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Water allocations have just been announced at 14% of entitlements! Many were anticipating 40% or thereabouts but the Department for Environment and water has chosen to follow the eastern States practice of announcing the lowest possible number but also to quote likely final allocations. Noting that the main inflow historically occurs between July and November the announcement also predicts a 90% probability of allocations moving to at least 75% and a 60% chance of 100%. These outlook figures include a boost to irrigators of 8% as a benefit from the desalination plant; not available during the last drought.

Further to the recent report about stress-levels and risky short-cuts caused by the complications of the (unreasonably) compressed vintage, one grower has raised another unfortunate side-effect; lack of consideration of neighbours. When everyone is under pressure it only aggravates the situation when harvesting crews and truck operators ignore common courtesies.

Five boutique wine producers are collaborating for the Riverland’s first Small Winemakers Showcase. 919 Wines is proud to host four small wine producers without their own cellar door on Saturday, April 13 at their Glossop winery. They will be joined by Spook Hill, of Cadell, Top Block (Monash), Mundoo Ridge (Moorook) and Junnare Wines (Berri).

The CCW Board and Accolade wines have agreed prices for 2019. CCW growers breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when the two parties agreed 2019 Market Prices for a range of varieties just as vintage is winding down

Get help to deal with financial hardship.

Talk to a rural financial counsellor. It is a free service. They can give you individual support to meet your needs.

The Farm Household Allowance program is open to any farmers that meet the criteria.

Further information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Biodynamic techniques can, and do, provide a pathway to conversion to a wholly organic system for land managers wanting to join the rewarding certified organic marketplace. Alternatively, the techniques can be integrated into an existing conventional system, resulting in environmental benefits and decreasing the range and volume of inputs.

The four workshops convened by The Department for Water and the Environment and the SAMDB NRM Board across the region two weeks ago attracted roughly 400 irrigators. If there were any doubts about the need for more and more information about Water, look no further.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

It’s not uncommon during vintage to hear grumbles from all the links in the chain, from the farmgate to the crusher. Mostly those ‘spot-fires’ can be made safe with some sensible communication and sharing of risk along the chain. But this year, it’s different. There’s too much smoke.

The Virtual Reality film production being directed by Riverland Wine with 57 Film, Wine Australia, Destination Riverland and the RDA is in full swing.

Up until the compressed vintage, the water challenge was top of mind for most and indeed has been for several years in this region. The Riverland Wine team recently agreed that it is time to re-establish a regular water forum, similar to the Hort Reference Forum put in place prior to the first ever water restrictions in 2005 and four years ahead of the separation of water from the land. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan had not even been contemplated when the last forum, under the chairmanship of Kevin Pfeiffer, was put in place. Feedback from industry since the ‘Water, Water, Water’ piece in early February has been enthusiastic.

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