save the murray

Follow this link to the SA Murray Irrigators blog to see SAMI chairman Tim Whetstone’s comments about how to save the Murray River. An edited version of these comments appeared in today’s Advertiser and there is a link from the SAMI blog to that report.

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some like it hot

Register for Some Like It Hot here. Find out more below…

 

How grape growers can survive in the short and long term will be the key focus of a day-long seminar at Renmark later this year.

Organisers of the annual Some Like It Hot seminar on November 6 have organised a star-studded list of guest speakers to give a health check on the future of the Riverland wine industry.

Climate change, international exports and the River Murray will come under the spotlight at the seminar, which will be held at Renmark’s Chaffey Theatre.

Wine industry environmental expert Amy Russell, SA’s leading water policy expert Professor Mike Young and Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation information manager Lawrie Stanford are among the guest speakers confirmed for the event.

Some Like It Hot is widely regarded as one of the country’s premium seminars focussed on warm climate irrigated wine regions.

“The timing of the event could not be better. By November we will have a much better idea of where we all stand in relation to water supply,” said Riverland Wine Industry Development Council executive officer Cameron Hills.

“In difficult times it is important for growers to make informed decisions and on that basis alone, no one can afford to miss out on the range of information that will be provided at this seminar.

“The high Australian dollar, drought and water restrictions mean this is a turbulent time for the local industry and it is imperative individuals are armed with high quality information.”

Discussions at the 2008 event will include an industry update, corporate perspective and what is sure to be a heated discussion on climate change.

“Networking is also a big part of this event, which has been lauded as one of the major wine industry events in the State,” Cameron said.

Registrations for the event will open on July 30 with early bid prices starting at just $35. Registrations can be made online here with credit card payment available for the first time.

mission for the week

As well as putting together AgriExchange’s next fabulous newsletter, my mission for this week is to increase the search ranking for SA Murray Irrigators’ website.

oops

I may know about apostrophes but I certainly can’t spell. The title of the below post was supposed to have only one error – not two!

apostophe’s

Very much enjoyed Iain Shedden’s article in the Review section of the Weekend Oz. I always find myself shaking my head and, on many occasions, groaning loudly when faced with signs, advertisements, menus and other such items that blatently misuse the humble apostrophe.

As Shedden pointed out mistakes often abound in references to decades – ’70s, ’80s and ’90s (or 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as many would have you believe) – and entertainment (CDs and DVDs – did people formerly write tape’s, record’s and radio’s? Could the misuse of apostrophes be directly linked to the advent of new technology?).

Working in regional newspapers I was constantly confronted by people referring to the A’s, B’s and under 18’s in their sports reports and it was all I could do to not beat them about the head with a giant grammar book.

One of the most common mistakes I come across now is childrens – chidrens menu, childrens centre, childrens clothing… Watch closely everyone – it is ALWAYS children’s. There is no other option. I like Bill Bryson’s reference to this particular error in his book on troublesome words, aptly named Troublesome Words. He writes:

The error (childrens) is a sign of fundamental illiteracy and to be deplored at every instance.

There was a discussion on the local ABC Radio station this morning about which subjects primary schools should include in their curriculum. I have a new one – Apostrophe Studies. All students MUST pass to continue their schooling and I vote Iain Shedden as their mentor.

cultural shift needed

How damaging is the cultural perception that Australian farmers can ride through any storm? That is the question being posed by Riverland winegrape and citrus grower Sheridan Alm.

Sheridan has called for a cultural shift to recognise irrigators who are chosing to walk off the land during this irrigation drought.

“It would be best to acknowledge that growers who decide to sell their water are making a very noble decision to exit the industry right now, it should not be seen that you’ve failed and are copping out,” she said.

“The irrigators that decide to exit would be doing their neighbours and the river such a huge favour and they should be on the front page of the newspaper.”

Sheridan has said that irrigators, who can currently access just 2% of their Murray River allocation, need to decide now if they are going to ride out another season and has advised growers to talk to their neighbours and bank managers about their future.

She has also encouraged growers to develop a flexible water budget now, so that they can concentrate fully on just growing their fruit during the season.

Sheridan will offer practical advice to winegrape growers at Some Like It Hot – the wine industry’s premier wine conference for warm climate regions, to be held at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark on November 6.

Registrations for Some Like It Hot will open next week.

carbon footprint labelling in the wine industry

What will carbon footprint labelling mean for the Australian wine industry? Will it effect exports when a New Yorker realises that it is “more green” for them to drink wine from Bordeaux, instead of the Margaret River, Barossa or Riverland regions?

Dr Vino (Tyler Colman) has covered this area extensively in his blog about all things wine, with a post from October 30 last year on calculating the cost of the carbon footprint of wine quoting from an American Association of Wine Economists working paper he co-wrote with sustainability metrics specialist Pablo Paster.

Among its other findings, the working paper highlights that it is more green for a wine consumer from Chicago to drink wine from France, than from Napa or New South Wales.

Carbon footprint labelling was discussed at the recent 2008 London International Wine Fair, with international retail giants Tesco and Wal-Mart indicating that including carbon footprint information on wine pacakges is of increasing importance.

Director of Natural Resources for the Winemakers Federation of Australia Amy Russell has consequently said the Australian wine industry could lose market share to its competitors if it doesn’t step up to the environmental challenge.

Ms Russell will be giving advice to winegrape growers and winemakers at the Some Like It Hot conference in the Riverland on November 6. Some Like It Hot is convened by the Riverland Wine Industry Development Council and is the wine industry’s premier conference for warm climate wine regions.