Murray Valley Regional Forum equips local growers with latest information
24 May 2018
Murray Valley citrus growers heard the latest information on biosecurity, tree census data, pest management, HARPs, variety evaluation and more at a Citrus Australia event last week.
More than 50 people attended the Citrus Australia Regional Forum – Murray Valley at the Dareton Agricultural Research Station, 15 May 2018.
Nutrano Sunraysia Citrus Agronomist David Stevens is the chair of the Murray Valley Regional Advisory Committee, which organised the event.
He said it was terrific to have so many growers attend the first regional forum the current committee had organised.
“We had plenty of interest and a lot of the growers said afterwards that they’d learnt a lot,” David said.
“We organised speakers to present on relevant issues to this season including frost and best management to avoid damage from it and the tree census to help growers decide what they should and shouldn’t be planting.
“The tree census us is a vital bit of information for the success of our industry.”
David thanked all the speakers including Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Regional Coordinator Deidre Jaensch, who spoke about fruit fly population trends and measures to control them.
Her presentation and other discussions about fruit fly was one of the top highlights for Jason Plant, who’s part of the team at Southern Cross Farms in Mildura.
“It was also great to talk with other growers and it’s good to know the action they’re taking to try to control or reduce fruit fly, such as weekly or fortnightly pray with bait sprays,” Jason said.
“It was also interesting to hear the number of people who are registered with KCT (Korea China and Thailand export program) – in the past couple of years, it’s taken off. And when we heard the amount of citrus that China is taking, well it’s just amazing.”
Jason said it was great to have a local event that delivered a lot o information he could take back to the team at Southern Cross Farms.
David said NSW DPI Research Physiologist, Dr Tahir Khurshid, provided interesting information from their trials including of different rootstock varieties and deficit irrigation techniques.
“And at morning tea, people ran to make sure they got a copy of the new NSW DPI mandarin growing manual.”
He said hosting a regional event gave growers the opportunity to hear directly from the people involved with research, data collection, biosecurity efforts and more without having to travel too far.
“It’s great to get them face-to-face and also to enable growers to speak to fellow growers and representatives.”
David thinks optimism in the citrus industry helped to make the day a success.
“The fact that citrus returns are good, and times are good, naturally that sparks interest,” he said.
He also thanked the team from Citrus Australia as well as his fellow committee directors, Danny Thorton (E.E. Muir & Sons), Darren Minter (Minter Magic), Justine Lane (Mildura Fruit Company Grower Services) and recently joined David Lyell, Southern Cross Farms.