e-Alert heading no 28


Wondering how to deal with split fruit and disease pressure?

In the wake of rains earlier this season, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) sent out an e-Bulletin in mid-February advising of the increased risk of berry split and fungal disease development.

AWRI are advising growers to consult the 13/14 Dog Book (agrochemicals register for use in Australian viticulture) for further information or call the AWRI help-desk on (08) 8313 6600.

The Dog Book can be downloaded from the AWRI website at www.awri.com.au or a free app is available through iTunes.

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AWRI help-desk only a phone call away…

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) provides a help-desk service to Australian grapegrowers and wine producers who may have a technical question or encountered a problem during vintage.  To give you an idea of the types of concerns the help-line addresses, AWRI advise that the following are amongst the most common query topics:

  • Agrochemical sprays
  • Lab or analysis method requests
  • Fermentation advice
  • Taints and contaminations
  • Smoke taint

The help-desk is available during business hours on (08) 8313 6600 or by emailing [email protected]

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Farming Industry Dispute Resolution Code

A Farming Industry Dispute Resolution Code has been legislated in SA and is designed to assist farmers to resolve farming related disputes.  It provides a mediation-based service that attempts to keep matters out of court and preserve business relationships.

To obtain further information visit www.sasbc.sa.gov.au or call toll free 1800 072 722.

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GWRDC PhD and Masters scholarships now open!

The Grape and Wine Research & Development Corporation (GWRDC) have opened their second round of applications for PhD and Masters Scholarships commencing in 2014.

Visit http://www.gwrdc.com.au/research-development/applying-for-funding/ for full details on applicant criteria and the lodgement process.  Applications close at 5:00pm on Friday 21 March 2014.

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Small Business Workshops

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner in SA has recently launched a series of small business workshops and seminars.  Their ‘BizLinks ‘ initiative will inform existing and potential business owners, with the half day sessions being delivered by a variety of relevant government agencies including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Two sessions are currently scheduled for:

  1. Thursday 6 March, 8:30am – 12:30pm, Adelaide  and
  2. Thursday 3 April, 8:30am – 12:30pm, Adelaide

The event is free but places are limited.  To learn more visit www.sasbc.sa.gov.au, phone (08) 8303 8303 2037 or email [email protected]

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ATO – new resources for Small Businesses

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is conducting a public campaign to make it easier for small businesses to understand and meet their tax obligations.  The following are some of the tools available so far.

Small Business Assist tool

An online ‘question and answer’ system.  Some of the common topics asked include: ‘understanding and registering for GST’ and ‘employer obligations’.

Visit http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Starting-and-running-your-small-business/In-detail/Services-for-small-business/Small-business-assist/

Tax Tip videos

One minute YouTube videos from ATO Deputy Commissioner Steve Vesperman on:

ATO app

Businesses can now access tax and superannuation advice any time with a new ATO app.  It can be used to work out if your worker is an employee or contractor; calculate the amount of tax to withhold from salary and wage payments; and see how quickly you can pay off a tax debt with a payment plan, to name a few.  Learn more at http://ato.gov.au/app

ATO appearance on Kochie’s Business Builders

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan recently appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders to discuss how the ATO is changing the way it does business to better meet the needs of small business operators in Australia.  View the interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCM2K4kSyJg

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Grower’s Club initiative in SA

Andrew Kay, Managing Director at Wirra Wirra, informed WGGA about a Grower’s Club they are formalising with growers associated with their company.  It looks great and WGGA congratulates Wirra Wirra for this initiative which in Andrew’s words is “an example of simple things wineries can do to better partner their growers”.

Andrew describes the initiative as a work-in-progress and seeks both grower feedback and any best practice advice on such things from around the country.  In support of initiatives like this, WGGA invites you to contact Andrew Kay or Hayley Conolly (Marketing Manager) at Wirra Wirra to find out more and to share your experience or ideas – visit www.wirrawirra.com.au, phone (08) 8323 8414 or email [email protected].

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Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme

The Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme has been provided by the government to assist farm businesses with low-interest loans for debt restructuring or productivity enhancement.

Debt restructuring loans enable the refinancing of existing debt at lower rates while productivity loans are new debt that are intended to improve profitability and hence help with debt servicing.   Both are at concessional rates.

The loan terms and amounts differ between states as each program has been tailored to meet the specific needs of each jurisdiction’s farming sector.

Applications are open in SA, VIC, QLD, WA, TAS and NT while the 2013-14 round of applications has closed for NSW because they are fully subscribed.

Note that the application period is drawing to a close and that unclaimed funds are forfeited from the program.

More information is available on our website http://wgga.com.au/archives/6099

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‘Chemical Industry News’

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) in Victoria publish their ‘Chemical Industry News’ newsletter twice a year, which is designed to inform people of current issues relating to agricultural and veterinary chemical use in Victoria.  The Winter-Spring 2013 edition featured articles on the completion of the review of 2,4-D HVE as well as new farm biosecurity videos that may be of interest.

To subscribe (free) or learn more visit http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-food/farm-management/chemical-use/publications/chemical-industry-news

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Sustainable fencing option that survived the recent bushfires

We have seen pictures of Woodshield posts that survived the recent bushfires in Victoria.

Visit www.woodshield.com.au to view the pictures and learn more about these posts.

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Interested in attending a demo of new tractors and harvesters?

Pellenc Australia have recently launched their new generation of multifunction tractors and harvesters and they will be in Australia for demonstrations in March.

To learn more visit www.pellenc.com.au or contact Emily Fraser at Pellenc on (08) 8244 7700 or [email protected]

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Assistance with R&D Tax Incentive Program

In our e-Alert no. 21 (May 2013) we advised of the Australian Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive Program (R&DTIP) that is designed to help businesses undertake R&D activities in Australia.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) have made WGGA aware that they are able to assist growers in this area to:

  • Assess eligibility of proposals and calculate R&D expenditure that qualifies for the program
  • Prepare R&D project descriptions and application forms
  • Collate supporting documents and defend claims in the event of a review

For further information contact Sophie Betts at PwC on (08) 8218 7430 or [email protected]

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Have you considered using working dogs in your vineyard?

The Working Dog Centre in South Australia offers a range of services and training courses that may be of interest if your current canine needs some direction or you want to understand the working dog fundamentals before purchasing a dog.

Courses are running in March and spots are still available.  Visit www.workingdogcentre.com, phone (08) 8667 5484 or email [email protected] to learn more.


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