Home' Grower : July 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- July 2012
By MAX OPRAY
THE reality of foreign imports and a
focus back on promoting local
apples needs to be tackled, says the
new chief executive officer of the Apple
and Pear Growers Association of South
Australia Susie Green.
"In recent times, we've had a difficult
fight on hands in trying to raise awareness
about biosecurity and the impending
threat," she said.
Apple growers across the nation have
been up in arms since Biosecurity Australia
last year ended a 90-year ban on imports
from fireblight-affected New Zealand. But
Mrs Green believe its time to move on.
"There's been a lot of lobbying and
fighting, but they're here now and we
need to get back to raising public
awareness about what a great local product
we have," she said.
No stranger to the apple industry, Mrs
Green married into a fruit-growing family
at Ellimatta Orchards at Lenswood.
She has been involved in the farming
sector for 20 years, studying agricultural
science at Adelaide University before
working as a research officer in the
Sunraysia Horticultural Centre, and then
joining Rennley Consulting as a soils and
Her latest role was as marketing
manager with Sentek Technologies,
manufacturers of precision soil moisture
sensors. While her primary focus will be on
promoting local apples, Mrs Green will
not completely give up the fight against
"We will still keep lobbying hard to
ensure quarantine restrictions are not
relaxed -- we need to make sure fireblight
and other pests and risks are kept at bay,"
"Our challenge is to get our orchards up
to world best standard. We need to do this
even with high labour and energy costs."
To modernise the industry, Apple &
Pear Australia Limited had implemented
the Future Orchards program, which
focused on demonstrating and trialing new
orchard technologies, implementing
netting covers and new management
Mrs Green said the proposal was put
for ward to the Federal Government for
funding assistance, but the latest federal
budget did not provide the $21.9 million
investment for which the organisation had
Turning point: Citrus Australia has announced its
first regional advisory committee in the Riverina.
Chairwoman Tania Chapman says that the
appointment marks a historical turning point in the
industry's representative structure. The seven skills
based members -- bringing skills ranging from
citrus production, packing, marketing, juice and
research -- are: John Davidson, Ron Hutton, Ken
McDougall, Dean Morris, Joe Nardi, John Quarisa
and John Sergi.
Details: 03 5023 6333.
Good size: Based on SA Citrus Board crop
estimation and harvest information, 16 per cent
more winter navels have been packed in 2012
compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, May fruit size measurements show that
washington navels are on average 83.5 millimetres,
which is 8.7mm bigger than at the same time last
year. Similarly, May fruit size measurements show
that late lanes are on average 79.67mm, which is
an increase of 6.14mm from this time last year,
averaging 73.53mm in May 2011.
Snail blitz: United States protocols must be followed
to ensure that valuable market is not jeopardised. A
qualified inspector must undertake snail
assessments. Snails are dormant in summer with
activity triggered by rain in autumn. The new brood
of snails feed mainly on decaying organic matter,
growing through winter and spring in weedy areas
where there is plenty of food. Procedures to either
reduce snail populations or reduce the risk of snails
climbing onto or into shipping containers include
monitoring (grassy, weedy areas, under bins, pallets
and any debris), in the orchard (skirting trees and
applying copper sprays), packing shed (inspect all
shipping containers when they first arrive in the
yard, before they leave). Apply baits around sheds
and place containers on bearers.
CEO flags a 'difficult'
fight ahead for apples
"We were asking for tax concessions on
things such as more rapid depreciation of
equipment, if we're investing in new
technology -- we will miss out on that
now," she said.
"Another goal is to amalgamate some of
the packing sheds -- we have more than
100. There are too many for number of
"Lenswood Cold Stores has already
amalgamated with other pack houses, and
we've been able to lower costs
Despite the lack of government support,
Mrs Green says elements of the plan will
go ahead using money from levy funding.
"We will keeping trying to roll out as
much as we can, and will continue to
lobby the government," she said.
Need for public awareness about
'great' local product
Promoting local product a priority
Growers must adopt world's best
Susie Green says getting orchards up to
world best standard is a major
challenge, despite high labour and
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