Do you have a suggestion for an article in this publication? Contact Jo Pippos at email@example.com
Circulation: With a circulation of more than 650 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 contacts within Australia and overseas, nut producing, distributing and marketing companies.
Why become a member? 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 bring news to all industry contacts and members. Advertising/Editorial The Almond Board of Australia (ABA) 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 ABA and unless otherwise specified,
Editor Jo Pippos
Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia 9 William Street, PO Box 2246 BERRI SA 5343
t +61 8 8582 2055 f +61 8 8582 3503
e email@example.com w www.australianalmonds.com.au
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.
no products and/or services are endorsed by this organisation.
EXECUTIV E update
from around the world. We had another excellent meeting with the Almond Board of California who have provided valuable assistance to the ABA as we address the issue of pasteurising product to address consumer health risks. The 2014 INC Congress is to be held in Melbourne and the ABA has been assisting the INC to put together a pre-congress tour that will visit the almond, pistachio and walnut growing regions in the Murray Valley. This will be an opportunity to showcase each of the industry’s capacities to overseas participants in the nut trade. The ABA Board has broken with tradition and has decided to take the Almond Conference to a capital city for the first time. The Stamford Grand at Glenelg being chosen as the venue for the 2013 Conference to be held from the evening of October 29th to the
I recently attended the International Nut Congress in Spain and took the opportunity to look at the research being undertaken by their committed research community. The challenge of growing almonds in Spain is reflected in the statistics. Average production of about 50,000 tonnes, with a range from 35,000 to 60,000 tonnes is being produced by up to 50,000 growers. The Spanish Department of Agriculture statistics list almond plantings at 550,000 hectares but industry advisers believe around 350,000 hectares is a more accurate figure. The difference being that the Department’s figures include very old orchards that have been abandoned. There are modern orchards but on a smaller scale than we are accustomed to. Irrigation of the orchards is the exception and not the common practice. With the olive industry struggling in Europe it was suggested that growers may look to convert their irrigated orchards to almonds. Despite struggling to achieve the yields accepted as normal in Australia and California the Spanish are very progressive in terms of their R&D programs and nursery production. Research into new varieties, rootstocks, tree architecture, high density plantings, harvesting systems and controlled environment storage and dehydration is delivering impressive results. The Congress was attended by over a thousand delegates and gave an opportunity to meet with many participants in our industry
31st. The successful Conference of 2012 had the Barossa Novatel bursting at the seams and it was felt that a larger venue was required and this was not available in any of the producing regions. I would urge everyone to attend our Conference this year which will again have an impressive mix of local and overseas presenters and
provide a blend of valuable information, entertainment and a chance to catch up with others. Neale Bennett Chairman
Australian almonds are sold into 40 countries around the world and will earn close to A$350 million. This year will see 2.5 tonnes of almonds exported for every tonne retained for the Australian market. In a brief few years the Australian almond industry has become export dependent competing for sales across the globe. The challenge to the Australian industry has been to develop markets to keep pace with the rapid expansion of crops as the orchard plantings mature and near full production. This has been successfully achieved based on developing market acceptance in key markets. Support of the Commonwealth Government through Horticulture Australia funding has facilitated a number of market visits, representation at trade shows, and reverse trade visits to inspect Australian orchards and processing facilities to assess firsthand the product quality and capability of the industry. The Australian industry has consistently cleared the increasing production and the record crop of 2013 is mostly forward sold. The lift in the global price in the new year, a record crop with good yields and now the devaluation of the Australian dollar are all movements in the right direction.
Australia’s almond production has grown at prodigious rates in the past few years. In the past two years alone production has increased 75%. The 2013 crop estimated to be 71,600 tonnes will move Australia into second position in terms of production but still far behind the US which based on estimated 2013 crops is 12 times larger. The Australian crop size is well on its way to 90,000 tonnes per annum once the orchards in the ground fully mature. In 2013 alone, the crop tonnage has increased by 20,000 tonnes and the
annual industry crop value has increased to nearly $500 million. Exports alone will reach this value in the near future. Profitably sustaining and absorbing this rapid growth in supply requires considerable commitment of resources to develop domestic and international markets. This is provided by the industry marketers and supported by the ABA programs funded by the marketing levy.
