by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : January 13th 2011
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, January 14, 2011 TFGA Shortages alert just a furphy TFGA matters with Jan Davis IN the wake of a dramatic climatic event, such as the devastating floods in Queensland, we hear a lot about shortages of produce and, consequently, sharp price rises. As a former Queenslander, I may be in a position to lift the lid on this furphy. Australia has perhaps the greatest range of climate zones in the world. It means we can grow just about anything in a number of places across the country and we have a year-round supply of many of the traditional fruit and vegetable crops. This is pretty amazing in a world sense, since most of the northern hemisphere has access to fresh fruit and vegetables only in specific seasonal windows, hence their very heavily seasonal cuisines and very expensive out-of- season imports. Essentially, what happens in Australia is that the earliest produce comes on in the far north of the country and, during the year, the growing areas move south. So, as an example, tomatoes start in Bowen in April/ May/June/July; move down to Bundaberg in June/July/ August/September; the Lockyer (when it is not under water) in September/October/November; into NSW in October/November/December/January and Victoria in January/February/March/April. Then there are some smaller complementary crops in South Australia and West Australia. Many fruit and vegetable crops are like this and for some of the tree crops, especially, there are also windows in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. The period around Christmas is what is referred to as a shoulder season, where one area is just about done and the main supplies are coming from the next area. Think about apples. Loxton in SA comes on in January, Stanthorpe in Queensland in February, Batlow in NSW and Shepparton in Victoria in March, and Huonville around Easter. In the period where we have no new season apples, we have cool store fruit from the season just gone, so we can have home-grown apples year round. We do import some products to fill gaps in the calendar. Table grapes are one example. Emerald in Queensland has the first harvest in October; then other areas come on until about June. There's nothing from July to September so, in that period, we import grapes, mainly from the US. The only fruit and vegetable crop where this pattern doesn't work is bananas. Almost all Cavendish bananas (the main crop) are grown along the coast in far north Queensland, from Tully down to Bundaberg. However, even that is changing. After Cyclone Larry, some growers decided to spread their risk and moved into the Atherton Tablelands, into the Northern Territory and across into the Ord. Because of quarantine restrictions, we don't import any bananas. The current shortage is not due to any damage to crops --- it is because floods have cut the transport routes out of far north Queensland. When you think about it, we can get most things all year round. There aren't too many commodities in Australia where there are very short supply windows. Which brings me to the point: despite catastrophic events such as the floods in Queensland, there should be no dramatic shortages of fruit and vegetables in Australia --- and therefore no dramatic price hikes. There is no reason for anything other than momentary price blips for most things. If prices rise astronomically and rapidly, one has to suspect the primary cause may be opportunism at the retail level. If prices do go up, it is rare for growers to see any of that increased return. Our hearts go out to farmers affected by floods and fires. Recovery will take many years --- and some may not make it. In these dire circumstances, we need to be sure there is no misinformation about high prices helping farmers deal with these blows. Jan Davis is chief executive officer of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. Confidence in a drum Dow AgroSciences Australia Limited ABN 24 003 771 659. 20 Rodborough Road Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 Trademark Dow AgroSciences www.dowagrosciences.com.au DAS104020 This is blackberry control Grazon Extra, as the name suggests, has something Extra. With the trusted combination of picloram + triclopyr, Grazon Extra has the added extra proven performance of Aminopyralid. So if you're spraying woody weeds, not only do you get Extra robust control of blackberry and other weeds in tough conditions but you get it for longer. Grazon Extra provides far better suppression of regrowth than just picloram + triclopyr alone. So if going back to re-spray blackberry is not your thing and you prefer a little Extra time in your life doing those Extra things that really count, choose Grazon Extra. That's why you use Grazon Extra. Grazon Extra POWERFUL PERFORMANCE Herbicide 100 80 60 40 20 0 Grazon Extra 500 mL/100 L water picloram + triclopyr 500 mL/100 L water Metsulfuron 10 g + glyphosate 200 mL/ 100 L water + BS 1000 0.1% v/v Percent Control, 797 days after application Mean % regrowth of blackberry after application of Grazon Extra (plus aminopyralid) vs picloram + triclopyr (no aminopyralid) and Metsulfuron + glyphosate 797 days after application (5 trials).
January 6th 2011
January 27th 2011