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TAS Country : February 3rd 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011 Tasmanian Country 5 Chemistry is right as Tassie farmers help set a clear record RECORD levels of agricul- tural and veterinary chemicals were disposed of during ChemClear's recent Tasmanian collection run. An unprecedented 5532 litres of chemicals were disposed of by 58 dedicated waste-holders. Four collections have ta- ken place since ChemClear began collecting in Tas- mania in November 2006, but this year's record shows just how popular the program has become. While the figures have fluctuated significantly, the previous highest amount retrieved was just below 4000 litres. ChemClear provides a national service to waste- holders, with the retrieval team travelling all over Australia to help collect and safely dispose of Group One and Group Two chemicals. Group One chemicals are currently-registered product from participating manufacturers and are ac- cepted free of charge. Group Two involves ma- terials that are unlabelled, unregistered or obsolete, and include a fee-per-litre for disposal. This year, 3241 litres of Group One were collected, 75 per cent of which came from primary producers. A total of 2532 litres of Group Two product was disposed of, with 48 per cent of this coming from primary producers and 39 per cent from resellers. National program man- ager Lisa Nixon said ChemClear was poised to make regular visits to the state. To register for the ChemClear program, phone the national hotline on 1800 008 182 or go online and visit the website www.chemclear.com.au 137-year-old show stock displays of stud sheep and cattle plus miniature and full-sized horse displays and a yard dog trial. Local food producers in- cluding a boutique brew- ery, an olive oil producer and a couple of East Coast wineries will have stalls which include a gourmet chicken burger called Gypsy Chook as well as the more traditional show food. The setting beside the Styx River is one of the most scenic in Tasmania with a backdrop of the hop kilns, Lauren said. ''The Bushy Park Show gives you an excuse to come out and relax --- it's nice and laid back,'' she added. helps Pipers Brook live up to grape expectations Going organic has proven to be a watershed decision for Tasmania's Pipers Brook Vineyard, which is making its mark nationally, as Emma Hope reports Being organic means we're not exposing our landtoalotof synthetic chemicals, we're not killing off potentially beneficial microbes and bacteria and yeast.' QUALITY: Kreglinger Wine Estates chief viticulturist Bruce McCormack. PIPERS Brook Vineyard in the Tamar Valley is one of Tasmania's few certified organic wineries and is receiving national recognition as a leader of organic wine production. The vineyard, which is a part of Kreglinger Wine Estates, was on the cover of the summer edition of the Australian Organic Producer magazine, and recently hosted a national organic farmers' conference. Chief viticulturist for Kreglinger Wine Estates, Bruce McCormack, said the decision to go organic was about improving the standard of their wines. ''We believe we will be growing better quality fruit, which ultimately will produce better wine,'' he said. The auditor of Certified Organic operations in Tasmania suggested Pipers Brook Vineyard as the host of the recent Biological Farmers of Australia roadshows. One of the reasons it was chosen as the location was its move to organic grape production over the past six years. Last year the company attained certified organic status from Australia Certified Organic for two of its vineyard properties. Mr McCormack gave a talk at the roadshow and later led a tour of the Pipers Brook Vineyard. He spoke about the changes that have been made at Pipers Brook during the process of becoming a Certified Organic wine grape producer. ''The message is clear -- look after the soil and it will look after us,'' Mr McCormack said. He said organic wine production also had environmental benefits. ''It's best for the long-term sustainability of our land,'' Mr McCormack said. ''Improved soil structure leads to better water use efficiency. Healthy soil increases rain absorption, decreases water loss from run-off, reduces evaporation and directly assists plants and micro-organisms. ''Being organic means we're not exposing our land to a lot of synthetic chemicals, we're not killing off potentially beneficial microbes and bacteria and yeast. ''So we're improving the soil health and can produce healthier plants, which produce better quality fruit.'' One of the key ways Kreglinger Wine Estates has achieved its healthier soil is through a massive reduction in the use of synthetic fertilisers and herbicides. The winery now uses no synthetic fertilisers at all, while its use of synthetic herbicides has been reduced to just 1 per cent. At the same time, the company's use of synthetic fungicides and pesticides has been reduced by 89 per cent. ''Under conventional viticulture practices across Australia, arguably every bottle of wine produced has had equal to, or greater than, the equivalent volume of synthetic chemical applied over the fruit,'' Mr McCormack said. ''Kreglinger Wine Estates anticipates that pest and disease control will be 100 per cent organic across all our properties from 2011.'' He said alternative tools, such as the use of earthworms, were now used to manage the various pests, fungus outbreaks, and the need to boost production with additional nutrition. To help control weeds, fertilise and reduce the need for mowing, sheep graze between the vines from May until October. KUBOTA S EXTENDED FESTIVE SEASON FINANCE! NOW UNTIL 28 FEB Offer applies to tractors delivered before 28 February and is subject to stock availability. *Based on 30% equity, 36 equal monthly repayments, no balloon on a chattel mortgage to approved business applicants only. Terms, fee and conditions apply. Burnie 6431 3255 Devonport 6424 1511 Hobart 6263 6377 Launceston 6343 1633 Smithton 6452 1222 Just 4.95%* Finance on Kubota Tractors 34 to 135 HP only p.a.
January 27th 2011
February 10th 2011