ALMOND BOARD OF AUSTRALIA MARCH 2006 NEWSLETTER I N A UTSHELL UTSHELL
ALMOND BOARD of AUSTRA L I A ABN: 31 709 079 099 “Horticulture House” 7 Wilson Street PO Box 52 Berri SA 5343 Phone: 08 8582 2055 Fax: 08 8582 3503 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.australianalmonds.com.au
Inside this issue:
W elcome... We hope you are able to find a moment during the busy harvest season to read this, the fourth edition of “In A Nutshell” - the official newsletter of the Almond Board of Australia (ABA). This publication is designed to keep you informed of activities currently being undertaken by the ABA, as well as highlighting important industry issues. A broad overview of the almond industry’s R&D program is included in this issue and updates on specific R&D activities will then be included in future newsletters. Remember, your suggestions regarding this publication and any of the ABA’s activities are always welcome!
Nuts for Life Program 2 ABA Marketing Activities 3 Proposed EPPR Levy 4 Plant Health Australia 5 Regional Meetings 6 Almond R&D Levy 6 Budwood Update 6 R&D Wrap-up 7 Meetings & Events 8
This publication has been partially funded by HAL (Horticulture Australia Limited)
Important Information This edition includes important information for all almond growers regarding the proposed “Emergency Plant Pest Response” (EPPR) levy - pages 4 & 5. Introduction of this levy was discussed at the 2005 Almond Conference, with an excellent presentation on the topic by Andrew Heap, General Manager of the Australian Macadamia Society. Further industry consultation will be undertaken, followed by a levy payers’ ballot, to be held during Regional meetings in June this year. Please take time to read the information enclosed, and contact Julie Haslett (08) 8582 2055 if you have any queries.
Almond Management Courses are scheduled to commence in late May, after harvest dust has settled. Courses will be held in modules in each region. These courses are specifically intended to provide information to understand and implement the technologies being developed at the Management Trial (CT Farms). Registration of Interest forms will be sent out closer to the date to enable course registration and allow us to plan times, dates and venues accordingly.
Course Modules: • The Almond Annual Growth and Crop Cycle • Basic Soil Physics • Basic Almond Physiology • Optimising Fertilisation • The Use and Role of Foliar Nutrition • Almond Nutrition
For further information, contact Chris Bennett ph: (08) 8582 2055 or email: email@example.com
Performance and Management
ABA Membership Update The ABA currently has 121 members, a substantial increase over previous years. At the AGM in November 2005, the ABA introduced associate membership, available to Australian almond industry suppliers and interested parties. Membership fees for 2005/06: $110 full membership and $66 associate membership. For further information, please contact the ABA office or visit website: www.australianalmonds.com.au N uts for L ife For further information on Nuts for Life activities visit website: www.nutsforlife.com.au or contact Program Manager - Lisa Yates ph: (02) 9460 0111 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
♥ Nuts for Life Trademark The Nuts for Life trademark is ready for use by contributors on specific nut products and stationery. Given that Nuts for Life research has shown that approximately 90% of consumers get nutrition information on pack, this provides a great opportunity for contributors. Application forms can be accessed via the Nuts for Life website: www.nutsforlife.com.au ♥ FSANZ Health Claims The draft Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard has been released. Nuts for Life are busy putting a response together for Industry. Submissions are due by 31st March 2006. ♥ Breakthrough in Promotion of Nutrition and Health Benefits
The Horticulture Australia Board has recently advised of an improved position regarding the promotion of unbranded fruits and nuts. They now consider the dissemination of nutrition and health information of horticultural food products to be “dietary information” and not in breach of the Food Standards Code so long as the information does not accompany a branded product. This liberalises the information that Nuts for Life can provide not only to health professional but consumers as well.
M arketing P rogram Key Activities
The ABA’s “Fresh Australian Almonds” logo is currently undergoing a trademark and licensing process.
The ABA’s marketing program is funded by a two cents per kilogram Marketing Levy. The program is managed by Joseph Ebbage (pictured), and is overseen by the ABA’s Marketing Subcommittee.
Once complete, this logo will be available for use on packaging by marketing levy contributors.
