There is no doubt that the next irrigation season is shaping up to be extremely challenging, with initial water allocations being set at 14%. While this is only an initial figure and is likely to be increased as the season progresses, there are still some worrying realities which did not exist during the “Millennium Drought”. These include significant volumes of water being relinquished by irrigators and returned to the environment and greatly increased irrigated crop areas throughout the Basin, and thus increased water demand. Put together, these mean greater demand and less supply. How this plays out in the water market will have a significant effect on your ability to source extra water to ensure vines are kept healthy and an economic crop is produced.
Many Riverlanders were playing sport, some were relaxing on and in the lazy river, plenty were gathered around screens to watch Winx last race and those having the best time of all were being hosted at 919 Wines, celebrating the achievements and superb wines produced by four of our newest, most imaginative winemakers.
Such are the opportunities that abound on pretty well any lazy Saturday arvo for locals and visitors in this corner of Paradise.
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).
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.