EVERYTHING is up for grabs when it comes to rebuilding the dairy competition at the Royal Melbourne Show, said Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria chief executive Paul Guerra.
This comes as last week’s show had only 16 entries, understood to be the lowest in the history of the competition.
It also follows the RASV decision to pull its sponsorship from International Dairy Week, at Tatura in January, choosing to focus on its own annual competition in Melbourne.
Exhibitors expressed disappointment with the lack of entries last week.
There was a jersey class with $1000 prizemoney that was not awarded because no jerseys competed.
Winner of the supreme champion heifer, Justin Johnston, would like to see more entries and said he entered to support the industry’s youth. A NEW type of slow-release fertiliser that results in better plant health and less wasted nutrients has been invented at Flinders University by Dr Justin Chalker and his team in the Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology.
The fertiliser is released slowly into soils because it is encapsulated in a renewable polymer made from canola oil, which is an abundant food waste product.
“We are taking recycled cooking oil, converting it into a fertiliser component, and using it to grow more food,” explains Dr Chalker.
Dr Chalker and his team have created a polymer from waste canola oil and elemental sulphur (a by-product from the creation of petroleum products) as an organic coating for the fertiliser components ammonium sulphate, calcium hydrogen phosphate and potassium chloride. AS ANY winemaker will tell you, there’s an art and science in making the perfect drop.
Even the experts get it wrong sometimes.
Yet, when about 40 students in the Yarra Valley this year produced their first reserve title cabernet sauvignon, horticultural teacher and farm and vineyard manager Tim Thompson was not in the least bit surprised.
“Without question working with students increases the degree of difficulty and there’s potential for it to be ruined at every stage,” Tim confesses.
“So it’s a credit to the capacity of students that we have created our first reserve wine.
“Despite all the obstacles they are a success and manage themselves beautifully because they love the idea that they’re trusted to produce a commercial-quality product.” THERE is an old saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and when four-year-old Matthew Patterson took the reins in the novice delivery class at the Melbourne Show, spectators said it was true.
With his father, Shane, beside him as back-up he confidently piloted a jinker round the course for second place.
Matthew’s grandfather, John “Patto” Patterson, is probably the best known horseman in Australia, as clerk of the course at the famous Flemington track, leading in countless Melbourne Cup winners.
“He’s mad keen,” said Shane Patterson, “and drives around the place at home. There were only two in the class and I knew John Mullenger (the other competitor) wouldn’t mind at all, so he drove.”