♥ Look out for our vibrant, new
consumer advertising campaign!!
♥ Featured in magazines: ∗ “Australian Good Taste” ∗ ABC’s “Delicious” ♥ Scheduled from April to June 2006 ♥ Targeting females aged between 30 and 54
The ABA will be promoting “Fresh Australian Almonds” at the National Heart Foundation Conference being held in Sydney later this month.
Important Information: Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Levy
• The “Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed” (EPPRD) has recently been finalised. • This deed establishes a partnership between Australian governments and plant industries, providing a mechanism for dealing with plant pest incursions. • In order to sign the deed, the Australian Almond Industry must have an established and agreed process for raising funds to cover the industry’s proportion of costs of a response to eradicate an emergency plant pest. • Consequently, the ABA is proposing to establish an Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) levy. • The EPPR levy will initially be set to zero and will only be activated in the event of an exotic pest or disease outbreak affecting almonds, which is considered appropriate for an eradication response. • In the event that the EPPR levy is activated, the levy rate will be determined according to the level of industry funds required to cover the almond industry’s share of the costs to eradicate the related pest or disease. • Plant Health Australia (PHA) is currently develop- ing a comprehensive Biosecurity Plan for the entire Australian Nut Industry. • This aims to identify major potential exotic pest or disease threats to the Australian Nut Industry , including the Australian Almond Industry, and develop risk management strategies. • The list of identified threats are ranked in terms of the estimated risk to industry should an outbreak occur, depending upon the expected impact.
• Each identified threat is then apportioned cost- sharing arrangements that would apply in the event of an outbreak, ranging from 100% Govern- ment funded to 80% funded by industry, dependant upon the level of public or private good of eradication. • If the Cost Sharing Deed has been signed by the relevant industry, the Australian Government will provide up-front funds to cover the Industry’s assigned proportion of costs, and the EPPR levy will then be activated to repay the Government, over a maximum period of 10 years. • Once the required funds for eradication response have been raised, the EPPR levy rate would return to zero. • Under the Deed, growers who have crops destroyed as part of the eradication effort would be eligible for reimbursement of their direct losses. • In the event of an incursion, Industry will have a full and formal role in the decision making process. A key example of an emergency pest and disease outbreak affecting plant health is citrus canker. If the Cost Sharing Deed arrangements had been in force when this recent outbreak occurred, the Australian Government would have provided a loan to cover 100% of the industry share of eradication costs, with the citrus industry having a period of up to ten years repay. Growers whose trees were destroyed would have been eligible for reimbursement of direct losses.
EPPR Levy — Almond Industry Consultation Process:
Regional Meetings June 2006
Almond Conference November 2005
Newsletter Article March 2006
PHA Membership Plant Industry Members Ind • Apple and Pear Australia Ltd • Australian Banana Growers Association • Australian Citrus Growers • Australian Cotton Growers Research Association • Australian Honey Bees Industry Council • Australian Macadamia Society • Australian Mango Industry Association • Australian Nut Industry Council • Australian Onion Industry Association • Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council • Australian Vegetable and Potato Growers (AUSVEG)
Background Information Established in April 2000, Plant Health Australia (PHA) is a peak national coordinating body for plant health in Australia. PHA commissions projects and works with its members to coordinate the development of national policy and capability to enhance the ability of Australian agriculture to respond effectively to plant and pests and diseases. PHA’s projects sit under four key priority areas: A nationally coordinated plant health preparedness and prevention system; An enhanced plant pest and disease emergency response system; A national perspective on plant health service capability; and A national system of plant health information. Company activities are primarily funded by annual subscriptions paid by members. PHA members include the Australian Government, all state and territory governments and national representative plant industry organisations. PHA is a non-profit public company limited by guarantee. • • • •
• Avocados Australia • CANEGROWERS • Cherry Growers of Australia Inc • Grains Council of Australia • Growcom
• Nursery and Garden Industry Australia • Ricegrowers Association of Australia • Strawberries Australia • Summerfruit Australia Ltd • Winemakers Federation of Australia Government Members • Australian Government • Australian Capital Territory
• Northern Territory • New South Wales • Queensland • South Australia • Tasmania • Victoria • Western Australia
