‘Growing Opportunity’ Conference Invitation, Preliminary Program & Highlights
Nuts for Life - Lisa Yates
R&D Roundup - Ben Brown
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Tech Bytes - Jo Ireland
Circulation: With a circulation of more than 600 and readership of over 2000 the ‘In A Nutshell’ newsletter is available to the general public and interested parties via the Almond Board of Australian website www.australianalmonds.com.au, and high quality printed copies distributed to: Almond board of Australia members, industry stakeholders within Australia and overseas, and to the broader community including Horticulture Australia and Government.
ABA Membership As a member you have a direct say about the future of the industry and direct access to our organisation. The ABA has undertaken industry-wide consultation to develop an Industry Strategic Plan which establishes funding priorities for the industry’s R&D and marketing programs. We aim to support our rapidly increasing industry by encouraging effective communication and co-operation between industry members. The ABA aims to keep members informed through a range of activities including: • Presentation of the Annual Almond Industry Conference. • Distribution of the ABA’s quarterly newsletter “In a Nutshell” • Regular field days and regional meetings • Technical articles and ABA news in the “Australian Nutgrower” Journal • Collection and distribution of industry statistics • Access to regularly updated information via the ABA website To join the ABA please visit our website and download a membership form, or contact our office on 08 8582 2055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In a Nutshell The Almond Board of Australia is the peak industry body representing the interest of almond growers, processors and marketers in Australia in matters of national importance including regulation, legislation, marketing research and development. In a Nutshell is published quarterly by the ABA to inform industry members. Membership The Almond Board of Australia offers membership to growers, processors, marketers and interested parties. Please contact the Almond Board of Australia for current membership fees and inclusions.
Editor Jo Ireland
Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia 9 William Street, PO Box 2246 BERRI SA 5343
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Some of these projects were facilitated by HAL in partnership with the Almond Board of Australia. They were funded by the R&D levy and/or voluntary contributions from industry. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.
Advertising/Editorial The Almond Board of Australia acknowledges contributions made by private enterprise through placement of advertisements in this publication. Any advertising and/or editorial supplied to this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the Almond Board of Australia and unless otherwise specified, no products and/or services are endorsed by this organisation.
Brendan has identified in his report that the year ahead is a challenging one for our marketers with only an additional 15,000 tonnes on 2011 available for sale this marketing year, which runs from March to February 2013. The ABA marketing program will support these efforts in both domestic and export markets. The Australian domestic market is our largest market, with total annual sales during 2011-12 reaching a new high of 16,820 tonnes. The ABA is currently preparing a 3 year marketing plan that aims to continue this steady increase in domestic market sales that saw the tonnage of almonds sold in Australia grow 8.31% in the past year. Our marketers will be aiming to nearly double export sales during this marketing year. The ABA will use the voluntary marketing levy to continue its presence at the Hofex trade fair in Asia, Gulfood in the Middle East, Anuga and Sial trade fairs in Europe, and for the first time, in Eastern Europe at World Food Moscow. The export promotion work managed by Joseph Ebbage, and undertaken in conjunction with all marketers selling overseas is important to building the demand for Australian almonds. A recent review of demand for almonds by Australian consumers has shown per capita consumption has grown over the past four years from 0.492 kg per person in 2007/08 to 0.735 kg in 2011/12. This consumption is slightly greater than the 0.708 kg per person eaten in the USA but behind the Spanish (0.965 kg) Greeks (0.989 kg) and Tunisians (1.370 kg). From an export market perspective an analysis of data on worldwide almond production and consumption shows: • The record US crop of 2011 is clearing well with shipments well up on previous years. • The Almond Board of California estimate of the upcoming 2012 US crop is 907,000 tonnes which is significantly down from last year’s. • Per capita consumption in China has increased 250% in the four year period from 2007 to 2010 • It remains at the relatively low level of 0.021 kg for each of the 1,347 million Chinese • India has a per capita consumption of 0.008 kg • Demand in the United Kingdom and Europe has also been positive, despite the global financial crisis • The recent easing of the Australian dollar has been beneficial but it still remains at historically higher levels that disadvantage returns flowing from markets The ABA is also addressing export market development matters such as import inspection issues, phytosanitary fumigants, export product inspection systems, and chemical MRL monitoring and clearance testing. The role of the ABA is to support the industry and this is being done right across the supply chain. Ross
