Home' Grower : June 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- June 2013
By STEPHANIE GROPLER
Australia's 12th biennial con-
ference in Melbourne next month
are in full swing.
The peak industry body for hydro-
ponics and greenhouse horticulture
is expecting more than 400 local
and international delegates and
well-known guest speakers between
July 28 and 31 at the Pullman
Hotel in Albert Park.
Registrations for the event are still
Secretary Saskia Blanch said the
speaker line-up added value to the
"International guest speakers are
coming in from Canada, the
Netherlands and New Zealand and
there is a new exhibitor from
China," she said.
"Quite a few Dutch greenhouse
companies have got a trade exhibi-
She said a key focus of this year's
conference was to attract flower
growers, apart from fruit, and veg-
"We have always been strong in
fruit and vegetables, lettuce and
leafy greens but in the last five or so
years, we have really been making
the effort to include flower grow-
ers," she said.
Kleinwachter has a vision for the
use of light and optics in horticul-
ture and Frits Veenman,
Netherlands will discuss innova-
tions in irrigation.
Senior research scientist Nick
Savidov, Canada, will talk about
design improvements including aer-
obic bio-digestion to recover nutri-
ents and water, full automation, and
more efficient oxygenation.
He is an internationally renowned
expert in advanced aquaponics sys-
tems for commercial production
and Ms Blanch said his talks would
be highly beneficial for Australian
Many greenhouse and hydroponic
growers from South Australia are
expected to attend the event,
including Andrew Potter, P'Petual
"I will be heading there for the
networking side of things, catching
up with other growers and suppli-
ers," he said.
"There will be a lot of talk from
overseas experts. I think its just a
great opportunity to refresh your
knowledge and pick up some new
"They are getting more and more
interest from overseas visitors which
is always good. I find it pretty inter-
Ms Blanch said it was important
for growers to share ideas and net-
work throughout the three-day
"We are a national association so
what we do every two years is bring
everyone under one roof for three
days of intense networking to net-
work, share and learn together," she
"Join other growers who learn
from the best -- this is all about shar-
The trade exhibition with 50 stalls
representing Australian and interna-
tional suppliers is open to all on
By ASHLEY WALMSLEY
WESTERN Australian table grape
growers are steeling themselves for a
fight against Californian grape
The Federal Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
recently released a draft non-
regulated analysis of existing policy
for Californian table grape imports to
The report proposes that the imports
be permitted subject to a range of
It follows a 2005 application from
the United States Department of
Agriculture Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service to extend market
access for fresh table grapes from
California to include WA.
California has exported fresh table
grapes to all Australian states and
territories -- except WA -- since 2002.
The analysis recommended the
quarantine measures used for the rest
of Australia be transferred to WA.
The suggestion was not well
received by Table Grapes WA.
Chairman Roger Fahl said the
organisation planned to oppose the
proposal because of the risk of
diseases entering the state for the
"It's hard enough as it is without
having these diseases to deal with,"
WA does not have grape phylloxera
(Daktulosphaira vitifoliae), grapevine
fanleaf virus and phomopsis cane and
leaf spot (Phomopsis viticola).
The DAFF analysis says the risk of
grapevine fanleaf virus coming into
WA as a result of trade in table grapes
from California was high. It puts the
likelihood of Phomopsis viticola as
The plot thickens in favour of DAFF.
In 2011, the Western Australian
Government Department of Agriculture
and Food announced the formal start
of a pest risk analysis on the
importation of fresh table grapes into
WA. That process is still underway.
Mr Fahl said that if DAFF was to be
successful in allowing the imports,
they had to overrule the State
He said the multi-million dollar
Swan Valley wine industry would be in
jeopardy in the event of a disease
"Western Australia experiences one
of the wettest springs of any grape
growing region in the world, making
pest control even more difficult," he
Stakeholders had until May 9 to
submit comments on the analysis.
Member for West Swan Rita Saffioti
raised the issue of potential table
grape imports in the state parliament
in May last year.
She said many Swan Valley grape
growers had expressed their
"Given the close proximity of the
Swan Valley to the metropolitan area,
the risk of imported material
contaminating Swan Valley grapes is
a serious issue that cannot be
ignored," she said.
The release of the analysis comes
as the WA government brought the
Biosecurity and Agriculture
Management Act 2007 into effect.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken
Baston said the Act would take the
place of 16 older Acts and enhance
protection of the state's $6 billion
agriculture and food sector and the
"The Act modernises the law and
removes inconsistencies between
previous legislation to better serve
business and the community," he
Among those Acts repealed was the
Plant Diseases Act 1914 which many
within WA horticulture regarded as a
safeguard against potential disease
But after meetings with the
Department of Agriculture and Food,
Mr Fahl said growers had been
assured of the State's border security.
"This Act has removed some of the
previous loopholes that were around
and increased penalties and inspector
access," he said.
The export season for Californian
grapes to Australia is from June to
November. Australia imports fresh
grapes from the US, Chile, New
Zealand, China and Korea.
WA opposes US grape plans
If DAFF is
it then has to
summit to show
ideas that work
Big chance to network
Strong speakers line-up
Registration still open
A key focus of this
is to attract flower
Sunday, July 28 but will be reser ved
for delegates for the rest of the con-
Long lunch and tea breaks are
intended to give suppliers, manufac-
turers, speakers and growers a
chance to mingle.
The popular dawn tour of the
Melbourne flower market is expect-
ed to draw similar attention this
year -- buses are usually packed.
The busy schedule includes farm
tours and workshops and delegates
have a choice of fruit, vine crops and
leafy greens, flowers and a general
"There is a choice of three farm
tours at the end which is a really big
attraction because often people
can't get to other farms," Ms
"What we are doing is having ded-
icated streams of workshops from
flowers and leafy greens to fruit and
veg and aquaponics to make it real-
ly relevant to growers."
The event will draw focus on eco-
nomics and utilising new technolo-
gy and how to get the best out of
crop protection applications.
Ms Blanch said the conference was
not just targeted at existing growers
as those interested in the industry
would gain many insights.
egate or 02 4567 7685
Andrew Potter, P'Petual
Holdings, Virginia says the
conference is a good chance to
refresh knowledge and pick up
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