Home' Grower : August 2011 Contents 18
The South Australian Grower – August 2011
Qld-grown strawberries were in good supply, with the start of the Western Australian
strawberry season on the horizon.
Plentiful supplies of
fresh fruit, vegetables
SOUTH Australian-grown citrus prod-
ucts are in good supply as the cold
Plentiful supplies of imperial mandarins,
navel oranges, lemons, grapefruit, blood
oranges and tangelos are on of fer, although
Queensland-grown limes remained in
shorter supply last month.
In the berry lines, Qld-grown strawberries
were in good supply, with the start of the
Western Australian strawberry season on the
Supplies of Australian-grown blueberries
and raspberries continued to be available.
Many varieties of pome fruits were avail-
able last month, with SA-grown golden and
red delicious, granny smith, pink lady, sun-
downer, royal gala and fuji Apples. SA-
grown pears continued to be in ver y good
supply, with a vast choice of varieties.
In contrast, there were a number of fresh pro-
duce lines in shorter supply last month because
of ver y cold weather in SA and interstate.
The main contenders were SA-grown salad
vegetable lines, such as tomatoes, cucumber
varieties, zucchinis, capsicums and eggplant,
which experienced short supplies.
Fruit lines, such as Qld and WA-grown
rock melons and honey dew melons were
also products in ver y light supply last month
due to weather factors in these supplying
SA-grown loose cauliflowers, Australian-
grown broccoli, lettuce and Qld-grown
loose and pre-packed sweet corn were some
lines which experienced a ‘roller coaster’ sit-
uation last month, with supply rapidly
changing during that period.
Some exotic fresh produce lines available
last month were: Victorian-grown standard
fennel, Vic-grown broad beans, Australian-
grown celeriac, Australian-grown jerusalem
and globe artichokes, Australian-grown
chestnuts and walnuts, SA-grown rhubarb
and brussels sprouts, very light supplies of
United States-grown bing cherries,
Mexican-grown tommy atkins mangoes and
SA-grown gypsy capsicums.
Need to know more?
If you would like further information on the move-
ment of fruit and vegetables or wish to subscribe to
the price reporting service, contact Wendy Helps 08
8349 4493, 0419 814 948 or
‘Nurture’ natural release to cut NPK inputs
❏ By JOHN NORTON
ALTHOUGH many growers assume
that most of their nitrogen
requirements come from a bag, it is
not the case.
A large percentage of the nitrogen
utilised in crop production is supplied
by biology and, if we acknowledge
and understand this fact, then we
can work to optimise this natural
Similarly, the release and delivery
of phosphate and potassium is a
biological process. If we introduce
and/or nurture these creatures, it can
seriously reduce NPK inputs.
Nitrogen-fixing organisms can be
introduced while the success or
failure of these inoculums is often
determined by the presence of
molybdenum in the soil.
If you don’t have 0.5ppm of
molybdenum in your soil, you may
struggle to achieve significant
nitrogen-fixation. Molybdenum is
required for bacteria to build
nitrogenase, the enzyme required to
convert atmospheric nitrogen gas
into ammonium nitrogen in the soil.
Another way you can reduce
nitrogen inputs is by ensuring that
you have a fully functioning nitrogen
Protozoa play a big role here.
Bacteria have a carbon to nitrogen
ratio of 5:1 which means that their
body contains almost 17 per cent
There can be 2.5 tonnes of bacteria
a hectare in a good soil and this
equates to more than 1t tonne of
urea locked up in their bodies and
not available to the plant.
Protozoa eat 10,000 bacteria a day
and recycle their nitrogen to make it
plant available. Many soils lack
protozoa, but they can be
inexpensively reintroduced using
For some reason, all three forms of
protozoa are found in large numbers
on lucerne (assuming that they have
not been killed off with pesticides
used to kill lucerne flea).
They can be easily multiplied and
introduced to restore nitrogen
recycling and they have an added
bonus of firing up your earthworm
populations. Protozoa is a favourite
food source for these dynamic
Phosphate solubilising organisms
can be introduced with inoculums
like Nutri-Life 4/20 or Nutri-Life Bio-
P and their numbers can be boosted
with simple additives like molasses
or fulvic acid.
Another highly-productive strategy
involves stubble digestion programs.
Cellulose-digesting fungi release
organic acids that can release locked
up phosphorous in your soils. Soil-life
testing reveals the decimation of
these creatures through tillage,
fungicides, herbicides, nematicides,
acidic phosphates and high salt
It is a simple, inexpensive process
to brew up these organisms and
apply them to crop residues to speed
the breakdown of organic matter.
BHP have recently been trying to
buy up the world’s largest potassium
producer because it is good for
business. They know that this non
renewable resource will rise and rise
in price as population and demand
for food increases. The message for
primary producers is to work more
closely with a natural system to
reduce your requirement for these
increasingly expensive inputs.
Need to know more?
John Norton 08 8380 8554 or 0412
National Cherry Growers of
August 1-3, Adelaide
Details: 03 6231 1229 or cherry-
National Apple and Pear Growers
August 3-5, Adelaide
When green technology works
August 18, Adelaide
Details: John O’Brien 0419 826 372
Hunter Valley Olive Oil and
August 19 - Olive oil closing date
August 26 - Table fruit and
September 10 - Judging
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Details: Hunter Olive Association
Irrigation Australia conference
August 22-25, Launceston,
Australian Horticultural Exporters’
Association Industry Export
Australian Mushroom Growers
September 27 - October 2
Sydney, New South Wales
TEL. (08) 8389 8233
Fax (08) 83898133
Lobethal Rd. & Cold Store Rd. Lenswood S.A . 5240
Suppliers to fruit growers & farmers
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High quality pruning equipment
Livestock Drenches – Vaccines
We provide excellent service and good advice
Just Ask Us
In the hills, supporting hills communities.
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