The 2012 harvest did not go as well as I and many other of our producers had hoped, with forecast yields down by up to 20% on expected. The total crop is now estimated to be 53,000 tonnes and it is possible we may not reach this tonnage. The light crops over the past two years are a concern. The 2011 crop was forecast to be 57,000 tonnes and only yielded 37,626 tonnes, and the 2012 harvest was forecast at 67,000 tonnes is now estimated to be less than 53,000 tonnes. This has been a frustration for all. Trees appear to be out of balance and/or have not adapted to the atypical weather we have experienced since heatwave conditions in late 2009. Wet feet caused by heavy rainfall events in recent years, as well as warm temperatures and high humidity created high disease pressure during the growing season. A more tepid climate over both winter and summer has been discussed as having a possible impact on bud development. This has brought home the fact that our industry does not have the support of an experienced physiologist within the research community available to assist us. This is a shortcoming that the ABA and DPI Victoria is seeking to address. The Victorian Government recently announced funding of $8.1 million over 4 years for the almond, apple, pear and summerfruit industries, supplementing recurrent R&D expenditure. As part of the almond program a PhD student will be funded to look at the physiology of growing almonds. Another issue facing industry is The Murray Darling Basin Plan. The Plan is proposing a reduction of around twenty percent of water available for food and fibre production. The availability of water is a major risk to production and with over 8 million almond trees now in the ground our industry needs a security of supply. Recent socioeconomic studies have concluded such a reduction will have serious impacts on irrigators and local communities particularly in the Riverland, Sunraysia and MIA regions. The ABA made a number of points in submissions to the Authority, with a major point being the additional cost of securing water on the temporary transfer market during reduced allocation periods if water for the environment is purchased as buyback rather than saved by infrastructure projects. A reduction of 20% in total water availability may not sound debilitating, but it represents the major part of the tradable water from those willing to lease water in droughts rather than having to apply it to their crops. Next drought, who will have water available for lease? Production challenges appear many, and the ones facing our marketers are also significant for the new season’s crop, though less than expected is still 15,000 tonnes more than was produced last year. At least the Australian dollar is providing some respite and world prices appear to be improving, something our budgets and bank balances need.
Brett Rosenzweig Industry Development Officer In The Orchard
Now the 2011/12 season is nearly over, here are a few suggestions to help prepare for the next...
Soil Salinity and pH. Even after receiving above average rainfall for the past two seasons, it’s still worth the effort to take soil samples for salinity and pH analysis. For sprinkler irrigated orchards, samples should be taken from approximately 30, 60 and 90 cm (within the average wetted area of the sprinkler pattern) or at closer intervals if your soil depth is shallower than 1m. While salinity levels should be low after two years of above average rainfall, it is still beneficial to target known salinity hotspots from previous years or known drainage areas where water tables may have risen and consequently brought salt into or close to the rootzone. The same principle applies for drip irrigated orchards, however sample at 20cm from the dripper (in the wetted area of the dripper) and 60cm from the dripper (the edge of the wetted area of the dripper). High salinity levels 60cm from the dripper could lead to uptake of salt by the tree after light rainfall events as the salt is pushed back into the rootzone. pH should also be analysed in addition to salinity, particularly in drip irrigated orchards and those orchards with high ammonium nitrogenous fertiliser inputs. Annual soil analysis for pH will allow you to build a database of results that will indicate whether any alarming trends are occurring. It is still not too late to take soil samples for analysis despite the lateness of the season. Next season’s water allocations are expected to be 100% so if soil salinity problems exist, a timely leaching irrigation
and other micro nutrients (e.g. Boron and Zinc). Rates for Lo-Bi Urea are usually 1% or 10kg/1000L. Refer to Fact Sheet 02.
could be applied to take
Disease pressure. This season has again seen conditions suitable for the development of rust, particularly in late summer, when spore populations have reached their peak and control options have been limited due to withholding periods. It is crucial to achieve 100% defoliation this winter to stop overwintering and carryover of rust spores into next season, the primary source of inocolum. Even if the tree is mostly defoliated it is
advantage of any unused allocation from this season. Soil samples can be taken and analysed up to the beginning of July, before any profile building irrigations commence. Refer to Fact Sheet 09. Post Harvest. Post harvest fertiliser should have been applied by now. If leaf retention is good, consider the application of “bud building” sprays using Lo-Bi Urea
Figure 1: Increase in rust spore population with optimum growing conditions
label rates used are indicative only and you should check with your local supplier and chemical label for more accuracy. It may also pay to apply a copper spray following defoliation. With higher than normal disease pressures that have been experienced this last spring/summer, an additional copper spray during dormancy may help fungal and bacterial disease management next season. For copies of any of the fact sheets, please don’t hesitate to contact the office and we can post or email you a copy.
it is unlikely to defoliate naturally and will definitely require a defoliation spray. Unmanaged, this regrowth will become the major inoculum source and infect next season’s growth. It is far more cost effective to apply a defoliation spray of Zinc Sulphate at the end of the season and get 100% control of Rust through complete defoliation rather than rely on the coverage of your airblast sprayer to get adequate control during the following season with pre and/or post infection fungicides. Table 1 indicates the average cost/Ha of fungicides for Rust control compared to Urea and Zinc Sulphate for defoliation. The cost/Ha is based on an average price of the chemical, the actual label rate of application and a water application rate of 2000L/Ha.
