15 January 2021

Brought to you by Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor www.olivebiz.com.au
Today's Top Story
Latrobe farmer Andrew Craigie says his dog Sue is now out of a job. (ABC Rural: Lachlan Bennett)

If a bird ever dared to land on Andrew Craigie's crop in Latrobe, Tasmania, his trusty dog Sue would spring into action and "chase the critters away". But that all changed after a peculiar, rotating contraption appeared in one of his paddocks. "Of late, Sue has become unemployed because there's no critters left," Mr Craigie said.

Poor Sue! But great results.
The hot topics - labour shortages and water - are hot again this week …

University students like Max Manassero are addressing some of the farm labour shortage. (ABC Tropical North: Melanie Groves)

Increasingly having to abandon unpicked crops, farmers in some states have entered the new year with little progress on securing additional workers from the Pacific Islands to help with their harvests. Frustration is building in states where no progress has been made, with not all state, territory and federal governments agreeing on the path forward.

Here’s one promising suggestion:
Solution: The island nation says its airline could bring hundreds of harvest workers a day, and has proposed three different quarantining options. Photo: Chris McLennan.

The Vanuatu government has put forward a proposal that could see more than 300 harvest workers a day brought in to the country. The Pacific Island nation, which is COVID free, believes its plan is a ready-made solution to the pandemic-induced labour shortage crippling the agriculture industry.
The Barwon-Darling river had been stagnant at Brewarrina until a minor flow earlier this month sent water spilling over the weir. (Supplied: Burra McHughes)

Irrigators along the Barwon-Darling will not be allowed to pump water from next Tuesday, following 90 days of low river flows which have activated a rule banning farmers from diverting water from the river system.
Storm King Dam ran dry in 2019 but now is at 12.42 per cent capacity. (ABC Southern Queensland: Elly Bradfield)

While the north of the state grapples with floodwaters, southern Queensland is facing a desperate drought with no end in sight, especially for those towns trucking water. Between 40 and 50 trucks a day have been carting water to the Southern Downs town of Stanthorpe since January last year.

A stark reminder that the abundant rains along parts of the eastern states haven’t been country wide, with growers across other states and regions still in water deficit.
Got something to sell? Or want to buy? Go direct to your target market – olive growers and producers.
If you’ve got something industry-related to sell, you can reach your target market directly with Olivebiz Classifieds. Our online Classifieds service is an easy and inexpensive solution to advertising your unwanted equipment, extra oil, or even your grove – like Darren, who has 2020 season olive paste for sale. And if there’s something you’re looking for, it’s the ideal way to get the message out loud and clear to your peers and industry associates – the most likely to have what you need.
Olivebiz Classifieds cost just $40 for AOA members ($100 for non-members), including a text ad and link through to either your web page or images hosted on our site. And you don’t need to be a tech-head: just send us your info and we’ll post it up for you.
Olivebiz Classifieds are online now at www.olivebiz.com.au/classifieds. To arrange a listing, contact Gerri at editor@olivegrower.com.au.
Disruptions to pre-COVID arrangements are causing concerns among importers and exporters. (ABC News: Akash Vijayakumar)
Agricultural businesses are grappling with significant increases in international freight costs amid fierce competition for space and ongoing disruption to pre-COVID travel arrangements. Tasmanian rural equipment and feed supplier Tony Williams said a container from China was US$6,000 more expensive than the highest price he had ever seen in his 15 years as an importer.
Latest updates on COVID-19 regulations

The changing situation with COVID-19 in various states also means ongoing changes to regulations and border restrictions across the country. It’s an issue we all need to keep abreast of, particularly growers in or near border regions, or with properties/workers/business operations in several states.
Of particular note this week is Victoria’s new permit system, introduced on 11 January. The traffic light entry system into Victoria allows the Victorian Government to designate regions in other parts of Australia as 'green', 'orange' or 'red' zones, depending on the coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in a particular area. Anyone entering Victoria must have a permit unless eligible for an exception or exemption.
Agriculture workers who need to cross the border can apply for a permit: the type of permit you need will depend on where you have been in the past two weeks. Find out more and apply at www.service.vic.gov.au, or contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186.
Access more information on Vic regulations here. Other state-specific information on COVID-19 is available from the links below: 
The entire Riverland community is being urged to play their part in helping eradicate risk material that could be a host for fruit fly, following recent detections of Qld fruit fly in West Renmark and Monash.
AgriStarter loans now available
Regional Investment Corporation AgriStarter loans provide up to $2 million for first-time farmers wanting to buy or develop their first farm, or established farmers planning for and implementing succession arrangements. The loans can also assist those who have received farming properties as part of succession arrangements and are seeking capital for improvements.
More information here https://www.ric.gov.au/agristarter.
The Australian Farmer Volume II now available

Volume II of The Australian Farmer digital book is now available via free online access. The revised edition includes additional editorial content, delivering articles, case studies, interviews, product reviews and videos on a range of topics including digital technology, automation and machinery, animal and plant health, women in agriculture and sustainable water management. 
You can take a look here.
Wage subsidies now available

The Federal Government is offering financial incentives to help businesses hire and keep new employees. Your business may be able to get up to $10,000 (GST incl) when you hire an eligible new employee who is either:
  • 15-24 years of age.
  • An Indigenous Australian.
  • 50 years of age and over.
Your business may be able to get up to $6,500 (GST incl) when you hire an eligible new employee who is either: 
  • 25-29 years of age.
  • A principal carer parent.
  • A person registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.
More information here.
Registrations open for AOA Healthy Soils Field Days
Registrations are now open for the AOA’s Healthy Soils Field Days program, running during February and March in major production regions across all states. 
Each field day focuses on the role of healthy soils in producing healthy trees and lifting grove productivity. Presented in the grove, the information will cover a wide range of topics around soil health, from identifying and managing soil issues to monitoring and improving both soil and tree health. Along with expert speakers, each program will involve a panel of specialist service providers who will demonstrate and discuss the latest technology to monitor, test and measure vital soil parameters and tree health.

