Citrus Australia’s regional advisory committee in Queensland (QRAC) held a post season meeting in Gayndah last month.
The afternoon meeting on 29 November covered a range of topics of interest to growers, packers, marketers and input suppliers in the region.
QRAC member Allen Jenkin, Ironbark Citrus, said the event was well attended.
“We have two meetings in the year, a pre-season meeting, in March, and a post-season meeting, usually sometime towards the end of November,” Mr Jenkin said.
“We get an update from Citrus Australia and Hort Innovation, and this post-season meeting, we also got an update from Growcom about award changes, backpacker visas, and the discussion around the employment of seasonal workers.
“This year, we were also fortunate enough to have Dr John Golding from the National Post Harvest Project. He updated us on the work he’s done in the region and talked about the regional residues results for post-harvest diseases and what that meant for the industry out here.
“He spoke about the hygiene in our pack houses and things to be concerned with.”
Mr Jenkin said probably the biggest highlight of the meeting was how the presentation of ACQS season results, presented by Mara Milner of Citrus Australia, related so strongly to NSW citrus grower Dean Morris’ “very interesting” presentation om deficit irrigation.
Mr Jenkin explained one of the main problems for the fruit that didn’t meet specification, including some Imperial mandarins, was low Brix and low acid, and that worked very well with Mr Morris’s presentation. Mr Morris spoke about deficit irrigation and how he’s used to it improve the flavour profile of his citrus, and we think it has an application to citrus growing generally in Queensland.
“It’s something that was practiced many, many years ago, but it seems it’s something that has been forgotten about,” Mr Jenkin said.
“So when fruit is nearing maturity or the growth is slowing down, you take water off the trees, and that stresses the tree and it brings the sugar and the acid up strongly. It makes the fruit more flavoursome.”
Mr Jenkin said Steve Falivene, of NSW DPI, also gave “a very energetic presentation”.
Mr Jenkin said the event was organised “spectacularly” by Citrus Australia, with advice from QRAC. This group, chaired by Michael McMahon, has recently had some membership changes.
The other committee members are Ainsley Emmerton, Cris Bryant and Citrus Australia’s Nathan Hancock and Mara Milner. The committee has welcomed new members in Mary Berthelsen, Matthew Benham and Brian Gallagher.
Foundation member Nick Ulcoq retired from the committee after five years of service. Mr Ulcoq’s experience citrus growing experience was an asset to the committee and his contribution will be missed by all committee members.
“We’re looking forward to what these new members can bring to the group,” Mr Jenkin said.