Ross Skinner CEO
20 Years of Research:
Eating nuts several times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%
Dr Joan Sabaté Chair, Nutrition, School of Public Health Loma Linda University, California
Medical practitioner and researcher into the protective qualities of food in relation to heart disease. Dr. Sabaté is a board certified physician in internal medicine and obtained a degree of Doctor of Public Health in Nutrition from Loma Linda University. He was an American Heart Association post doctoral fellow in the Preventive Medicine Department then became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and in the Department of Nutrition. In 1998 he was named Chair of the Department of Nutrition while continuing his teaching commitments in epidemiology. Dr. Sabaté served as principal investigator in a nutrition research study that directly linked the consumption of nuts to significant reductions in serum cholesterol. His findings were published in the ‘ New England Journal of Medicine’ in 1993 and received the attention of more than 400 media sources. Bringing the research full circle ‘ Archives of Internal Medicine’ has recently published the findings of Dr Sabatés pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials establishing the benefits of nut consumption on blood lipid levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.
A study was conducted from 1974 to 1988 involving approximately 34,000 Californian Adventists over 25 years of age. The purpose was to find out which components of the Adventist lifestyle gives protection against disease.
The Seriously Healthy Handful
www.amazingalmonds.com.au Australian Almonds
The Ultimate Recovery Snack
Australian Almonds www.australianalmonds.com.au
Australian Almonds www.australianalmonds.com.au
The Ultimate Recovery Snack
Australian Almonds www.australianalmonds.com.au
Marketing Matters Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager
cities producing 86% of GDP. There will need to be 113 million skilled workers in the Indonesian economy producing a $1.8 trillion opportunity in consumer services (including food and beverage), agriculture & fisheries, resources and education. In summary, between now and 2030, it is forecast that there will be 90 million additional consumers with considerable spending power. This growth in Indonesia’s consumer class is stronger than any other economy in the world apart from China and India. The report concludes that the key driver of Indonesia’s growth will be domestic consumption rather than being reliant on exports. Developing the Indonesian market for Australian almonds will be an on-going priority. HOFEX The other major export activity for the quarter was our participation in Hofex in Hong Kong. This biennial exhibition ran from May 7 to 10. Representatives from Almondco, Nut Producers Australia, Olam and Select Harvests participated in our exhibition. While historically Hofex has been the premier food expo in this region, this year a rival food exhibition, Sial China, ran during the same period in Shanghai. This had an impact on the Hong Kong-based buyers who had to manage two expos simultaneously. Some of our Australian almond industry representatives also managed to attend both expos. From the feedback received, it is most likely that we will be shifting focus from the Hong Kong based Hofex to the Shanhai hosted ‘Sial China’ in the future. For further information contact: Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager Almond Board of Australia P 0407 543 340 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
back of retail almond packs. Note, this research doesn’t apply to blanched or ground almonds which may have different absorption rates. This message was promoted via three major websites: www. taste.com.au, www.bestrecipes.com.au and www.kidspot.com.au. All three sites target our core female demographic who remain Australia’s primary grocery shoppers. For the first time at the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show, we created a display around the 20 years of health research led by Prof Sabate. We created individual posters highlighting five major studies from 1993 to 2013. We highlighted some of the extraordinary findings that have been produced by world-leading scientists and confirmed through rigorous peer-review and publishing criteria. Export Marketing A key focus of this year’s Australian export marketing program has been to evaluate and develop new markets for Australian almonds. Last September, we participated in our first Trade Expo in Russia when we exhibited in World Food Moscow. In April, we commenced our evaluation and development of an Australian almond market in Indonesia. From April 10 to 13, we promoted Australian almonds at the Food & Hotel Indonesia expo. Representatives from Almondco, Olam Orchards and Select Harvests were present. While Indonesia is currently a small market for almonds in general, the size and potential growth of this market demands our attention. Also, from a competitive advantage perspective, Australia has an on- going advantage over California in terms of cost of freight and timeliness of supply. The McKinsey Consulting Group has produced a report that highlights some significant facts and forecasts: Indonesia today is the 16th largest economy in the world, with 45 million members of its consuming class. 53% of the population live in cities, producing 74% of GDP. There are 55 million skilled workers in the Indonesian economy and there is a $0.5 trillion market opportunity in consumer services (including food & beverage), agriculture and fisheries, resources and education. The Mckinsey Consulting Group forecast that by 2030, Indonesia will be the 7th largest economy in the world, with 135 million members of its consuming class. 71% of Indonesia’s population will live in