still critical to apply a defoliation spray to remove ALL the leaves. Commonly, a 5-7% Urea spray is used for defoliation, but Zinc Sulphate at a rate of approximately 25- 28kg/Ha can also be used. The advantage of using Urea is to aid in “bud building” for next year’s crop. Figure 1 indicates how quickly the population of rust spores can ‘explode’ if left uncontrolled. The message behind this graph is if you don’t maintain adequate control while the rust spore population is low, the numbers can escalate very quickly and management options can be more difficult and less effective, i.e. “The rust didn’t look that bad a few weeks ago, how do I control it now?” Those orchards that became infected with rust early in the season are more likely to have experienced early defoliation, reshooting and even flowering. This new growth is likely to have become infected with rust also; however,
For further information contact: Brett Rosenzweig
Industry Development Officer Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0429 837 137 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: The chemical pricing and
Rate (L or Kg/100L)
Qty (L or Kg)/Ha
Fungal protection 750g/kg Mancozeb
Fungal protection 720g/L Chlorothalonil 1
Fungal protection 720g/L Chlorothalonil 2
Fungal protection 250g/L Pyraclostrobin
Table 1: Cost analysis of Rust sprays and defoliation sprays
Figure 2: Incidence of rust in early season versus mid season
Marketing Matters Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager
Domestic Market Sales of our Australian almonds over the first two months of our 2012 crop year are up over the same period last year. Our current forecast of this year’s crop is 53,000 tonnes which is more than 40% higher than last year’s. There is a significant opportunity to continue growing the domestic consumption of Australian almonds. The Nielsen Homescan research provides us with three key insights. (Nielsen’s Homescan research tracks the purchases of 10,000 households throughout Australia). • Firstly, while 86% of households purchased some nuts in the past year, only 46% purchased almonds. This means that 40% of nut-purchasing households did not buy any almonds. • Secondly, the consumption of almonds is skewed towards Australia’s older demographic segments: namely ‘Established Couples’ and ‘Senior Couples’. Growing demand within Australian families would significantly grow national consumption. • Thirdly, we need to convert low and medium frequency almond purchasing households into high frequency buyers. Currently, 62% of households are ‘light purchasers’ who buy 1-2 times a year, accounting for 25% of almond sales.
Our principal ‘call to action’ is to convince Australians to eat ‘a handful of Australian almonds, three times a week’. A person who did so for 11 months in the year would consume over 4 kgs of almonds. The current average consumption of an almond purchasing household is 1.2 kgs of almonds per year. A family of four consuming our ‘handful of almonds three times a week, for 11 months a year, would consume over 17 kgs of almonds. To summarise, our growth opportunities lie in targeting: (1) people who buy some nuts but no almonds, (2) families with children, and (3) people who are currently low and medium frequency almond purchasers. Educating Health Professionals One of our key marketing strategies has been to educate Australian health professionals as to the significant health benefits of including a handful of almonds in a healthy daily diet. It’s an ‘influence the influencer’ program. We have targeted three key health professions: dietitians, who are the ‘idea-leaders’ within nutrition; GPs, who see 20 million Australians every year; and fitness and sport trainers/coaches who are increasing in significance each year. Over the past three months, we have exhibited at a range of key conferences that cover these three health professions. In terms of communicating with doctors in
General Practice, we have participated in the General Practice Registrars conference and in the GPCE Sydney conference. Working with Registrars is a new area for our program having commenced a sponsorship of General Practice Registrars Australia in January 2012. Registrars are doctors working in general practice, who have graduated from medical school and are currently training to become fully qualified General Practitioners. Influencing these young doctors as to the significant nutritional benefits of almonds is in the clear interest of our marketing objectives. We initiated our communication with these Registrars by participating in their annual conference in February, which was attended by over 400 Registrars, Registrar trainers and medical students interested in general practice as a vocation. We supplied all attendees with a small heart tin and a nutrition fact sheet. In May, we exhibited at GPCE Sydney: one of Australia’s largest ‘Continuing Education’ conferences for GPs. We received over 400 requests for our Education Kits which include brochures and 12 small heart almond snack tins for their clients, as well as a large heart tin containing 300gms of almonds for their own health and nutrition. If doctors are eating almonds during the day in their practice, they are more likely to think of them and recommend almonds to their patients. These kits will be distributed to the GPs in June.
Marketing Matters Cont
of brochures and snack tins, which they will pass onto their clients. The last health professional event we attended during the last three months was the ‘Science of Nutrition in Medicine’ conference held in Melbourne. We had an exhibition booth in the conference area and supplied every delegate with one of our large heart tins to take home. This is a very influential conference with more than 500 participants including GPs, dietitians, naturopaths, and academics within the field of nutrition.
