The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

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.

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