Katherine Rural Review

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1 Katherine Rural Review Edition 254 January 2004 Produced by Katherine Research Station Mango Supply Chain Study Tour Julie Bird. Horticulture extension officer Ph: At the end of the mango harvest Julie Bird, the Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development s Horticulture Extension Officer at the Katherine Research Station along with eight Territory growers visited the southern produce markets. Five of the growers were from Katherine, two from Darwin and one from Ti Tree. They were looking to gain a greater understanding of how the different components of the supply chain affect their fruit quality and subsequently their profitability. The growers were able to observe territory mangoes at each stage of the supply chain from the unloader at the market through to the consumer. Katherine Rural Review PO Box 1346 KATHERINE NT 0851 Tel: Fax: ISSN Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane markets were all visited along with distribution centres, retail outlets and Horticulture Australia Limited. The growers were able to obtain knowledge first hand from many of the people associated with the supply chain including unloaders, agents, buyers, distributors, and retail store managers. They were also able to talk to consumers in the retail stores about their buying preferences. The growers were all visiting the markets for the first time and were amazed at the sheer volume of product on the floor. Quality becomes more of an issue when there is so much competition out there. They also noticed the weak points in the cool chain and came to realise the importance of removing field heat from the fruit b e f o r e transportation. The linkages between preh a r v e s t practices and the final product were also emphasised. Each of the growers gained knowledge that they will be able to use back in their orchards to improve their fruit quality and profitability. Those growers who have never visited the southern produce markets should think about making the effort to see what happens to their fruit once it leaves the farm gate.

2 Hopping Mad or Just Madly Hopping Megan Connolly. DBIRD Entomology Ph: "Hoppers that make you hopping mad" KRR edition 254 Several species of grasshoppers (Order: Orthoptera, Family: Acrididae) are more abundant now since the beginning of this wet season. Due to the constant feeding habits of these insects it may become difficult to establish green manure or hay crops at this time of the year. This article gives a short description of grasshopper biology and some web site links for further information. Most grasshopper species go through a similar type of life cycle and the time taken to mature depends on the availability of food but will normally take several weeks. Very small grasshoppers hatch from a soil-borne egg and immediately begin to feed as they grow through several wingless nymph or hopper stages. Immature hoppers look similar to the adults but during the final growth stages wings develop fully. Successful breeding seasons are those characterised by good early season rainfall around November, followed by regular showers to encourage continuous plant growth. Prolonged dry spells will increase hopper mortality as grasses die back whilst excess rainfall can drown hoppers and encourage diseases to spread amongst a susceptible population. Yellow wing grasshoppers (Gastrimargus musicus) have the potential to aggregate in large numbers and swarm across a field completely devouring all plant material in their path. When this occurs grasshoppers are called locust plagues. Adult yellow wing grasshoppers are mm in length and brown in colour. A loud clicking sound is characteristic of this species during flight as is the flash of yellow colour made visible when they extend the hind wings. Another common grasshopper found mainly on trees, such as citrus but also found on other crops when populations are dense is the giant grasshopper (Valanga irregularis). Probably the largest grasshopper of its type in Australia the adults can grow to 90 mm long. Adults are light brown whilst nymphs are light green and often with blue or pink colouration on the developing wings. Chemical controls, if used needs to be applied directly on to the feeding insects by aircraft or ground rig. For more information check these DBIRD Agnotes on-line or contact us for a copy. Insects at Crop Establishment, Agnote I6 pests_diseases_plants/575.pdf Yellow Wing Grasshoppers, Agnote I4 pests_diseases_plants/574.pdf This link goes to the Plague Locusts Commission s on-line locust and grasshopper identification guide. Just click on the links under the picture of the booklet. output.cfm?objectid=6cacb b7ad4c0&conttype=outputs For pictures of grasshoppers visit these sites: orthoptera.htm oz_album_intro.htm