In terms of communicating with dietitians and fitness trainers, we exhibited at the Exercise Sports Science Australia (ESSA) conference, which incorporates Sports Dietitians Australia. We had over 130 requests for our ‘cricket-themed’ snack tins to give to their clients. This includes sports dietitians who work with a range of elite sporting teams including the Brumbies Rugby team in Canberra and Tasmanian state cricket squad. During this period, we also responded to a request for our almond snack tins from the dietitian to the women’s Olympic hockey squad. The ESSA conference is held biennially and we have participated at each of the last four conferences. A number of the delegates came to our booth looking to replace the heart tin that they had been using for the past two years. For the first time, we had an exhibition booth at the Fitness Expo in Sydney for fitness and gym trainers. We received almost 200 requests for our education kits
The other component of our domestic marketing activities is our Australian Almond Driver Program. The focus of this work over the past three months has been our 2012 New Season campaign. We distributed our point of sale to our Driver partners for them to utilize in-store. Our portfolio of point of sale included stickers for bin displays, shelf wobblers and a range of posters. We supported our partners’ in-store promotions in April and May with advertising in print magazines, such as Good Food, Superfood Ideas, Men’s Health and Womens’ health magazines and in the largest online recipe website, taste.com.au. We have also commenced individual presentations of our marketing program to our key Driver partners. These presentations are resulting in closer co-ordination of our industry marketing activities with their in- store promotional displays. We will be sharing these success stories with all our other Driver partners in order to increase our momentum in building more impactful and effective promotional events. The Australian Almond Driver Program
Australian Almonds exhibited at the recent International Nut Congress in Singapore. From references made to our industry during the conference presentations, we are clearly being perceived as a major supplier of world almonds. The INC is of particular relevance to our industry as the 2014 conference will be held in Melbourne, offering the opportunity to showcase our orchards and processing facilities as part of a pre-conference tour.
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Australian Almond Conference 2012 8th - 10th October 2012 Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, South Australia
Australian Almond Conference 2012 8th - 10th October 2012 Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, South Australia
Events Social Golf Day Enjoy a memorable day of golf teeing off at 11am with fellow delegates in an ambrose style competition at the beautiful Tanunda Pines Golf Club.
The Almond Board of Australia is pleased to present the 14th Australian Almond Conference, from 8th to 10th October 2012 at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, South Australia. Hosted by the ABA in partnership with Horticulture Australia, this event supports the creation of an environment to facilitate development and deployment of knowledge to industry. A ‘must attend’ event on the annual industry calendar, this conference is the largest gathering of almond industry representatives in Australia. It brings together over 200 Australian and international delegates with participants encompassing the entire supply chain, from growers to processors, marketers, researchers, industry suppliers and researchers. The Conference will be focussed on providing up-to-date information about the current state of the Australian almond industry andhighlighting its commercial andmarketing strengths. Conference Highlights • A fabulous and unique opportunity to connect with business and industry contacts in a relaxed professional environment. • An engaging and informative program with two days of presentations and including networking opportunities. • Topics including consumer and retail trends, outlook for Australian and global almond production, pollination, water, orchard nutrition and more. • Trade show displaying latest products and services. Early-bird registration closes on Monday, September 3rd, so register now and save! To register go to: www.australianalmonds.com.au/industry/conference_2012 For further information about registration or sponsorship, please contact Jo Ireland - Communications Manager at the ABA office or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome Reception 8th October
An invitation is extended to all delegates to attend the Welcome Reception to be held on the evening of Monday, October 8. OurWelcome Reception has become well known as a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of your fellow Conference delegates.
Conference Dinner 9th October
Don't miss the Annual Conference Dinner! This evening is a chance to network with other conference delegates in a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner tickets are included with full registration prices, and extra tickets are also available. Be sure to attend the Conference dinner - it will be an evening to remember!
Preliminary Program Monday, October 8th
Social Golf Day & 19th Hole
Wednesday, October 10th Water - A 360 O Perspective The Environmental & Irrigators Perspectives
Tuesday, October 9th
The Ebb and Flows of Future Irrigation
Almond Board of Australia AGM
Why Consumers are they Nuts for our Almonds?
Annual Levy Payers’ Meeting
Hear from our Celebrity Chef....
Official Conference Opening
The Almond Market - Nutting Out Our Strategy
A Word from our Sponsor
Breeding Nuts - Are We on the Money?
Chemicals & Nutrition
Almond Influenza - Why are our Yields Crook?
Feeding Trees - The Facts
Buffers & Boundaries - How far is far enough when spraying?
Feeding the Masses, Roasted or Raw? Nutritional Re- search
Your Chemical Arsenal - What’s going off?
Future & Current Global Economics
Machinery Showcase - Boys Toys and More!
Clean Energy Future & Carbon Tax - Friend or Foe?
Spray Coverage Demonstration “The Practical Way to Get Wet”
Hulls & Shells - One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure
Horticulture R&D - Investing in your future
Remote Controlled Orchards - Not Just for Nerds!
