New IAC Chairman After many years of service, Peter Freeman has retired as Chairman of the Almond Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). Peter’s valuable contribution in this role was formally acknowledged late last year at the Australian Almond Industry Dinner. Peter will continue as a member of the IAC. Dr Ben Robinson replaces Peter as the new IAC Chairman. Ben Robinson has been involved in horticultural and viticultural research and consulting since graduating B Ag SC (Hons) from Adelaide University in 1963. He gained a PhD in plant physiology from Cambridge University in 1967 and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at UCLA in 1970/71. He spent 20 years as a research scientist based at the Northfield Laboratories of the then South Australian Department of Agriculture working on aspects of horticultural mineral nutrition and soil management. It was in this role that he first did research work for the almond industry (a nitrogen fertiliser trial at Nildottie). He was a member of the research committee of the almond industry in the 1980s. Together with Doug Reuter he co-edited both editions of “Plant Analysis – A Manual” which brought together tissue analysis data for a wide range of horticultural and agronomic crops, with special reference to Australian conditions. He and Peter Scholefield established Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services Pty Ltd (SRHS) in 1989. Work for the and almond growers was and still remains an important part of that business. Ben retired from SRHS and full time consulting at the end of 2004. He is maintaining his interest in horticulture and viticu coordinating role in the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation’s Soil Water Initiative, and the Pistachi research committee. He is excited by the opportunity to work with the Almond Board of Australia and Horticulture Austra (HAL) as independent chair of the Almond Industry Advisory Committee at this time of rapidly expanding plantings and g Ben Robinson can be contacted on mobile: 0428 811 946. R N
etired IAC Chairman: Peter Freeman
ew IAC Chairman: Dr Ben Robinson
lture with a o industry’s lia Limited rowing exports.
Industry Statisti Information collected in the Australian Alm Survey has been collated. Consolidated
Budwood Update With Chris Bennett - IDM
ond Grower reports are e. & managers his survey.
now available via our website or by contacting the ABA offic
Budwood requirements for this year have been extraordinarily high. Orders were placed for around 2.4 million buds, representing intended plantings of around 9,000 hectares. This is around twice the size of the entire Industry in 1993; a remarkable change. The budwood is being allocated to nurseries to ensure as fair and equitable distribution as possible. In general, most orders are being satisfied and cooperation of the nurseries in making the most of the available budwood production has been appreciated and successful. The Monash site was completely overhauled this year, with a new drip irrigation system, controller and fertilizer program. The trees have responded very well and the growth and bud quality being by far the best yet achieved. This has helped the situation greatly. In the future, production of budwood will be boosted by the extra trees planted this year and further expansion of the site over the next two years. Over 906,000 buds have been sold to date, with spring budwood allocations being lifted before Christmas. Restrictions may apply to autumn budwood allocations. A major issue facing the industry is future availability of Nemaguard. Current levels of expansion in Australia and California are making it difficult to source this material from overseas.
Appreciation is extended to all growers who have taken time to participate in t
Almond Board of Australia’s Technical Officers: Phil Watters a out in the field inspecting the budwood shoots for the upc