Cost* is $40 incl GST for AOA members and levy payers; $50 incl GST for others.
* Tickets will be refunded where a Field Day needs to be re-scheduled to due COVID. Where possible, the decision to cancel will be made at least 7 days prior to the scheduled date.

Dates and venues:
14 February - Lentara Grove, Exeter, TAS

21 February - Lisadurne Hill Olives, Rushworth, VIC

28 February - Peninsula Providore Farm - Nangkita Olive Grove, Tooperang SA

7 March - Hunters Dream Estate, Pokolbin NSW

14 March - aFthonia Farms, Hampton (via Toowoomba), QLD

28 March - Preston Valley Grove, Lowden (via Donnybrook) WA

The full program for each field day, including speaker and venue details, is available on the OliveBiz website here, where you can also register.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.

The table olive harvest in the Golden State was between 9,000 and 15,000 tons larger than initially expected. The transition to high density groves has increased efficiency and quality, one of the state's main producers said.

It’s a nice change to read some positive news on the olive production front.
Trequanda province of Siena (Photo: Toscano PGI Consortium) 

Exports of Italian extra virgin olive oils with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO or DOP) and Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI or IGP) increased by 55 percent over the last five years, rising from €40 to €62 million.

After waiting for 5-6 years since plantation, olive farmers in Rajasthan had a bumper harvest this year. 
Friday Olive Extracts – send us YOUR news
With 2021 now underway, Friday Olive Extracts (FOE) continues to bring all the latest industry news and events to your Inbox every week. THE place to share olive industry news, event details and reminders, our industry e-newsletter keeps growing in popularity and we now have nearly 4000 subscribers across the globe. If you’re not one of them, you can sign up here.
And please remember that FOE is YOUR e-newsletter, so we’re keen to receive your news and help spread the word. Just email your information to Editor Gerri Nelligan at editor@olivegrower.com.au - it’s free, and the best way to reach your fellow industry members!

This delicious, gluten-free olive oil cake is perfect for your next quarantine brunch…or snack, or really, any time.

A great recipe to share or cook for farm shop/farmers market tastings, where “the star ingredient is olive oil”.
Volunteers in Toscolano Maderno are demonstrating the economic and social value of abandoned olive trees.
Abandoned olive groves in the hills that surround Lake Garda, in northern Italy, are being recovered by a group of volunteers. Isolated orchards and even scattered trees, many of which are survivors of old olive groves that were destroyed to make way for construction projects, are being harvested by the volunteers.

With its yellow or green hue, balance of fruity and savory flavors, and versatility in nearly everything we cook, olive oil is a prized ingredient. Whether you're holding onto a large jug or are using a bottle of good-quality olive oil purchased at a boutique food store, it's important to properly store your olive oil to preserve its quality.

Good to see simple, valid consumer messages around freshness and the importance of good storage.
Photo: Olivos del Mundo.

Storm Filomena dropped up to 50 centimeters of snow across central and northern Spain over the weekend. Depending on how temperatures evolve over the next few days, olive groves could experience significant damage. 

And on the flipside, there’s also good news on the Spanish olive scene …

The 2020/21 crop year continues to move in the right direction in Spain, with olive oil sales in October and November increasing by 1.8 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.
When the volcano on the Mediterranean island of Santorini erupted over three thousand years ago - give or take a few hundred - it spewed lava, rocks and ash over a huge region. The ash from that eruption is so prevalent in the archaeological record of the region that it is used to date the strata above and below. But few agree on the chronological date of the eruption itself. That is why a single olive branch discovered in the ashes on Santorini has become the center of a recent controversy between archaeologists and chronologists. 
What's On

14 December-26 January
AOA office closure


14 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Exeter, TAS

21 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Rushworth, VIC

28 February
Healthy Soils Field Day - Tooperang SA

7 March
Healthy Soils Field Day - Hunter Valley NSW

14 March
Healthy Soils Field Day, Hampton (via Toowoomba), QLD

TBC March 
2021 Olives New Zealand AGM

23-25 March
Soil CRC Participants Conference

28 March
Healthy Soils Field Day - Lowden (via Donnybrook) WA

5 April
Entries close, Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards – Berlin, Germany

7 May
Entries close, OLIVE JAPAN 2021 International Olive Oil Competition

15 May
Registrations close/samples due, EVO IOOC – Palmi, Italy

18-19 May
Farm2Plate Exchange 2021 – Scenic Rim, Qld

25 May
Winners announced, OLIVE JAPAN 2021 International Olive Oil Competition

7-9 June 
Hort Connections 2021 – Brisbane, Qld

15-17 October
2021 National Olive Conference & Trade Exhibition - Devonport, Tasmania

To include your event, or update your existing event details, email FOE editor Gerri Nelligan at editor@olivegrower.com.au
Friday Olive Extracts is Published by:
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Olivegrower & Processor 
December Issue
Australian and New Zealand
Olive Industry Directory
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Friday Olive Extracts Editorial editor@olivegrower.com.au
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