Setting a Cracking Pace - Advances in Hulling & Shelling
Carob Moth - Eating the Profits?
The Birds & Bees - Impact of Pollen Types
Pollination - How many bees, and can they be trained?
Beeing Proactive - Pollination & Other Projects
Pre Dinner Exhibition Canapes
Australian Almond Conference Dinner Including the Almond Industry Hall of Fame Induction
Australian Almond Conference Proudly Supported by
The Conference Organisers reserve the right to amend this program, please visit www.australianalmonds.com.au/industry/conference_2012 for updated program details
Nuts for Life Biennial market research
www.nutsforlife.com.au Follow us on twitter
Health professionals Consumer Insights once again undertook our biannual market research tracking study to ensure Nuts for Life is achieving its goals of increasing the nut health knowledge of health professionals and to monitor the consumer opinion of nuts. 424 health professionals (just over 100 of each: GPs, dietitians, fitness leaders and naturopaths) completed the online survey in January 2012. General practitioners A slow but gradual gain in GPs knowledge of nut health effects has been seen - particularly in the areas of cholesterol/heart disease and diabetes. They are still confused about the role of nuts in weight management given nuts’ calorie content, but it is slowly improving. Interestingly in 2010 the focus was on fat and now it seems calories/energy. GPs themselves are still not regular nut eaters with only 4% of the sample reporting they consume some nuts daily and 16% consuming nuts weekly up from 12% in 2010. Getting GPs to eat nuts more frequently is a key opportunity for Nuts for Life. When snacking on nuts 62% said they eat a handful (30g) up from 45% in 2010 indicating the message of quantity is getting through. For those that don’t eat a handful each day the three main reasons they reported were; they think moderation is 3-4 times a week, availability at home and forgetting they need to. It could be that a focus on a healthy daily diet is better than eating a handful every day. The nuts they choose to eat are in descending order are: cashews, mixed nuts, almonds, macadamias, peanuts and they either ate nuts as a snack, cooking or noted in other products. There has also been in jump in their understanding of the nutrient composition of nuts with 61% noting they are a good source of vitamins and minerals (up from 50% in 2010). Dietitians As expected, dietitians are better informed, however have reservations about nuts and weight management. 4% of dietitians report eating a handful of nuts daily and 11% every day. 22% report eating nuts weekly and 21% fortnightly. About 70% report eating a handful of nuts (30g) when they eat nuts, which is mainly mixed tree nuts, cashews, almonds and pistachios.
Consumers remain confused when it comes to eating nuts regularly, and the impact this has on weight. Interestingly their knowledge of the effect of nuts on cholesterol and diabetes continues to increase but does not appear to be impacting their daily behaviour. This year we also asked questions relating to children and schools: • 38% of respondents said that had children attending a nut free school, 62% said no • Their children eat nuts on weekends>on the way to sports or after school>for afternoon tea. Around 30% said their kids don’t like or eat nuts • Only 1% of respondents children eat nuts everyday We also asked once questions about Sanitarium’s Healthy Front of Pack Labelling System using raw mixed nut as an example. When asked if they were more likely to buy the product based on the label 52% said it would make no difference with 44% unsure. In general nuts remain a high fat food in a fat phobic world. We must continue to educate on the role healthy fats play in the diet with an emphasis on how nuts can be eaten in a weight management diet. Those that “don’t know” are in a position to move to a more positive place with more education. This is an opportunity for Nuts for Life. Interestingly members of the food industry are keen to see a healthy fats food group in the review of the dietary guidelines and consider nuts to be a member of that group. Our position is that if we wish to continue to sell nuts we need to highlight all the benefits of nuts while reducing consumer fear of fat. Until there is better acceptance of fats as an important nutrient of the diet as an industry we are better off promoting nuts as a nutrient-dense plant-based snack food. Working with the cooking oil and margarine manufacturers on an education campaign may be one opportunity to do this. The full market research report is now available in the contributors password protected section of the Nuts for Life website. The 2012-2015 strategic plan aims to further progress our objectives. Lisa Yates
The majority of dietitians (83%) are more likely to raise the issue of eating nuts with clients and specifically recommending them. Consumer market research 210 consumers (equal males and females and 86% 36 yrs and above) completed the online survey in January 2012. While these numbers are small a tracking study helps to understand consumer sentiment. • In this survey we asked how many nuts everyday, some noting nuts are ingredients in products and recipes. 