. You need to take notice of the
tree’s health, vigour and leaf colour.
Also note the fruit yield and rind tex-
ture at harvest.
Foliar Sprays: Calcium nitrate
sprays may assist in rind quality and
phosphorous sprays (MAP) may assist
to build up P levels (if required). Apply
a micronutrient spray on new autumn
Pests and diseases and issues:
Red scale: The pressure is not as
high as in previous seasons, however
actionable levels have been detected
in blocks that have not previously had
controls. Oil sprays now can affect rind
colour development of early maturing
varieties and possibly affect mid to
late season Navel varieties. A chemical
insecticide control is an option, as is
mixing an insecticide with a lower rate
of oil. Aphytis releases can occur now.
Soft scale: Activity has been less
than other seasons, however some
activity has been detected on KCT
blocks and on young trees where ants
are an issue.
SCB: Activity is generally low but it
is rising in lemons. Crops need to be
regularly monitored. Look for insects
and damage to the developing fruits
(premature colouring, drop and inter-
nal staining) and for adults on the
sunny side of trees in the morning.
Mealybug: Populations are at
mixed stages and at low levels. The
recent heat waves have probably sup-
pressed numbers. This is an important
time because mealybug should be
prevented from entering the navel on
FRW: There has been increased
activity over the past three weeks.
Growers intending to export to China,
Korea and Thailand are reminded to
maintain tree skirts and manage weed
growth under canopies.
Leaf miner: Activity has been low;
the recent heat waves would have
assisted in suppressing populations.
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
LOOKING BACK - AN IMAGE FROM YESTERYEAR
IN 1974 the Riverland was bracing itself for
the biggest flood since 1956.
It was initially thought the level was
going to be high enough to beat the other big
floods of the 20th century: 1917 and 1931.
The peak level for the 1956 flood was
19.81m and the 1974 flood peaked at
Renmark at a height of 18.54m.
This occurred in November (the 1956
peak was in August) and it turned into the
fifth highest River Murray flood and the
longest on record up to that date.
The district had been in a state of flood
since June and looked much the same
beyond the end of the year. There was even
a second peak in December coming in just
below the November peak.
The stables of the Loxton Village were
inundated, a levee was built to protect the
Overland Corner Hotel, and the Morgan
dockyard facilities (15 tonnes of machinery
and stores) were moved to higher ground.
Ferries closed as the peak of the flood
The Minister of Works announced that
monies were available for flood protection
works along the Murray. The Engineering
and Water Supply Department produced a
sandbag manual; The Use of Sandbags in
Flood Defence Works.
Some of the tips dealt with:
Filling – Experience had shown that red
drift sand is the most satisfying because it
is easy to shovel, beds down well and sets
quite firmly when wet. Do not use clay or
Volume – Bags should not be filled
beyond 5/8 volume, which allows the
unfilled part to be made into a sealing flap
and ‘thumped’ into position.
Laying – It is essential that all bags be
laid with the top surface flat and open ends
be folded over envelope style. The flat sur-
face on the top permits the next layer to be
placed without seepage paths.
Quantities – Super-phosphate bags when
properly laid have an effective length of
0.53m and height of 0.2m. Other smaller
bags have a length of 0.3m and height of
Labour – Some men learn the ‘knack’
of laying bags more readily than others.
‘Trained’ crews of two men should man
every laying point.
Staking – Single rows of bags (pictured)
can be supported by staking with mallee
stakes 1.7m long and driven 0.7m into the
ground on both sides of the levee at 1m
intervals. After driving they are twitched
together by 10 gauge fencing wire placed
under the top layers of bags.
Equipment – Bags, shovels, mauls for
driving stakes, axes for trimming stakes,
wheelbarrows, sand dumps at the shortest
possible intervals and lights for night work.
A positive outcome of the 1974 flood
was that it had no effect on the breeding
habits of the koalas living in the Goat Island
Sanctuary near Renmark.
Goat Island was completely submerged,
however six adults were spotted, three of
which were females with young. They
simply swum between trees seeking better
Floods and correctly made sandbags
A staked sandbag levee in 1974.
PARINGA Women in Agriculture and
Business members recently met for their
first meeting of the year in the home of
Mary Wagnitz, of Paringa.
Centenary celebrations to be held in
Riverton in October of the state organisa-
tion, were discussed, along with the gen-
eral decline in membership: 19 clubs in
SA today compared to 60 in 1917.
The WAB rose, ‘Spirit of Rural
Women’, will be launched by Adelaide
Hills gardening expert Sophie Thomson
on April 21, at 10.30am, when a bed of
20 of these roses will be dedicated to
WAB with a plaque in a Brougham Place
On May 23 an outing to Pinnaroo has
been organised to meet Paringa’s sister
group from Padthaway.
Guest speaker of the latest meeting was
former Loveday Primary School teacher
Jean Marks, of Glossop.
Jean spoke on her kayak trip of
just under 2000km done in 2006 from
Yarrawonga to Goolwa. The trip took 44
Her husband Peter was in a back-up
vehicle and would set up camp each
night when they would plan the next day.
Much planning had gone into the venture,
choosing suitable camping spots for Peter
Jean completed 50km on her first day
and by day 18 she was upstream from
Robinvale, having travelled 800km.
There was one break of 12 days when
Peter departed for a fishing trip and
Jean’s kayak had to be loaded with camp-
ing gear, a 20-litre container of water
and food. The couple later met up at the
Customs House after Jean had travelled
500km alone and camped on river banks
On one of those nights she had been
awakened by an unusual noise that mate-
rialised in the dark to be one large black
Jean’s diet consisted mostly of baked
beans, eaten with tuna or salmon, along
with noodles and snacks of dried fruit and
nuts. One of the highlights of the trip was
coming into Bruno Bay and being greeted
by staff and students of her Loveday
school. Weather conditions varied as did
lock-keepers; some fully opening the
gates while others allowed only a narrow
The wildlife and ever-changing riv-
erscape of sandbars, steep banks, cliffs,
forests and willows made every day a
new adventure. Jean showed her album of
beautiful photos of the trip. Journey’s end
was the Goolwa boat ramp, with Peter
waiting with champagne.
The group’s next meeting will be held
on March 28, in the home of Teresa Ter
Bogt, of Renmark. Teresa will speak on a
recent trip to South Africa.
At the recent meeting of the Paringa Women in Agriculture and Business group were
(from left) Mary Wagnitz, of Paringa, guest speaker Jean Marks, of Glossop, and Teresa
Ter Bogt, of Renmark.
WAB hears of epic
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