Home' Grower : November 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- November 2011
Elections for Olives SA management board at AGM
OLIVES South Australia Inc will
hold its 2011 annual general
meeting on Monday, November
28, at Badge, 9 Anzac Highway
Keswick (next door to
The programme will start at
6.30pm with drinks, nibbles and
registration, followed at 7pm by
the AGM, and will conclude by
Olives SA president Richard
Whiting says the program will be
of relevance to all olive industry
players, and will include director
of Ball Public Relations Pty Ltd
Rob Ball's presentation
Principles of implementing a
successful PR campaign.
Olives SA is also calling for
nominations from industry
participants to form its 2011/12
Board of Management.
Nominations close at 4pm on
Friday, November 25. The
election of the new board will be
finalised at the AGM.
Details: All Board nomination
enquiries, including requests for
forms, should be directed to the
returning officer Peter McFarlane
0418 839 836 or
$150,000 Riverland aquaponics boost
By PETER BRADY
A COMMERCIAL aquaponic pilot model will be
built in the Riverland to offer farmers training
in the ground-breaking technology and create
regional eco-tourism opportunities.
The project has been made possible
through a successful $150,000 2011-12
Caring for Our Country grant application
submitted by the Loxton to Bookpurnong
Local Action Planning Committee Inc project
manager Craig Ferber.
Proprietors of the only aquaponic research
and demonstration farm in South Australia --
at Lewiston, near Glawler -- Andrew Dezsery
and Gavin Smith had earlier this year run
training workshops funded by LAPCI.
Aquaponics offers farmers the chance to
value-add and diversify in a region still
recovering from drought and water
Mr Dezsery, a former operations manager at
SARDI'S West Beach site involved with
barramundi farming, said many irrigators
would have the ability to adapt infrastructure
to the system, which joins freshwater fish
farming and hydroponic vegetable growing
without using chemicals.
The self-sustaining process involves fish
producing metabolic wastes -- urea and
ammonia -- filtered naturally through an
expanded clay or gravel bed.
Solids are separated while soluble waste is
broken down by beneficial aerobic bacteria.
Nitrates are taken up by the plants and 11 of the
13 available trace elements are also produced.
The waste from horticulture -- normally
discarded -- can also be broken down by
larval insect production into ento-proteins,
which are fed back to the fish.
"At the moment, the waste from
aquaculture goes to a filtration pond and
evaporates, otherwise you end up with high
nitrates," Mr Dezsery said.
"You can also produce organic products,
without being organically-certified, by not
using any chemicals."
At the Lewiston farm, 222 tonnes a hectare
of food can be produced using modern
technologies in the combined horticulture
/aquaculture production systems.
In terms of water savings, the accepted
benchmark of using 36,000 litres to produce
$100 worth of vegetables has been slashed to
Details: 0412 477 036, manag-
email@example.com or visit
Tony Burfield says there has been a major improvement on all
properties where management strategies have been implemented
to combat ToMV in capsicums (inset).
Co-operative action stops
major outbreak of ToMV
By ANGELA LUSH
THREAT of a disease outbreak at
Virginia has been contained by
the combined action of growers,
extension officers, plant pathologists
and seed companies.
The symptoms were first noticed
two years ago in greenhouse cap-
sicum crops at Virginia.
The affected growers quickly
realised they were dealing with
something different and called
extension officer Tony Burfield,
from the South Australian Research
and Development Institute, to help
identify the disease.
He collected samples from affected
properties for identification via
SARDI's plant disease diagnostic ser v-
Suspecting that a virus was causing
the symptoms, the material was sent
to plant pathologist and virus expert
Denis Persley, Agri Science
Queensland, for further testing. He
confirmed that growers were deal-
ing with tomato mosaic virus.
"We found the virus in capsicum crops
on seven properties and all were linked
somehow, either through sharing work-
ers or equipment," Mr Burfield said.
The links between the properties
were the key to following the virus
and preventing it spreading.
Unlike more common viruses,
such as tomato spotted wilt virus,
ToMV is not spread by insects.
Key characteristics of ToMV include:
• Stable and highly infectious.
• Not transmitted by insects.
• Easily spread by contact.
Touching infected plants during
transplanting, pruning, tying-up,
spraying and har vesting and then
working with healthy plants will eas-
ily spread the virus.
It can also sur vive for several months
on crop debris or implements, stakes,
wires, containers and clothing. A new
crop planted into a contaminated site
will be easily infected.
The disease is seed-borne and this
leads to infection of germinating
ToMV is present worldwide and
outbreaks can happen in all regions
growing capsicums, tomatoes and
"Tomato mosaic vir us is most
common in capsicum and tomato
crops and would be responsible for
sporadic losses over the years in
South Australia," Mr Persley said.
"Symptoms in young plants are
very similar to TSWV, but symp-
toms on fruit are quite different."
Once the virus was identified, Mr
Burfield and Mr Persley, in collabora-
tion with seed companies, visited
properties and held information meet-
ings to talk to growers about the virus.
Providing growers with informa-
tion on the symptoms, spread and
management of the virus and the
resistant varieties available was vital
to containing it and preventing fur-
"The most important part of man-
aging ToMV is to ensure you have
healthy seedlings and a strict
hygiene program," Mr Persley said.
"Resistant varieties are also avail-
A strict management program for
ToMV was implemented immedi-
ately on the first property where the
virus was detected.
Plants showing symptoms of the
virus were pulled out of the
greenhouse and put into a bin
that was taken off the property.
Workers were not allowed to
go from infected to healthy
crops. Work clothes were
washed and implements and
equipment cleaned with bleach
after work in the infected areas.
When the crop was finished, it
was not ploughed in, but pulled
out of the greenhouse and taken
off the property.
String, irrigation tape and plastic
mulch were also discarded.
Growers then grew a cucumber
crop which is not a host for ToMV.
They are now on their second
consecutive capsicum crop since
the outbreak and have seen no
signs of the virus.
"There's been a major improve-
ment on all properties where man-
agement strategies have been
implemented," Mr Burfield said.
"The first farm where the vir us
was detected is now completely
free of ToMV after implement-
ing the recommended manage-
Of the seven properties affect-
ed, the growers who stuck most
strictly to the management rec-
ommendations were the most
successful in eradicating ToMV.
Three things were critical:
affected growers recognised they
were dealing with something
different, they got help with
diagnosing the problem and
they implemented the recom-
mended management strategies.
The quick-thinking by everyone
involved turned what could have
been a major outbreak into a fan-
tastic example of how all industry
players can work together to con-
tain a disease threat.
Details: Fact sheet prepared by Mr
Persley and colleague Cherie
Gambley, is available at
To send plant samples for disease
diagnosis, SARDI 08 8303 9585.
Symptoms noticed in cap-
sicum crops at Virginia
SARDI plant disease diagnos-
tic service involved
Management key to effective
AT A GLANCE
Crops simply grow better for
longer and Yield better with Perlka.
Soil Structure and Crop Quality is
better with Perlka.
We can prove your soil microbial
health is better with Perlka.
Proven to defend against diseases
like sclerotinia and clubroot and
early weed invasion.
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