The 2010-11 growing season provided many Murray Valley horticultural enterprises with one of their most challenging in years. Floods, inundating and persistent rains combined with a mild summer provided less than ideal conditions for the control of weeds, pests and diseases and a difficult harvest period. It was another reminder that the Riverland, Sunraysia and MIA regions are not true Mediterranean climates. The ABA recently conducted a workshop in Adelaide to consider practices that could reduce the risk posed by wet harvest periods and provide efficiency gains and quality improvements even during good years.
To allow change to occur there needs to be a stimulus to move, a direction to go and the resources to make it happen. The past few years have certainly provided a stimulus and there appears to be significant rewards available but in recent years the high cost of inputs, lower than expected yields and reduced prices have diminished the financial capacity of enterprises to fund new developments. It is hoped that the promise of the large bloom will
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the ABA staff who recently went through their annual performance reviews. This process highlighted their many skills, experience and the valued attributes they bring to the ABA on a daily basis to help achieve our goals of reducing production costs and risk, increasing product value, and supporting the sales of increased volumes of product. The fourth ABA goal is to provide a good operating environment for industry members by addressing whole of industry issues with various levels of government and in the broader community. In concluding, it is great to see the optimism that the promise of a bountiful crop brings, but we need to be mindful that recently we have not been able to offer the market the high quality product that was providing a significant point of difference with other world producers.
be realised with the sound management of orchards in the coming months enabling industry participants to reap the rewards of a large harvest and be in a position to invest in new improved production and processing technologies. Ivan Shaw, spoke at the workshop on the system he pioneered for the Australian dried grape industry. His ‘Shaw Trellis System’ is recognised as world’s best practice, and his primary principle is to develop a
The attendance of 34 invited participants who willingly gave up their time to both travel and contribute to the workshop was a great effort. It speaks highly of the leadership of the Australian almond industry that nearly all those invited from the ranks of the ABA Board marketing Committees along with selected members of the industry attended. It was a credit to everyone participating that they were able to put the current and familiar practices to one side in an effort to look to the possibilities of the future. Desirable and the plant improvement, production, processing and
system that maximises the long term yields of the plant and to build the equipment to suit the system - rather than compromise the potential of the system due to available machinery.
The coming year will provide our marketers with the challenge to move an Australian crop (67,000 tonnes) that has potential to be 67% larger than our biggest ever annual production (40,000 tonnes). The US is on its way to producing a record crop that will also provide a challenge for them to clear. This production season is one where each industry participant needs to be mindful of their part in the plan to re- establish the Australian almond as a quality product and in well supplied markets.
goals have been set, strategies will be prepared and it is hoped those involved in the workshop will continue to drive this program forward.