11% purchase nuts once a week and 61% report eating nuts at least monthly. Consumers are eating nuts “regularly”, just not as regularly as research indicates. • Around 40% of consumers eat a handful of nuts when they snack on nuts. • Consumers report the main issue stopping then from eating nuts is the fat content and need for weight loss – this has not changed since 2009. • Developing everyday recipes may help increase regular nut consumption • 27% of respondents reported they were recommended to eat nuts by health professionals – this number was 38% in 2010. Over 60% of respondents however had never received advice from anyone to eat nuts. • The most common occasions to eat nuts were similar to 2010 results: at parties> on planes> pre-dinner> at desk> with a drink, however breakfast has moved up to fifth place with watching TV. Morning afternoon tea and in the car follow. • The most common 3 nuts to snack on were mixed nuts, cashews, mixed nuts and almonds – which has changed from 2010 where it was cashews, mixed nuts and peanuts. • 88% of consumers said their consumption of nuts had gone up or stayed the same in the last year. • Cooking with nuts has gone up, with 87% of respondents reporting they cook with nuts - up from 81%. Cooking with nuts monthly is the most popular. 14% cooks with nuts weekly up from 11%. The most popular nut to cook with is almonds although walnuts are not far behind. A concern over baking and allergies was noted. people eat a handful of nuts everyday - with 2% saying they do, we have much to work on. 9% reported that eat “some”
Program Manager and Dietitian Nuts for Life Ph 02 9460 0111 Email email@example.com
Ben Brown - Industry Liaison Manager R&D Roundup
With the 2012 harvest complete it provides a good opportunity to summarise the key points from two of our key Research & Development projects: AL08009 –
Optimising water use of Australian almond production through deficit irrigation strategies (aka “RDI trial”); and AL11003 – Enhancing almond pollination efficiency. The pollination project is a new
project, whereas you should be aware of the RDI trial if you have read industry publications such as the Australian Nutgrower, or attended recent conferences and field days. If you have not participated in these events, or are not a current member of the ABA and receiving its publications, I would strongly encourage you to do so. These publications provide you the opportunity to be kept up to date with all the latest information from your R&D levy investment. Optimising water use of Australian almond production through deficit irrigation strategies (AL08009 aka “RDI trial”)
First season (2009-2010) In the first season of the experiment deficit irrigation led to readily observable tree water stress (Figure 2) . • Trees with deficits applied throughout the irrigation cycle (SDI) adapted more readily to reduced water than those receiving deficits where the stress was biased towards pre-harvest (RDI). Irrigating at 85% or more of normal practice had no negative impact on kernel size and yield but irrigating at 70% or less decreased kernel yield regardless of strategy. Irrigating at 55% decreased kernel size and kernel yield (Figure 3 and Figure 4). Second season (2010 – 2011) In the second season with repeated and heavy rainfall little or no plant water stress was measured despite the imposed irrigation deficits. Wet conditions caused a delay in harvest and increased hull rot infections with a lower average kernel yield than in the previous season. Treatments with high irrigation (120%), control (100%) and RDI 85% had a reduced kernel yield relative to RDI 70%, suggesting deficit irrigation conferred a yield advantage under wet conditions (Figure 2 to Figure 4). Third and final season (2011 – 2012) Generally, results were similar to those seen in the first season. Water stress due to deficit irrigation treatments was readily observable but generally was less severe than in the first season because of milder weather (Figure 2 to Figure 4). Irrigating at 85% SDI, 85% RDI or 70% SDI had no negative impact on kernel size and yield but irrigating at 70% RDI, 55% RDI or 55% SDI decreased yield and kernel size (Figure 3 and Figure 4).
Dr Karl Sommer, & Cathy Taylor, DPI Victoria
Introduction The experimental site was established at the end of season 2008- 2009 at Lake Powell near Robinvale, Victoria, to test five levels of irrigation (Figure 1) – a 100% watered control, three levels of deficit irrigation (55, 70 and 85%) applied as regulated (RDI) or sustained (SDI) deficits and a high irrigation level (120%). RDI treatments involved reduced water and increased stress, biased towards pre- harvest. SDI treatments involved reduced water and increased stress across the entire season with no bias towards any particular period. Three seasons of field experimentation have been completed and results may be summarised as follows.
Figure 1: Conceptual diagram of the irrigation strategies investigated in AL08009
Trees under an SDI regime appeared more resilient and for deficits equal to or below 70% were also more productive than those under an RDI regime. (Figure 2 and Figure 4). A higher percentage of nut damage due to carob moth was seen compared with previous seasons. Damage was greater on trees under deficit irrigation because their hulls split sooner and therefore were exposed for a longer period of potential infection and damage. Conclusion Reducing irrigation application by 15% below normal plant requirement using either an RDI or SDI strategy had no negative effect on kernel size and yield over the three seasons of investigation. Deficits that reduced normal plant water requirement by more than 15% are likely to reduce both kernel size and yield. Trees appear to better adapt to a sustained (SDI) rather than regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategy where deficits are imposed before harvest.
Figure 3: Influence of irrigation strategy on kernel growth during the 2009-2010, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 growing seasons at Lake Powell
Figure 2: Influence of irrigation strategy on midday stem water potential in the 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 growing seasons at Lake Powell
Figure 4: Influence of irrigation strategy on kernel yield at the end of the 2009-2010, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 growing seasons at Lake Powell
Cabrio ® for Almonds. It’s about blooming time.
