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NEWSLETTER   WINTER  2020
Overall volume to the factory is expected to be up on 2019 and Sound Kernel recoveries are also up which is great news for farm incomes given the record high price in 2020. This was a welcome bonus, considering the dry growing season, and possibly partly due to thinner shells on some varieties.  The 2020 season has bought some interesting challenges for growers varying between farms and across the regions.  However, for many growers their volumes are down due to a combination of hail, small nut, pests and lack of water to fill the crop.   Despite the higher than average kernel recoveries, Unsound or Reject Kernel percentages have been above average for much of the year with Internal Discolouration (Brown Centres), insect damage and some immaturity being the main issues.  Due to the relatively dry harvest season, mould, discolouration and commercial grades have been less of an issue.

The flowers for the new crop are well on their way and attention is turning to preparation for the 2021 crop with pest control, pruning, nutrition and orchard management on the agenda for growers.
Common causes of flower damage are Lacebug, pathogens such as DryFlower disease or thrips (above).  Correct diagnosis of the issue is paramount to effective control.
Create the best possible environment for your hardest workers - the pollinators!
Don't spray while bees are actively foraging. 

ESSENTIAL INFO FOR CROP PROTECTION

  • SGM is a proud supporter of the Macadamia Plant Protection Guide and the NSW DPI has just released the 20/21 guide online - download it now - Print copies available soon.
  • Macadamia Flower Caterpillar - only needs controlling if numbers are high (above 30% incidence of either eggs or larvae). Many registered control products are highly toxic to bees so choose the least toxic option and only spray when bees are not active.
  • Lacebug - best managed pre-flower if possible or alternatively during flowering if monitoring shows levels are increasing.  Control options include Diazanon (pre-flower only), Trichlorfon (Permit 13689) and Transform (Sulfloxaflor) is now registered for the control of Lacebug. Strictly follow label instructions, hazardous to bees. 
  • Is your Chemical User Accreditation up do date? see Events section for training info.
  • Its time to Review, Prepare and Calibrate your sprayer ready for the spray season. 
  • Husk Spot Disease - If you are at risk of Husk Spot, prepare for the first two prevention sprays at Match Head and Pea Size.  Options include Merivon - a duel active fungicide containing the same active as Cabrio (Pyraclostrobin) with an additional active Fluxapyroxad. Withholding period 21 days. View Fact Sheet    Pyraclostrobin (eg Cabrio) is still very effective at controlling Husk Spot and should now be available as a generic. 
  • Irrigation - Clean, service and check irrigation equipment.  Be prepared to irrigate around flowering time to reduce stress on trees and optimise pollination and nut set. 
  • Nutrition - If tests show deficiencies, consider foliar trace elements at bud formation, first flowering & nut set. The specific elements to target at this time are Calcium (Ca), Zinc (Zn), Magnesium (Mg) & Boron (B).  Ca and B form part of the cell walls giving the nut a robust start and increasing the chance of survival on the tree.  Boron is essential for successful pollen tube formation in the flower.  One role of Zinc is for the production of the plant hormone auxin, involved in the flower formation and function. Magnesium is the central molecule of chlorophyll and is essential for efficient photosynthesis. 
  • Rats - Continue rat control, as food availability in the orchard reduces rats may be more likely to take baits. New registered bait option Selontra has lower risk to non-target species, can be used in-crop and around sheds. Selontra fact sheet 
  • Macadamia Seed Weevil (MSW) - New product registration Vayego (Tetraniliprole - Group 28) has been registered for the control of MSW. Vayego insecticide provides quick antifeedant and residual activity on all life stages from egg to adult on a broad spectrum of pests including weevils, moths and beetles such as carpophilus.  This new registration will provide a good group rotation option with existing controls for MSW Find out more 
With the potential of above median rainfall over the next 3 months in parts of the growing regions, there may be an increased risk for flower disease such as Botrytis Blight.  Botrytis Blight thrives in cool and wet conditions where the greatest risk is 3-5 days of overcast weather with 18-24 degrees average temperatures.  Know your risk - check your forecast Map source : BOM

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING SUMMARY

The Suncoast Gold AGM kicked off with an introduction from Chairman of the Board Geoff Chivers who noted how pleased he was with staff and management of the factory for pulling together for a positive result in the 2019 financial year, where Suncoast Gold posted an Operating Profit for the 2019 financial year.  Geoff said “we work as a co-operative and the best way to distribute profits is to reward supplying shareholders"...  
READ THE FULL REPORT

SUNCOAST GOLD FACTORY UPGRADES

Works are nearing completion for number of upgrades that will further increase the value-adding capacity of the factory including installation of the new roasting oven with the ability to more than double current production volumes.  Upgrades to work areas and technology in the cracking, dicing and value add areas are already commissioned and in operation.
Making it for Queensland - We are proud that over 80% of our upgrade works and much of our ongoing maintenance are done in house by our highly skilled team of engineers, fitters and staff.

BOOKINGS FOR NIS DELIVERIES

We can work with all growers to arrange a time that best suits. Click Here to email your booking request be sure to include your preferred date and time  
For Bookings Contact Rob
Email
Rob.Albouze@suncoastgold.com.au
Mobile 0427 646 939
Or contact your Grower Services rep

GROWER PROFILE - Chris and Janeen Harte

When Macadamia growers Chris and Janeen Harte were asked why they had decided to become shareholders of SGM, they replied that there was a variety of reasons that attracted them to becoming part of the co-operative READ MORE

SHARES ON OFFER FROM RETIRING GROWERS

Retiring growers offer 52,007 A Class Suncoast Gold Macadamias (Aust) Limited Shares for sale.
Offers are invited from growers to buy large or small parcels of shares at the best price they are willing to offer.  Please submit all offers in writing to ‘The Trustee’ by no later than 20 August 2020 at Bruce.Doyle@Doylefamilylaw.com.au

INDUSTRY EVENTS & TRAINING

  • AMS Macgroups coming up - dates throughout August include face-to-face and webinar sessions  check dates and RSVP here
  • Freshcare Food Safety & Quality (on farm) v4.1 in Gympie - Thursday 13/8/2020 run by Bundaberg Fruit and Veg Growers - Cost from $540  - Register HERE 
  • Chemical User Training - Country Co Training - Glasshouse Mountains 18/9/2020
    visit  www.countryco.com.au  or  call 1800 626 681 for bookings.  
  • Chemical User Training - ChemCert -  Bundaberg 23/9/2020 Visit Website for Bookings
  • AMS Conference 2020 has been postponed until 2021 -Check event website for details
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Drone Spraying Tested
Drone Spraying tests conducted with Oztech Drones in Bundaberg last week showed some early promise for automated spray applications. The drone carries a 16L tank and has an auto-refill mechanism.  Integrated with GPS located trees, the technology may be suited to automated spot-spraying.    
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New Marketing Levy Proposed
Growers may be aware that there has been a proposal to introduce an additional marketing levy to ensure the continued growth of Macadamia Kernel Markets with the main purpose to keeping demand ahead of supply.
There will be a period of industry consultation prior to any decision and we are happy to take feedback from all Suppliers and Shareholders which will help to inform the AMS prior to the levy starting.
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