Our domestic marketing program for this quarter has revolved around the major health benefits of eating a handful of almonds. Health Professional Conferences During the last quarter, we have exhibited at three major health conferences: the Fitness Expo in Sydney in April, the General Practitioners Conference in Sydney in May and the Australian Dietitians Annual Conference in Canberra, also in May. We also promoted healthy Australian almonds at the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show, held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from June 7 to 10. We are attracting more interest in each of these conferences than ever before. More than 400 General Practice doctors and nurses requested our education packs of snack tins for their patients, which are currently being distributed. It was interesting to note that Practice nurses seemed to be taking a more pro-active role in the education of their patients and becoming more involved in community health programs. The positive reaction at this year’s Fitness Expo was also significant. We had a much more attentive audience to our message of ‘natural’ sports recovery. There is a segment of the fitness industry who are questioning the ‘rush towards supplements’ and who are interested in learning more about wholefoods that offer a good source of protein. Combined with our attention- grabbing snack tins, we have an engaging offer that has considerable upside within this health professional segment. Trade and Consumer Promotions We have communicated our health message directly to our consumers during this quarter via an online advertising program and personally, at the recent Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show. The focus of the online advertising was our message about the ‘real calorie’ implications of almonds. Our tagline: “Almonds: 20% less calories than you think”. This claim relates to the ground- breaking research conducted by the USDA in which they found that people who eat almond kernels actually consume 20% less calories than is published within the Nutritional Information Panel on the
Brett Rosenzweig - Industry Development Officer In The Orchard
The 2012/13 season is drawing to a close; here are a few suggestions to consider over dormancy
Soil testing Post harvest is a good time to consider your soil testing needs. Soil testing can range from a simple salinity and pH test through to a full soil nutrition test. With sprinkler irrigated orchards take samples from multiple depths within the rootzone, in representative areas of the sprinkler wetted area and in representative areas of the orchard or known trouble spots. Sampling in drip irrigated orchards should be done within and on the edge of the wetted area in representative locations of the orchard. Refer to Fact Sheet 09. Soil nutrient sampling is a good indicator for any nutritional imbalances in the soil. All nutritional elements need to be balanced for good soil health and to optimise availability. If one element is highly disproportional to another, a deficiency can result. For more information about soil nutrient interactions, use the following link to go to a brief explanation of Mulder’s Chart. http://www.apal.com. au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/ APAL%20PLANT%20NUTRIENT%20 INTERACTIONS%20July%2008.pdf Post Harvest sprays Post harvest defoliation sprays should have started now. Either Urea or Zinc Sulphate is commonly used at rates of 5-7% and 25-28kg/Ha respectively. Leaf retention was generally good across the industry in 2012/13 and this is likely to cause a later and slower defoliation, even in the presence of a defoliant spray. Please ensure all leaves are off prior to the dormant oil spray to ensure adequate coverage, otherwise the oil will not be effective. I also talk below about the importance of a thorough defoliation and disease management. Disease pressure The past season has been very kind in regards to disease control with isolated reports of rust symptoms during flowering/ early leaf out. There was an occurrence of bacterial spot in Price and to a lesser extent other varieties in late spring/early summer. Otherwise the season was largely
If you don’t already, it may pay to apply a copper spray following defoliation. A winter dormant application of copper in addition to the usual pink bud copper spray may help fungal and bacterial disease management next season i.e. Bacterial Spot. Figure 2 indicates how maintaining good rust control can keep the spore population
disease free. There have been a number of comments about how much leaf cover was retained after harvest in comparison to previous seasons. Even though the almond industry experienced a disease free and dry spring, it is important to make sure there is no carryover of leaves and potential disease spores to next season. I refer to last autumn’s In The Orchard article...”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 still critical to apply a defoliation spray to remove ALL the leaves”. I’ve presented again the figures and table from the autumn 2012 article to highlight the importance and cost effectiveness of good winter sanitation of fungal diseases and how good control early in the season is vital.
