FROSTS have wiped as much as $180 million from the value of Victoria’s winter crop. That’s the early estimate from the Victorian Government after the late spring snap ripped across western and central Victoria, causing damage to wheat and legumes. Some Western District growers have reported their whole crops being destroyed just weeks from what was shaping up as a bumper harvest. The worst frost hit on November 4. Agriculture Victoria’s southwest grains regional manager Rob O’Shannessy estimated farmer losses from the frosts at between $100 and $180 million. This included frost damage this month, as well as earlier, smaller frosts in the northeast and northern Wimmera. The figure is expected to climb once losses for Grampians and Pyrenees wine grapes and Swan Hill stonefruit are factored in. ALLY Lamb and Diamond B Corsica held off some strong opposition to win the $5000 Elms Classic Grand Prix at Sale on the weekend. Lamb, a local, had the crowd on their feet when she jumped one of only two clear rounds over the tough Gavin Chester-designed track, with all fences sitting close to 1.60m. In the second round she opted for a slow clean round but this left the door open for World Cup league leader Billy Raymont and Oaks Redwood to possibly steal the class. It was a nail-biting finish with Raymont jumping a fast round, but a toe on the last rail resulted in a fence down.
“I am so excited to finally win this class,” Lamb said.
Paul Brent, riding Cavalli Park Aliyah, jumped a perfect double clear round to win the 1.40m mini prix.
Lamb, on Eagle Rock, placed second.
Brent also won the 1.10m. AN ANCIENT Georgian grape variety has taken off in Australia, with half of all entries into an international saperavi wine competition coming from Down Under. Organisers behind the inaugural Saperavi World Prize say 15 of the 30 entries received so far are from Aussie winemakers.
The grape variety, believed to be among the oldest in the world, is seldom found outside of Georgia. The country, which straddles Europe and the Middle East, was this month named as the birthplace of wine in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The 8000-year-old black grape is grown by about 20 of Australia’s 2800 wine producers, according to Wine Australia. Among Australian winemakers to have entered are Anderson Winery (Vic), Billy Button Wines (Vic), Cirami Estate (SA) and Gapsted Wines (Vic). ROBOTICS and digital technology could help farmers reduce food waste, while incentives could be introduced to encourage excess food to go to charities. They’re just two of the ideas outlined in the Federal Government’s National Food Waste Strategy, unveiled in Melbourne this week, which aims to halve Australia’s food waste by 2030. The strategy – which comes with an initial investment of $1.37 million over the next two years – looks at possible ways all levels of governments, businesses and charities could work together to cut food waste. It has been met with some optimism by National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson, who said waste cost agriculture up to $4 billion a year.