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In June of 2018 Riverland Wine growers boldly invited a team of senior academics from the University of Adelaide to come to the Riverland and work with them to develop digital technology, specifically to reduce production costs. The team of ten ‘Thinking Growers’ (T10), referred to the nine academics as the ‘Nerdy Nine’ (N9). They became friends. Wine Australia came along and encouraged the two groups to work together. Riverland Wine made a cash contribution to establish a trial. The state government jumped in and doubled the money. Wine Australia added some more cash and more encouragement and the trial of a range of remote sensing devices began.

This week, in a joint media release, the University, Wine Australia and Riverland Wine have announced a $5 million digital technologies project to be undertaken in the region over the next several years. PIRSA are keenly supporting the work as are CCW.

The first serious challenge for the researchers is to show growers that this technology is well and truly affordable and within their reach and that it will reduce production costs. A target date of June 30 this year has been set as the deadline for a ‘show ‘n tell’ field day to illustrate the sorts of sensors that may be utilised and how the data collected, will be presented in user friendly ‘dashboard’ views.

Read the release….

In September, after the Wine Industry Market Study, ACCC Commissioner Mick Keough said “Wine grape sector contracts and price transparency must improve. Kingston Estate Wines prices were released last week and management have agreed these may be published in the interests of all stakeholders. Managing Director Bill Moularadellis said his team had anguished over the intelligence from overseas markets with consistent messages of downward pressure on grape prices. They also acknowledged the water-price burden, predominantly being carried by the grower sector. “If we want our growers to continue growing grapes through these difficult times and to be able to maintain supply to our long standing customers, we believe it is only fair to wear some increased market risk”.

The South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) has created a series of handy Work Health & Safety tips for wineries, which we will share over the coming weeks.

Save the date: Tuesday, February 4 at LRC

The South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management (SAMDB NRM) Board, in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), is considering potential amendments to the private carryover policy included in the River Murray Water Allocation Plan.

It’s already Christmas so it’s time to dig deep, put aside worries and woes and celebrate all the good things we have to be grateful for in the Riverland, especially family and friends.

If it’s not sustainable, it can’t work in the long run.

Plenty of C words come to mind at this time of year. Christmas Cheer. Like him or lump him, Christ was a real person. We have holidays in his name every year. Most of Community like to feel Cheerful but more so, to join with others to Celebrate another year almost done and prepare for the new one. Summer is bearing down along with the grape harvest but it’s a time to be happy with family and friends. It’s a time to be Contented.

Smart Farms Small Grants is an open, competitive, grant opportunity to support projects to increase farming, forestry and fishing communities’ awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture.

The Renmark meeting with ACCC Commissioners and staff on November 8 revealed just how complex, confounding and confusing the water markets are. Riverland Wine has sent a request to the Commission asking for further talks before the interim report in made to the Treasurer on May 31. The final report must be lodged by November 30.

Riverland Wine has worked with Murray Valley and Riverina grower groups to develop price range estimations for the 2020 vintage. The table below reveals the ranges that growers might reasonably expect based on market indicators to date.

In today’s climate change environment, the wine industry faces multiple challenges, including adapting its practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to its activities.

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