Figure 1: Increase in rust spore population with optimum growing conditions
Figure 2: Incidence of rust in early season versus mid season
Have you got yours? Almond History Book The rich history of the Australian almond industry has now been woven into a book chronicling the endeavours of those who have shaped today’s vibrant industry. The Almond Board of Australia, peak industry body for almonds in Australia, commissioned a three year project to uncover and capture its colourful past, spanning the period of almond development from the planting of the first tree in the 1830s to the formation of the Australian Almond Growers Association in 1995. The history book can be purchased by contacting Jo Pippos, Communications Manager at the Almond Board of Australia on 08 8582 2055, email@example.com or visiting www.australianalmonds.com.au/display/shopping
low and therefore easier to control. This also means the presence of rust inoculum on over-wintering leaves can have the same effect as missing an early season cover spray. Refer to Fact Sheet 14. Please note: The chemical pricing and label rates used are indicative only and you should check with your local supplier and
chemical label for more accuracy. Orchard Sanitation
Two of the Almond Board’s R&D projects are highlighting the increasing importance of orchard sanitation during winter and the management of mummy nuts. Preliminary findings from the Carob Moth project led by David Madge indicate that Carob Moth need mummy nuts to complete their life cycle during the winter and spring months. The mummy nuts provide an ideal food source and shelter and Carob Moth only move onto the new seasons fruit after hull split. The Food Safety project being led by Chin Gouk is studying the occurrence of Aspergillus spp. and Rhizopus spp. in almond orchards. Preliminary findings indicate there is no detection of Rhizopus spp. on green fruit prior to hull split, only on mummified nuts in the tree and on the ground. After hull split and at harvest the highest concentration of Rhizopus Spp. was on mummified fruit. This indicates mummy fruit are the inoculum source for hull rot. The best way to deal with mummified nuts is to do a winter re-shake of the trees if possible and then sweep or blow any remaining nuts in the tree line into the mid row for mulching with a flail mower. It is crucial that any mummy nuts on the ground are destroyed as the research is indicating that even when on the ground, they can still be a source of infection for hull rot and a breeding site for Carob Moth. Pollination It’s less than two months before the pollination season begins again. If you haven’t done so already, it would be advisable to give your pollination supplier (beekeeper) a call to discuss your requirements for the coming season. It is important to maintain contact with your beekeeper during the season to know the condition of the hives and the expected hive strength when pollination begins. I received a call from a local grower informing me his beekeeper had rang to inform him an out-of-control prescribed burn-off had destroyed the native habitat this particular beekeeper rests his hives in. The hives weren’t affected directly but their food source was and this may have an impact on hive strength over winter. If the burn-off had destroyed the hives directly, the grower would’ve needed to find an alternative source of hives.
