Home' Grower : April 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- April 2012
Accord identifies ways to avoid job losses
APPLE and Pear Australia
Limited is seeking govern-
ment support for a transition
package that would avert significant
job losses in the apple industry.
With recent changes to govern-
ment policy allowing international
apple imports for the first time in
90 years, Australian apple
orchardists face a challenging envi-
Speaking at Parliament House in
Canberra recently, APAL chairman
John Lawrenson said "the industry
requires support to help growers
transition to world's best-practice
as other wise 70 per cent of
Australian apple growers are vul-
nerable and many will exit the
"Without the modest support we
are seeking, an estimated 1500 to
2500 jobs will be lost, which would
have a devastating impact on many
rural communities," Mr Lawrenson
"This estimate does not include
additional flow-on effects of job
losses in seasonal picking, pruning
and packing sheds.
"The government can assist the
apple industry to transition growers
to best-practice orchard manage-
ment techniques and have more
growers achieve sustainability and
The industry's Aussie Apple
Accord identifies measures that will
promote innovation and productiv-
ity in the industry.
"As we have outlined in the
Accord, with a co-investment of
$21.9 million over four years, the
government can be a collaborative
partner and help more Australian
apple growers meet the current
challenges," Mr Lawrenson said.
Combined with industry invest-
ments of $102.8m, the Accord will
total a $124.7m investment part-
"Its targeted assistance will invest
in transferring research and devel-
opment results to the orchard and
help growers adapt to compete
against cheaper imported apples.
"The apple industry is under no
illusion that this assistance is a
'magic bullet' solution. These
changes will require hard work by
growers but will allow many more
Australian growers to join the
world's best producers and main-
tain their profitability."
The Accord will also provide an
incentive to growers to make the
capital investments necessary to
compete instead of forcing them to
exit the industry.
"The government can help
ensure the future of the apple
industry, which is of vital impor-
tance to regional Australia, by
partnering with APAL to support
the Aussie Apple Accord and
ensure Australian apple growers
become the world's best," Mr
Aussie Apple Accord identifies measures that will promote innovation
and productivity in the industry.
Seeks $21.9m over four years
Industry offers investments
Expects 1500 to 2500 jobs
Fruit fly ready reckoner
SPOTTING troublesome exotic fruit
flies from among the many species
that are already present in Australia
will be easier and faster following the
release of the Australian Fruit Fly
Identification Handbook by Plant
Health Australia, the national
coordinator of plant biosecurity.
The compilation of diagnostic
techniques for 47 fruit fly species is
intended to facilitate rapid diagnosis
of fruit fly species and be a
comprehensive guide for Australian
diagnosticians and field officers.
The handbook was commissioned
by the Department of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry as part of its
contribution to the implementation of
the National Fruit Fly Strategy.
DAFF's chief plant protection officer
Lois Ransom said that the book
would be a boon for diagnosticians.
"It is a book written by
diagnosticians for diagnosticians, to
enhance Australia's plant biosecurity
capacity," she said.
Plant Health Australia's CEO and
executive director Greg Fraser said
fruit flies put "a lot at stake".
"The few problematic types of fruit
fly could have a major impact on
Australia's capacity to trade, both
here and overseas," he said.
"We're talking markets worth about
$4.8 billion a year."
Medfly lure-and-kill weapon under trial
A device that attracts Mediterranean
fruit fly in orchards and kills them
after a few seconds of contact is
being trialled by Fruit West and the
Department of Agriculture and Food.
Magnet MED is the latest weapon
under scrutiny by the fruit industry
following restrictions on the use of
the chemical dimethoate, which
has been a long-term defence
against this dangerous pest.
Fruit West executive manager
Gavin Foord said Magnet MED
appeared to work well in Europe,
and triggered trials in Western
After approval from the Australian
Pest and Veterinary Medicines
Authority, the units were placed in
apple orchards at Karragullen and
Jarrahdale -- both high-risk areas
for Medfly -- in January.
"Magnet MED uses deltamethrin
plus powerful attractants that smell
foul to humans but apparently
fabulous to both male and female
fruit flies," Mr Foord said.
The devices bring the pest to the
poison using a 'lure and kill'
technique. An advantage is that they
leave no chemical residues on the
fruit, making it an attractive option
for organic and backyard growers.
In Spain and Italy, the device has
been used for several years in citrus,
pome fruit and stone fruit orchards.
Each device resembles a white
card, measures 180 millimetres by
150mm, and is hung in fruit trees at
a recommended 75 units a hectare
-- one lure for 20 to 30 trees.
The lures are being trialled on
apples only this year and will
remain in place until the end of the
season in June.
Medfly numbers will be monitored
weekly and damage to fruit
assessed and compared with control
areas on the same properties.
Senior department entomologist
Sonya Broughton said the
Karragullen and Jarrahdale apple
orchards had no other fruit crops,
which suited the research.
The department's technical
officer Paul Murphy said there was
no silver-bullet solution to replace
"Magnet MED is just one of the
new weapons we are investigating,
but if it is successful here, it will
need to be used with other tools,"
Magnet MED is suspended from
high branches and lures
Medflies in the vicinity.
Apple trade seeks govt safety line
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