3 Mad Cow Disease hits headlines once again Mauricio Perez-Ruiz Ph: With the first reported case of Mad Cow Disease in the United States (even though it has been confirmed to be of Canadian origin) hitting international headlines, this is a timely reminder that, once again, we are looking for more brains. Cow s brains, of course! Australia has updated its surveillance program for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) after the OIE, the World Organisation for Animal Health, has brought in new guidelines. The first change is that eligible cattle have to be now a minimum of 30 months or older, compared to the p r e v i o u s requirement of 24 months. The second important change is that eligible animals have to display progressive behavioural changes (teeth g r i n d i n g, apprehension, frenzy) or neurological signs (incoordination, staggers, recumbency, paralysis) that do not respond to treatment. In case of a disease outbreak, samples from only two animals can be submitted at one time. Animals showing chronic wasting (acceptable until late last year) are no longer eligible for the scheme. Our target surveillance numbers for the NT have not changed, that is, we still have to submit a minimum of 23 bovine brains. Lucky that we do not have sheep in the NT otherwise we would have to submit some of them too! Failure to submit the required target could result not only in compromising Australia s excellent livestock health status but it could also jeopardise exports to several of our markets. A compensation payment of $ is available for producers who have their animal postmortemed. It might not be the lottery but it is certainly better than nothing considering that eligible cases are usually lost c a u s e s, therefore worthless. Also, not only will you be contributing to Australia s livestock health status but, because a full post-mortem is carried out, a conclusive diagnosis is reached in the majority of cases. More information about surveillance for TSEs in Australia is available from the Animal Health Australia website: surveillance/ntsesp/index.htm If you have an eligible case, please contact your local stock inspector or private/government veterinarian. Left is one of DBIRD trial sites 'Lost causes' who fits the 'teeth grinding,frenzy and staggers' category. Puffer as he is affectionately known is waiting to fit the 30 month category. TFAP Susanne Hourigan Animal Health would like to thank all those involved in the Tuberculosis Freedom Assurance Program (TFAP-2) in It is the first year nationally that Tuberculosis was not detected in cattle or buffalo. Sixty-nine thousand two hundred and twenty cattle and buffalo were tested for Tuberculosis in the Northern Territory in 2003 and thousands sent to slaughter, with no cases of TB found. The majority of the surveillance for the Territory has been completed for TFAP-2, with a small amount of testing to be completed in 2004 and If you have any queries relating to TFAP-2 please contact our office. page...3

4 Ammended Stock Disease Act Brian Radunz PH: The amended Stock Diseases Act will come into force during March The major amendments were: Achieve consistent national legislation to respond to emergency animal diseases Ensure that NT legislation is consistent with the national emergency animal disease cost sharing and response agreement. Include lessons learnt during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the United Kingdom eg, standstill. Penalties have been reviewed with penalties appropriate to the consequences of the action. The Stock Diseases Act can be viewed on the internet Penalties have been converted to penalty units (currently $110 per penalty unit) with four levels of penalties depending on the consequences. For a natural person: 2500-severe eg. moving stock out of a quarantine area 500-high eg. not reporting a notifiable disease 200-medium eg. offence against regulations 100-lesser eg. not provide waybills The penalty for a body corporate is increased by a factor of 5. Early investigation and reporting the presence of a prescribed disease is essential to minimise disease spread and the negative consequences on the industry and the economy. Under the national emergency animal disease cost sharing agreement the parties will withhold funding if the owner or vet or Northern Territory does not report the presence or suspicion of an emergency animal disease within 24 hours. Consequently there is a high penalty for not reporting a disease. In addition compensation may be withheld for animals destroyed during an emergency animal disease response if the owner does not report the disease or acted or ommitted to act to contribute to the spread of the disease and was found guilty of the offence. An example would be; moving animals from a known infected property onto his/her property. A Standstill can be declared if an emergency animal disease is detected in another State. The movement of stock would be banned for a few days while any tracing or local surveillance is done. This will limit the spread of disease if there are any infected and infectious animals in the NT as contact between animals is reduced by this risk reduction measure. Stock enroute would be permitted to return home or to continue the journey depending on the circumstances. There is a new process to declare prescribed diseases by Ministerial Notice. There are now only 17 endemic diseases of stock which must be reported immediately. These are a nationally agreed list of notifiable diseases with two additional diseases which are not known to occur in the Northern Territory (hydatid disease and liver fluke). Owners or his/her staff and vets are obliged to report the specified diseases. There is a penalty of $55,000. Advice will be provided to all commercial producers and to private vets and be available on the internet. Advice on disease control is always available from your local veterinary officer or stock inspector. More importantly there is an obligation to report exotic diseases (diseases not known to occur in Australia). There is a new power to quash the application of legal injunction to stop actions as part of an emergency animal disease control program eg, Foot and Mouth Disease. Compensation for destroyed stock would be paid and the owner may seek damages in the civil courts. However, the disease control action will proceed to minimise disease spread. This power does not apply to endemic diseases.