Lindsay Point, Vic (via Renmark, SA)
• Quality Hulling & Shelling • Up to date, advanced, computerised equipment, using Satake electronic colour sorters • Computerised product tracking and recording • Catering for all producers, large and small For enquiries contact Mark Webber: Ph: 08 8595 8080 Mob: 0429 807 315 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact:
Brett Rosenzweig Industry Development Officer Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0429 837 137 E: email@example.com
Today’s Challenges Tomorrow’s Success 15th Australian Almond Conference Stamford Grand Hotel, Glenelg, South Australia October 29-31, 2013
Almonds are now Australia’s largest horticultural export industry, and we have surpassed Spain to become the second largest global producer of almonds, behind the United States. Significant growth in delegate attendance at recent conferences sees us moving to a city venue for the first time to provide more space, easier airport access, and ample on-site accommodation for all. We are pleased to announce that the 15th Annual Australian Almond Conference, from 29th to 31st October 2013 will be held at the Stamford Grand Hotel in Glenelg, South Australia. This year’s Conference will include presentations by respected researchers and experts covering the entire supply chain from both a domestic and an international perspective. Speakers will address issues of industry interest; from pollination to promotion and product quality to price prediction. Growers and delegates will go away with, not only a thorough understanding of the industry’s research activities but also the wide ranging efforts to further develop our industry; from production through to processing and onto the marketing of our largest ever almond crop. We look forward to announcing our international speaker line-up in the coming months. A ‘must attend’ event on the 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 including growers, processors, marketers, researchers, industry suppliers and other interested persons. The Australian almond industry has come a long way in a short period of time. With a forecast record crop of 71,600 in 2013, set to increase to 75,000 tonnes next season, almonds are Australia’s fastest growing horticultural industry, servicing an expanding domestic market and major export markets in India, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Middle East. Australia’s almond crop is expected to more than double in the next five years. Australian almonds will reach an industry farm- gate value in excess of $500 million once most of the 8 million trees already planted reach full maturity. For more information on this year’s Australian Almond Conference please contact Jo Pippos at the ABA Office on +61 8 85822055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stamford Grand Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ Stamford Grand Adelaide Glenelg Hotel is one of the best luxury accommodations in Glenelg Adelaide. Located on absolute beachfront in Glenelg, with all the facilities and services you expect from a Stamford Hotel. Stamford Grand Adelaide Hotel is an ideal base for you to discover all that Glenelg and Adelaide has to offer. Our Glenelg accommodation is perfect for those who are looking for a beachside location that is close to Adelaide’s special events, yet out of the city! Rates & Bookings The Almond Board of Australia has secured the following discounted rate for our guests during the Almond Conference: Superior City View Room - $175.00 per room, per night. Ocean View Room - $205.00 per room, per night. To receive this negotiated rate, please advise Reservations that you are attending the Almond Board of Australia Conference or quote the code ( TH2910 ) at the time of booking. A valid credit card number will be required to confirm your reservation.
To secure your room please contact Stamford Grand Reservations team on: Ph: +61 8 8476 1222 E: email@example.com
Wedding Remember the surprise marriage proposal our Communications Manager Jo Ireland received at the 2011 Almond Conference? Well the big day finally arrived for Jo on Saturday 15 June 2013, when she married her beau Jeremy in a lovely outdoor ceremony at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort. Mother Nature was very kind and provided a bright sunny day for the gathering of the Pippos and Ireland families and friends. After some adventurous and creative photographic shots in the local surroundings, the bridal party returned to the venue as guests of honour at the reception. The happy couple were back at work the next week, and are planning their honeymoon for later in the year.
Congratulations Jo & Jeremy and we wish you all the best for your future together. Please note that Jo now has an updated email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy With Love and Lace Melanie
Insights Into Australian Almonds The Almond Board of Australia (ABA) implements the industry development plan for the Australian almond industry. This is assisted by the outputs of knowledge and technology from the research program. The plan is aimed at enhancing the growing, processing and marketing of our almond products. From pollination to promotion, the ABA is influencing the environment in which the industry operates to make stakeholders more viable. The information contained in this booklet provides industry stakeholders, government and those in the broader community with key statistics on the productive capacity, crop, demand and markets for Australian almonds.