Cabrio ® is a new fungicide option for almond growers: •Cabrio introduces the protectant properties of pyraclostrobin •Provides a Fungicide Group 11 for resistance management rotation
•Apply at flowering and repeat 10 to 14 days later •Use only two Cabrio sprays per season as part of a full control program Protects almonds early for later nut returns. nufarm.com.au
® Cabrio is a registered trademark of BASF used under license by Nufarm Australia Limited
Enhancing Pollination Efficiency (AL11003)
Dr Saul Cunningham, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences & Danny Le Feuvre, Australian Beekeeping Services,
• Bee density is a very poor predictor of what really matters, which is the frequency of cross-pollination events. The importance of cross-pollination (rather than density per se) is underlined by the pattern of poor nut set in the hive row, and by the pattern of better fruit set near edges. • Both the poor nut set in the hive row and the better nut set near edges make sense, but they both contribute to “washing out” the simple distance-from- hive effect we otherwise expected. • Because it was difficult to create truly low bee density in the blocks, all of our data might have been at a relatively high bee density. If we were able to reduce bee density further, we may have had more relationship between bee density and nut set. • Hand pollination confirms even with high bee density (i.e. close to hives), nut set can still be pollen limited. Just achieving a high density of bees is not enough to solve the pollen limitation problem. Some blocks, however, may have other limits to nut set that are not corrected by increased cross pollination. 2012/13 Proposal Although the absence of a simple and strong gradient effect might at first seem to be a “negative” result, there are some strong data here. It suggests trying to improve yield by increasing the number of hives is a limited strategy. And it seems that too many bees can even cause negative effects on nut set for nearby trees. Ultimately, the best way to improve pollination would be to increase the rate of cross pollination – in which case we would get more crop from fewer bees. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions for this, but we will examine some methods that might alter bee foraging behaviour such as en-pollination via felts, traps and flower bouquets to bring cross-pollen closer to receptive flowers. Meanwhile, it is important we understand what the right number of bees is (not too many, not too few) and how the arrangement of hives can effect bee density across the orchard, and possibly even influence the rate of cross pollination. In the second season (2012/13) we will survey points across larger areas of orchards where, for logistical and access limitations, some trees are a relatively long distance from hives. We will focus particularly on nut counts and hand pollinations as tools to help understand which parts of an orchard appear to be getting less cross pollination and whether this correlates to hive drops and locations (in particular, larger drops further apart).
Introduction We know that pollination by bees is
essential for a good almond crop. In fact almond growers are the biggest customers for paid pollination services in Australia. But how many bees do you need? In a perfect world you would order just enough bees, so that the crop is maximised, and the cost of getting the bees is minimised. Getting this right will also become particularly critical if Australia experiences any bee shortages, such as expected if the Varroa mite (a bee parasite) establishes itself. CSIRO and Australian Beekeeping Services are working together to answer the question “how many bees do you need?” This three year project commenced in July 2011. This project will use in-orchard observations and experiments to examine the efficiency of almond pollination by bees, focusing on a few different components: 1. What is the relationship between hive density and bee density for trees at different distances from hives? 2. What density and arrangement of hives is most likely to produce the best bee density for pollination? 3. Is there evidence (from pollination experiments) that suggests hive manipulations (such as pollen stripping, sugar feeding or en-pollination devices) are likely to improve pollination efficiency? 2011/12 Results As intended in the original experimental design, we created distance-from-hive effects in bee density and we also saw evidence of a relationship between low bee density and nut set. However, these patterns were only found in some blocks and were often statistically weak effects (even though significant) -- I think the more important lessons from the experiment come from some of the other observations. For example: • Bees strongly favoured moving within the rows where hives were placed, until late in the day when pollen and nectar ran low. • High bee density was in many instances associated with poor fruit set. This at least tells us the link between bee density and fruit set is very weak, and indicates flooding orchards with many bees is not an effective strategy to increase nut set.
T ech Bytes Jo Ireland Communications Manager
Personal Computers A personal computer (PC) is a general- purpose computer that’s small, affordable and designed to be used by the general population. Any computer is considered to be a PC, including Apple Macintosh computers, which may surprise you because of all the “PC vs Mac” hype and discussion. The personal computer was initially referred to as a microcomputer, because they used a CPU (central processing unit) and were much smaller than the huge computers first created - see the ENIAC opposite. Desktop A desktop is a personal computer that’s too large to be portable and therefore intended to be used in a single location, typically on top of or under a desk. Desktops are traditionally more powerful, more expandable and offer more storage space than their smaller, portable counterparts.
even participate in webinars (web-based seminars) online. This inter-connectivity can even be conducted internationally. Small businesses can be very professional by utilising various publishing or document editing software. Through computers we’re able to process and manage extraordinary amounts of data and information effectively and very efficiently. Tasks that used to take days, weeks or months are now at the click of a mouse. Information that once took weeks to locate and acquire can now be located quickly through search engines and databases. Terminology You’ve probably heard most of the terms before such as PC, Desktop, Workstation, Laptop, PDA, Tablet and so on, but what do these acronyms and terms actually mean?