Associate Members • Australasian Plant Pathology Society • AWB Services • Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations Ltd
• CSIRO • GRDC • Horticulture Australia Limited
Budwood Update B By Chris Bennett - IDM This season initially looked to present a considerable challenge to ensure that the enormous demand for budwood was met. Initial indi- cations were that requirements could be as high as 2,400,000 buds. While this level of demand will not be reached, final numbers will be well in excess of previous years. Approximately 1,250,000 buds have been supplied so far this season, with sales continuing strongly into the autumn budding period. It is expected that the more than 1.8 million trees will be budded this year. Importantly, with the exception of Monterey which has very limited supply, all requirements have been successfully met. Monterey will remain in short supply until the new trees come into production. Note that all budwood restrictions have now been lifted. In order to ensure that the budwood demand can be met for the future, the repository at Monash is being expanded, with over 200 new trees planted last year. Negotiations are underway to increase the available area by a further 50% and it is expected that an additional 200 trees will be planted again this winter, predominately the best of the Nonpareil clones, Carmel and some Monterey. Almond R&D Levy A An R&D levy is payable on Almonds, providing funding for research and development carried out via Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), in addition to the Australian Government’s matching contributions. Almond growers/producers are liable to pay the levy, but for ease of administration it is collected by first purchasers, agents, merchants, exporters etc. and forwarded to the Levy Revenue Service (LRS). Almond growers who sell almonds direct to consumers, such as at roadside stalls, shed sales, farm gate, etc. must submit levy and returns directly to the LRS. Current levy rates for almonds (GST is not applicable): • Shelled (Kernel) 2 cents / kilogram • In Shell (Nonpareil Variety) 1.5 cents / kilogram • In Shell (Other Varieties) 1 cent / kilogram Levy payments need to be made within 28 of end of each quarter: March, June, September and December. For further information, contact Levies Revenue Service NSW: 1800 625 103 SA: 1800 814 961 VIC: 1800 683 839 www.daff.gov.au/levies
Regional Meetings A series of regional meetings are being scheduled, with two key agenda items: 1. EPPR Levy Consultation & Ballot (see further information on pages 4 & 5) 2. Almond Industry Strategic Plan (presentation of draft plan for comment)
Chairman & Secretary: Philip Costa
Chairman: Brendan Sidhu
Secretary: Michael Smart
Chairman: Neale Bennett
Secretary: Stephen Lynch
For further information, contact Julie Haslett Phone: (08) 8582 2055 Email: email@example.com
R&D Wrap-up A diverse range of activities are currently being undertaken as part of the Australian Almond Industry’s R&D Program: Irrigation and Nutrition Management Trial This trial, based at CT Farms in the Riverland of SA, has been studying key management components of irrigation, nutrition, canopy management and their interaction, optimisation and efficiencies. The trial has improved current understanding of efficient means of water and nutrition application techniques. Information gained from this trial forms the basis of the upcoming Almond Management Courses, scheduled for commencement in May 2006 (see page 2 for further information). Propagation and Evaluation of New Varieties Ten new varieties that have been planted on commercial orchards sites undergo continual evaluation. Delegates at the 2005 Annual Almond Conference viewed some of these new varieties and learnt about their specific characteristics, during a field visit to Amaroo Orchards. Angle Vale Demonstration Trial This demonstration plot is proving to be a very important resource to demonstrate improved irrigation and nutrition management. Growth of trees has progressed well, although overall outcomes have been severely limited by the ongoing “leaf tatter” problem (see below). A key outcome from this trial been demonstration of the relative abilities and susceptibilities of three sprinkler systems as compared with drip system, to manage build-up of soil salinity. The drip system has proven significantly better, reducing the salinity from commercially limiting levels to below the economic threshold of 1.5 ECe. Chemical Registration & Consultancy Kevin Bodnaruk (AgriSearch) provides professional assistance on a number of chemical related issues, including more recent activities: • Chemical residue trials for a number of new chemicals, leading to future applications for registration; • Submission to the Japanese Government regarding issues surrounding almonds on their “Positive List”; and reviewing and providing advice on the provisional Japanese MRL’s; • Gap analysis and recommendations on the almond industry’s MRL compliance on the export market. Food Safety Protocols These protocols have been successfully developed by Dr Elizabeth Frankish of Microserve Laboratories in Perth, together with industry consultation in the form of a Protocols Committee. These protocols will form the basis of the industry’s guidelines for food safety and they will be continually developed as new issues arise.