The booklet is prepared on a crop year basis spanning March to February based on data from growers, processors and marketers. The ABA acknowledges and appreciates the assistance of those involved. Information is also sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Nut Industry Council, (ANIC), International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) and the Almond Board of California (ABC). This assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Neale Bennett Ross Skinner Chair CEO Contact the ABA for your copy today
2012-13 ALMond Insights
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
T ech Bytes Jo Pippos Communications Manager Information Technology The new frontier....
on the headlines you are interested in and read the full article. Most weather sites including the Bureau of Meteorology, DPI Vic, The Almond Doctor and news sites contain an RSS feed. Skype Internet phone service used for video or voice calls, this service allows users to communicate with people by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Instant messaging, voice and video calls can be made to other Skype users for free. Voice calls can be made to non-skype users (home and mobile phones) anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost of a normal international call. Facebook Facebook has over 1.1 billion active users, more than half of them using mobile devices. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages and photos on their profile. Check out the Almond Board of Australia’s page at www.facebook.com/ AustralianAlmonds Twitter Twitter is an online social networking “microblogging” service that enables users to send and read text posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. It has been described as “the SMS of the Internet.” Follow the ABA at www.twitter.com/ Used specifically in Twitter, the # symbol, called a hashtag was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. You may notice television programs with hashtag topics at the bottom of the screen during particular moments. These hashtags are called ‘trending topics’ designed for people watching the program to comment to each other during airing about that particular program or topic. Check out the #agchatoz and join in the conversation. NEW GROWER SITE Stay tuned to the Almond Board website during the remainder of this year as it gets a makeover and we start to post more of our information online. Field Day and meeting reminders, general information, fact sheets and articles will be posted on a blog with photos/videos of trial work and will enable to you to ask our R&D team questions on the topic as it appears. We are also looking for people to help us to test and comment on the site during the next couple of months before it goes live - so if you are interested please contact Jo Pippos at the ABA Office to become involved. AusAlmonds Hashtag (#)
Never before has it been so easy to gain access to information on any topic. First there was the birth of the internet and the introduction of search engines - Google, Bing, Yahoo! and a myriad of others. Now smartphones and tablets and their increasing popularity give us access to information more readily than ever before. There are a plethora of ways in which IT can be directly or indirectly useful to almond growers. Previously in this newsletter the ABA has provided links to weather sites to help with risk management at harvest, and as an extra tool for deciding optimum times for fungicide and herbicide applications. Most of these sites also have a smartphone version or application (app) available that is more suited to a smaller screen size. Spraywise Decisions ( www. spraywisedecisions.com.au ) is a support tool for choosing when and where to spray to achieve optimum results safely. With this tool on your mobile you can check tomorrow’s Delta T conditions for spraying Glyphosate whilst enjoying a beer at your neighbour’s house the night before! YouTube YouTube was always known for it’s cute pet videos and stupid stunts, but there is so much more to YouTube than light hearted entertainment. A lot of useful and instructional videos can be accessed that will help day to day operations - such as how to calibrate a pH meter, calibrate an airmist sprayer or even adjust the angle of your sprinklers in the garden. In a five minute search I found videos from most almond machinery manufacturers detailing how their products work; very handy if you wish to see machinery in operation before you consider purchasing. Blogs Blogs provide commentary on a subject; some function as personal online diaries; yet others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, webpages, and other information related
to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Blogs are have become a fast way of getting information out to growers. The Almond Doctor blog ( www. thealmonddoctor.com ) is an excellent example of how blogs keep growers informed. The blog, maintained by the UC Davis Co-operative Extension officers, in particular David Doll includes topics such as: Regional Considerations of Nitrogen Timing, First Reports of Almond Rust – In Early May! and Considering An Almond Rust Spray?. Some of this information will naturally need to be converted to metric from imperial and some practices may not apply in our growing regions, but still a very worthwhile read. Applications (Apps) Software on your smartphone or tablet with or without the need for an internet connection are available through the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, and others have a price. The range of Apps for mobiles and tablets is huge and growing all the time. Whilst the number of apps available specifically for almonds and/or horticulture is relatively small, there are some that can still be useful. GRDC has released a WEED ID app allowing users to identify common weeds in the field. Developed specifically for the grains industry, it still has potential for use in almonds. There are also a multitude of weather apps and even mini spray diaries and tank mixture apps. To view the GRDC WEED ID app, go to www.grdc.com.au RSS feeds Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are a way of being updated on website content - without having to visit the site. By subscribing to an RSS Feed you will receive headline updates in your email program RSS folder, desktop notifications or other feed reader. You can then ‘click through’
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