Help is on the WAY... Through a series of articles and tips I will explore the vast and sometimes scary world of technology... Beginning with the basics, and then in future articles looking at what technology and computers can offer you and your business, what to steer clear of and most importantly... how to protect yourself against some of the nasties out there! Computers may seem foreign, unintuitive and intimidating at times but with a little patience and practice, you can quickly acquire skills that can be used to improve your business. Computers increase your effectiveness and efficiency in performing various tasks in your day to day operations. Introduction Computers are everywhere and the world of technology is continually evolving. At this point computers have touched virtually every aspect of government, military, business, entertainment and even our personal lives. In fact, the modern world is so reliant on computers that if global networks were to sustain wide-spread failure or attack, nearly everyone on the planet would be adversely affected almost immediately. Computers in business allow for greater interaction among employees, supliers, and fellow growers. You can conduct conference calls, show training videos and
The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator). The first fully functional digital computer. It is said the ENIAC occupied 1,800 square feet, and weighed 50 tonnes. This computer was electronic, used the decimal numeral system, and was programmable by cables and switches.
In many ways the functions of tablets and smartphones are very similar. Typical tablets in the last year include wireless internet, GPS, and video functions, weigh around 1-1.5 kilograms and typically have a battery life of three to ten hours. Servers The term server can refer to both hardware or software that’s specially designed to “serve” or “service” computers. A server may be about as powerful as a good workstation or many times more powerful, offering considerably more processing, memory and storage capabilities. Servers, in the traditional sense, refer to hardware running a special network-based operating systems. In the hardware sense, servers can cost anywhere from $1000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fun Fact Supercomputer speed is measured in ‘petaflops’ - The word “peta” stands for a million billion, or quadrillion - meaning they can perform a million billion calculations per second. As at June 2011 the ‘Fujitsu K’ computer in Japan is the world’s fastest supercomputer at 10.51 petaflops per second, a staggering power consumption of 12,659.89 kW per year and an operating cost of a lazy $10M per year - and it’s still not fully completed..... Crazy! Do you have a suggestion for an article you would like to see? Let me know! Jo Ireland Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0417 819 765 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
PDAs & Smartphones Personal digital assistants, or PDAs for short, are tiny, hand-held computers. PDAs have now evolved into smartphones and boast some impressive features such as full colour touch screens, audio, video and media players, wireless internet access and a whole host of applications for business and personal use. The Apple iPhone seems to have taken over the world in recent years, with Blackberry, Samsung and HTC also right up there in the smartphone stakes.
Above: Apple iPhone, Blackberry Bold,
Desktops come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from the large vertical “tower” cases most of us are used to seeing, horizontal cases a monitor is intended to sit on, to small systems that can be tucked away and hidden behind an LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, which are often mounted on walls. These computers can be networked together through a LAN (Local Area Network) inside an office, and although intended to be used by one person at a time they are able to run multi-user systems that allow easier sharing of resources, programs and even screens with one another. Laptop/Notebook A laptop, also called a notebook, is a portable personal computer whose major parts are packed into a small, single unit with a built-in monitor, keyboard and mouse. In a laptop you’ll traditionally find most of the parts that are found in a Desktop computer, but as you would expect, they’re much smaller, thinner, and portable. There is a wide array of accessories for laptops, and you can do the same things you can with a desktop - but large complex programs will invariably take longer to run and slow them down. Laptops are powered by rechargeable- batteries, which SHOULD last between 3 hours to 12 hours or more before needing recharged. If your battery is dead after only a short time you should have your computer looked at by a professional. Replacement batteries can be ordered (dependent on the age of your laptop) or your computer may have unnecessary programs and or features running in the background that are chewing up your battery power.
Smartphones are used in diverse ways to improve business operations, management and personal convenience. The most common reasons for purchasing a smartphone is the ability to ‘sync’ your email and calendar with your computer - gone are the days of carrying around a paper diary! Tablet A tablet, is a mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or PDA, with a flat touch screen and operated by touching the screen rather than using a keyboard. In 2010, the world went mad as Apple released the iPad, which used touch screen technology similar to that used in their iPhone and became the first mobile computer tablet to achieve worldwide commercial success. It has been reported that the iPad 3 released recently sold more than three million units within the first week!
Above: The Then: Commodore Amiga 500, 16-bit computer (1987) Right: The Now: All-in-one PCs put everything in the monitor—there’s no need for a separate PC tower (2012)
Office: 8584 5511 Mobile: 043 88 22 681 email@example.com www.pipostechnologysolutions.com.au On-site computer service, sales, repairs and maintenance in the Riverland & Mallee