Spray Program An almond spray program is currently being written by Dr Prue McMichael of Scholefield Robinson. Prue has extensive experience with almond pests and diseases, having undertaken a number of pathological projects within the industry (including the “leaf tatter” project below). The spray program will incorporate guidelines for the use of newly permitted and regitered chemicals, as well as the older materials. Spray guidelines will be distributed to growers ready for use at the start of next season and will include sections on disease identification and almond flowering times. Leaf Tatter Project This project is also headed by Dr Prue McMichael (Scholefield Robinson). While there are lots of theories, it is clear that we do not yet know the cause, or even whether it is a disease or not. However, Prue and her team have made significant progress in the last season, with things becoming a little clearer. One treatment applied appears to have potential for control. However, this is not a currently registered chemical for use on almonds. It must be remembered that before any chemical can be registered there are a number of strict requirements that need to be met to convince the APVMA to issue a permit. This includes proving efficacy (“it works”), identifying the problem (“what is it”) and having it available in Australia. At this stage none of these basic requirements can be met. Prue has developed a preliminary program for work next season, with particular emphasis on the areas currently identified as the most important and promising. Australian Almond Breeding Program This program is being undertaken at the University of Adelaide, under the guidance of Professor Margaret Sedgley. Supported by molecular biology activities undertaken in an aligned ARC project, this program has produced over 18,000 seedlings and more than 250 crosses. Monash Evaluation Trial 3,628 seedlings eventuating from the Australian Almond Breeding Program (above) have been planted into the primary evaluation site at Monash. Continual evaluation of these plantings is now being undertaken.
New projects under consideration for 2006/07: • Rust Predictive Model • International Study Tour
• Update of the Financial Analysis • Pollination Improvement Tool For further information regarding any of these activities, please contact Chris Bennett ph: (08) 8582 2055
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Special thanks to Jubilee Almonds for use of their pick-up machine!
Out and About Guests attending Almondco’s “New Season Launch” have gained a better understanding of the ABA; its role and current activities. Julie Haslett addressed the group by presenting an overview of the Australian Almond Industry and highlighting key marketing activities currently being undertaken by the ABA. Chris Bennett then hosted a visit to the R&D trial at CT Farms.
australian nut industry confer- ence 12 SEPTEMBER 2006 Melbourne Exhibition Centre For more information contact: TEL 03 9431 5167 FAX 03 9439 3855 EMAIL email@example.com
MEETINGS & EVENTS:
♦ 25 th March 2006 ANIC Board Meeting Melbourne ♦ 5 th May 2006 Almond IAC Meeting Adelaide ♦ 9 th — 11 th May 2006
Pictured: Chris Bennett addressing Almondco’s “New Season Launch” at the CT Farms trial site
Irrigation Australia Conference Brisbane www.irrigation.org.au
♦ 12 th — 14 th May 2006
World Tree Nut Convention Montreal, Canada www.treenuts.org
♦ 19 th May 2006 ABA Executive &
Marketing Subcommittee Meeting, Adelaide ♦ 30 th — 31 st May 2006 HAL Forum, Sydney ♦ 11 th — 14 th September 2006 Fine Foods Exhibition Melbourne Exhibition Centre www.finefood.com.au ♦ 12 th September 2006 ANIC Conference Melbourne Exhibition Centre www.anic06.com.au
Publications For Sale
Almond Production Manual - $37.50 Integrated Pest Management for Almonds - $40 Contact the ABA to arrange purchase.
Contact the ABA if you miss this edition...
Publication of the Almond Board of Australia ABN: 31 709 079 099 “Horticulture House” 7 Wilson Street PO Box 52 Berri SA 5343