P ippos T echnology S olutions
... we come to you
OrchardNet ® Web based management software for benchmarking almond orchards
Yield & Quality “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, a famous quote by Austrian-born American management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker. Now whilst there are also unmeasurable aspects to farming that we should also try and manage, there is a great deal we can measure, none more important than yield and quality. I apologise for stating the obvious, but there are two broad aspects that determine the profitability of a farming business, income and expenses. In today’s climate of rising costs of production, growers understandably become concerned about expenses and financial management. However, at some stage you will come to a point where you can’t cut the cloth any further and the focus has to be on income. For example, the cost of undertaking an extra fungicide spray should not be a reason to leave the orchard unsprayed and risk orchard health, leaf retention, bud development and consequently yield. Now, when calculating income, this is a complex topic and as growers we can sometimes become preoccupied by price, exchange rates, and other such numbers when the focus and the things we have most control over are yield and quality. The 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons would bring back many unwanted memories and should serve as a fresh reminder of the impacts of yield and quality on income. This isn’t to say marketers, traders, wholesalers and retailers aren’t accountable or don’t play important roles, but they can do little about your bottom line when you don’t deliver enough product or it’s not of an expected quality. This is particularly so given Australia is only a small producer (less than 5% of world production) and built on the premise it is an alternative supplier to strategic markets, demanding a price premium. So, how do we manage or enhance our yield and quality? Well, a successful and proven way is to appeal to the natural
further improvement. Consistency will be a key priority. 2. You achieved a low ranking in both yield and profit. In this instance there is plenty you can do regarding yield and quality and you should take comfort in knowing improvement is achievable. 3. You achieved a high ranking in yield but a low ranking in profit. In this instance, your negative impact of quality on income needs improvement and you can also take comfort in knowing more improvement is achievable. 4. You achieved a low ranking in yield but a high ranking in profit. This scenario is the least likely but nevertheless, your negative impact of yield on income would need improvement and you can also take comfort in knowing more improvement is achievable. If action is needed to improve your ranking, the broad check list provided in Figure 2 is an example of what can be
human instinct of competition. Whilst we love thy neighbour, I’m sure we all love to beat them, and the only way to know if you’re ‘winning’ is to measure each other’s performance. Now this is easier said than done as each orchard, region, block, variety and season is ‘different’. In addition, there are varying economies of scale, costs of production, location to huller and sheller, post harvest costs, preferred markets, sale price, and the list goes on. So, how do we compare your performance against your peers? Well, we plot your yield against a relative profitability. The calculation of the latter is difficult but is essential in enabling like-for-like comparison. In essence, we remove the fuzziness created by the varying data mentioned earlier. We substitute this with industry generic data, then put this in the boiling pot and mix together with your specific yield, but also your specific quality assessment (i.e. foreign material, insect damage, mould, etc). The figure produced
is a relative gross profit per hectare. There is no hiding behind yield and quality, and by generalising the other information everyone is an equal. The figure(s) and ranking achieved in this process will be relative and won’t match your P&L but we are not interested, nor is it appropriate, in knowing your individual circumstances to enable improvement. You just need to know how you rank, good or bad. The following graph and report (Figure 1) is an example (note this is an apple example) of what will be produced. You will notice four possible scenarios will evolve: 1. You achieved a high ranking in both yield and profit. In this instance you should pat yourself on the back, take comfort in knowing your management program is working well, but continue to strive forward with
Figure 1: Block analysis report
Photo courtesy Luke Springer
actual grower cost structures and returns confidential. Various reporting options allow growers to compare their performance to other growers within the database. In every case, data from other growers is anonymous and contributes to average and upper quartile data, ensuring grower privacy is maintained at every stage. Extension Once limiting factors in a block are identified, whether seasonal or structural, these can be analysed and action taken to improve them, minimise their impact, or in the case of non-viable blocks, look at how they can be replaced. To assist with this process and to know what a good block looks like, the ABA will arrange extension activities. This will include timely articles, field days, orchard walks, etc. How do you get involved? An almond version of OrchardNet is currently being developed and will be released in time for the 2013/14 season. For the next three seasons beginning 2013/14, the ABA has a fixed number of free subscriptions to OrchardNet but if uptake is successful and the subscriptions are exceeded, the ABA will review its funding support. Growers will be provided with training in the use of the software and the ABA will provide ongoing support when required. The bare minimum you need to get started is yield and quality assessments. To get the most out of the software you should also enter other specific data such as your own income and costs, and key block metrics. If you have time available you could also enter information from historical seasons to build a more complete picture. Once data exists over time, OrchardNet becomes more powerful as you can use it to look forward and plan your management. What’s not to like? Contact the office on (08) 8582 2055 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and become involved.