5 THE COSTS OF A BORE RUN Trudi Oxley Extension officer Pastoral Production Ph: One of the activities that Troy Sinclair, Derby Office and Francis Bright, Kununurra office are undertaking this year is to develop some decision support information for pastoralists who are looking at investing in new waterpoints. To date some initial discussions with pastoralists in the region have been conducted to find out the costs of waters and what influences their decisions when investing in new waterpoints. All pastoral cattle businesses spend money in maintaining existing waterpoints, but how much do you actually spend? Some people may be surprised at the cost estimate of having a dedicated boreman. If a boreman checks 30 watering points three times a week for a twelve month period what would it cost? The cost is affected by how long a bore run is and the state of the access tracks that will affect the vehicle s cost per kilometre. The calculations are based upon Wages $30,000. Additional wages for major repairs are assumed to be $5,000. Bore run 3 times per week for 52 weeks of the year ie 156 maintenance trips. ANNUAL COSTS OF BORE RUNS Cost per Km km/trip $1.00 $1.50 $2.00 $2.50 $ $66,200 $81,800 $97,400 $11,3000 $12, $74,000 $93,500 $113,000 $13,2500 $15, $81,800 $105,200 $128,600 $15,2000 $17, $89,600 $116,900 $144,200 $17,1500 $19, $97,400 $128,600 $159,800 $19,1000 $222, $105,200 $140,300 $175,400 $210,500 $245, $113,000 $152,000 $191,000 $230,000 $269,000 Low Stress Sock Handling School Tanumbirrini Contact: Maria Townsend Ph Fax th and 14th April 2004 Pricing Stockhandling School $ per person $ nd or 3 rd etc person from the one business attending the school $ Child under 16 years or repeat.(all prices are GST inclusive) TO CONFIRM YOUR POSITON AT THE SCHOOL, REGISTRATION WITH Maria Townsend AND FULL PAYMENT OF FEES IS REQUIRED. Make cheques payable to Low Stress Stockhandling Pty Ltd and forward to Maria Townsend Tanumbrini Stn.NT with your contact details. A Tax Invoice and receipt will be issued at the school. No cheques will be cashed until completion of the school. What to Bring: A fold up chair and your own catering requirements (food etc.) There will be a BBQ available and a BBQ will be held on Wednesday night 14 th. Accommodation: available. Directions: Bring swags. Amenities will be 140 lkms east of High-way Inn on the Stuart Hwy. Start Time: 8.30am sharp and finish time of approximately 5.30pm Full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the school. Contact Maria for more information

6 TRADE PAGE working horses for sale For sale: 4 geldings and 8 mares. Aged from 5-12 most about 8yrs. 10 bush bred,(some Percheron blood) and 2 ex-racers adapted to paddock life. View at Singleton Station For more details please contact Greg Vidler (08) Also 4 mares suitable for breeding only- 2xTB,1QH and 1 other. If Undelivered please return to: PO Box 1346 KATHERINE NT 0851 CHOOK CHOOK Orders being taken for unsexed chickens Ex-battery x Leghorn Excellent Layers, Table or Pets $7.50 each Old English Game Bantams for sale Point of lay, show quality $10.00 each KRR Department of Business Industry and Resource Development PO Box 1346 KATHERINE 0851 Tel: (08) Fax: (08) Page...8 Phone Jo on Reproduction of Rural Review Articles The Northern Territory Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development welcomes the reproduction of articles appearing in this newsletter, but requests that the technical information be confirmed with the Editor or Author, prior to publication. The department also requests that acknowledgement be made for any original work sourced from the Katherine Rural Review

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