Figure 2: Flow chart and checklist for investigating improved orchard performance
OrchardNet is an orchard data management tool designed to give growers and their industry partners the ability to optimise individual block and variety results, and provide an accurate picture of their total business operation. OrchardNet will provide the reports (Figure 1) and four scenarios provided earlier. OrchardNet also collates other data such as leaf tissue data, soil and fruit nutrient data, water use, production forecasts, actual production results, physical tree metrics, production costs and returns, and a range of physical input data to produce customised reports. Very little data is required to generate initial reports and growers can selectively enter data for the specific reports that interest them, providing quick feedback. Growers can set up the optimum performance parameters for each block at the start of each season. Key data is then collected at key times through the season to either make sure goals will be met, or allow early indications of changes that will not allow potential optimums to eventuate. Data security and privacy is a key focus in OrchardNet. Grower data may only be shared with industry partners through growers explicitly assigning permission on a block by block basis, and data is limited to relevant performance, keeping
used to assist investigations. There are many finer details within each heading but this should form the basis. The order in which you investigate should also follow the recommendations, with price being the last factor to cover off. If you are not highly ranked, you have plenty to do prior to discussing prices. However, if you think you’ve checked off everything along the way, have your own house in order, and still aren’t highly ranked, then a private conversation with your marketer is warranted. OrchardNet ® So, what vehicle are we going to use for this comparison; well it’s called OrchardNet. Primary Industries (DEPI) of Victoria. This funding has been used to develop an almond version of OrchardNet, an online orchard database system designed by AgFirst Ltd, a leading independent New Zealand based company specialising in horticultural consultancy and possessing extensive experience with methods and tools of grower empowerment. AgFirst have been the lead R&D provider in the highly successful Future Orchards program managed by Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) of which OrchardNet has formed the backbone. The ABA has obtained funding from the Department of Environment and
Chocolate Almond Guinness Cake A rich and luscious chocolate cake (egg and dairy free)
Instructions Preheat oven to 180 degrees and spray a round cake tin with baking spray. Whisk all dry ingredients in a big bowl. Make sure you mix thoroughly so that no lumps remain. Whisk wet ingredients in a jug. Add wet ingredients to dry and then mix thoroughly for a minute until mixture is fully combined. Cook for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry. Leave to cool in the cake pan for 20 minutes and then turn out carefully on a rack to fully cool. To make the icing, beat margarine and icing sugar until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and then milk in small drips until it is your ideal consistency (you don’t have to add all the milk). Use an offset spatula to ice the cake.
Cake 11/2 cups plain flour 1 1/4 cups almond meal
1 cup brown sugar firmly packed 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 250 mls Guinness or other stout beer 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (can substitute with mild- tasting vegetable oil) 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or essence
For more delicious recpies visit: www.amazingalmonds.com.au