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The Passion Vine

The Passion Vine – October 2016

21 Turramurra Road, Tarragindi, QLD 4121

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December 2016

President’s Report By Tina McPherson As the end of the year races at us with seemingly higher speed than normal, it’s an appropriate time to take a moment and reflect on the year that was! It seemed the only advantage of a warm winter where production was down, certainly for us, was the early flower set. The very welcome early production we are experiencing in this region has been helped by relatively stable market conditions for the last 3 months. Hopefully for everyone’s sake these will continue into Christmas and beyond! Summer has already produced her litany of challenges however! Rutherglen Bug, the nasty sap sucking insect, has been found in plague proportions. As most of us are aware, Rutherglen Bugs usually come in on storm fronts and it is these same early summer storms that have created disasters for growers across several regions. They certainly make for nail biting afternoons of anticipation and many growers spending their days with one eyed glued to the screen of their weather app. In a particularly heavy fall here we had a domino effect in our trellis that resulted in a hundred or so posts lying down. We felt fortunate that

this was our only damage! Close by Peter and Sally Griffiths were particularly unlucky and a bushfire, that fortunately left their nursery and home untouched, burnt 400 vines and associated trellising. All this and we are only two weeks into real “summer”!! The warm weather and storms has meant that in our region the plantings for this Spring, whilst a little late going in, are doing rather well. Blind tips continue to be a problem for nurseries and consequently the industry. It is hoped the breeding project now well underway with Southern Cross University, and funded by our levies, will be able to help us find a solution in the form of new varieties. Whilst on nurseries, it is important to note that nurseries and their role in our industry are a challenge that we need to look at closely in the New Year. With Birdwood no longer continuing

Newsletter of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated

to supply passionfruit plants, the industry is supported by only two nurseries and this is a strategic risk that the association should address on behalf of industry in 2017. The new committee has met once since the AGM. Issues for focus in 2017 will include our ongoing involvement in the breeding programme; grower engagement and communication (a revamp of the industry website and the newsletter in line with the outcomes from the grower engagement survey conducted by Margie); export possibilities and working with HIA to undertake a project to collect production and supply chain data. Plans are underway for a general meeting in Northern NSW and for the AGM next year we will be back in North Queensland. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members who have volunteered their time and expertise for the committee in 2015/2016 and for the new committee in 2016/2017. Passionfruit growers have a wealth of talents and expertise in addition to growing the fruit itself and it is

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The Passion Vine – October 2016 the input from these volunteers that keeps the industry association on its’ feet and hopefully thriving in 2017! Remember that assistance and constructive communication is always welcomed as a voluntary association is only as strong as the positive people who put their hand

Royalty Reminder The Passionfruit Australia Executive would like to remind growers that royalties are now due. The funds from royalties are used by the industry to fund further breeding programs and initiatives, and for Tweed varieties these funds also support the work done by David Peasley. If you have not already put in your payment please do so when you know your final plant orders. Thank you.

up to help out! I would also like to extend my thanks to Margie for all her efforts this year. Keeping a handle on all facets of the industry and maintaining really workable relationships with HIA

Page 2 and other industry associated organisations. Merry Christmas to all members of the passionfruit industry and all the best for 2017.

Birdwood Nursery Announcement Passionfruit Australia has been informed by Birdwood Nursery that they will no longer be a supplier of passionfruit to the industry. This is the message we received from Liz Darmody. “We at Birdwood Nursery have finally made the decision to cease future production of passionfruit. This has been a difficult decision to make, knowing that some of our long-term growers will be disappointed and feel that we may have let them down. However, with the rising costs and only growing relatively small quantities our economies of scale simply don’t add up for us any longer.” I would appreciate it, if in your next grower newsletter, you can notify your members of this situation and thank them for their patronage, in case we have missed anyone from our list. We have tried to give the growers as much notice as possible, so that they can make other arrangements for their propagation requirements for the coming season. We wish you and all the growers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017”. It is appreciated that this has been a difficult decision for Birdwood and thank them for the notice and sentiment that went with this announcement.

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Aussie Passionfruit Social and PR Overview September 1– December 1 2016 PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITY Overview: The 2016/2017 public relations program for Aussie passionfruit aims to inspire media, influencers and consumers to use Aussie passionfruit in new ways under the campaign theme: ‘Finish with passion’. ‘Finish with Passion’ is about showcasing how Aussie passionfruit can transform an ordinary dish into something special by simply adding a splash of natural and tangy passionfruit. We have also continued to promote the summer passionfruit season as well as useful selection, storage and handling tips. Key Activities and Results: We kicked off the campaign with a shoot led by food stylist, Janet Mitchell. Janet created two passionfruit ‘finish’ recipes that can be used to top a range of delicious dishes. These recipes, images and videos were offered to national media outlets, dietitians and influencers to promote use of Aussie passionfruit in a variety of ways. We also selected five top media targets to receive a hamper of fresh passionfruit to inspire new recipe development across their pages. We expect to see their passionfruit coverage appearing over the coming months. The summer season press release, images and recipes were then offered to top magazines, newspapers and websites from across the country to encourage

them to publish their passionfruit articles. Since the campaign kicked off in October we’ve seen a great response with over 67 pieces of media coverage with a reach of more than 2.98m. Media coverage highlights include passionfruit pieces in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Gold Coast Bulletin, The Weekly Times,, The Queensland Times and across the 20 titles within the Newslocal publication group. Media have been particularly interested in speaking to growers about the fruit they’re producing, which is a great way to showcase some of our Aussie passionfruit farmers. We will continue to work with our network of contacts to deliver passionfruit coverage across key lifestyle and food magazines, online outlets and newspapers, promoting more reasons to enjoy Aussie passionfruit. Winter will see us kick off part two of the campaign, with a focus on this season’s crop. Examples of key coverage are on page 4 : FACEBOOK ACTIVITY Overview: The Aussie Passionfruit Facebook page continues to provide the public with useful seasonal information, picking, storage, health and usage tips as well as insights into the industry and our growers. It also provides

a forum for passionfruit fans to ask any questions and get advice. We encourage you to get involved and ‘Like’ the page (if you haven’t already!). With a focus on ‘finishing with passion’, the content includes many mouthwatering recipes, photos and ideas where passionfruit is the star. The first of the videos created from the shoot was shared on the page, showing how a simple passionfruit sauce can be used to complete a range of delicious dishes, including eton mess, tropical churros and fruit toast. This video reached 24.5K people and was shared 71 times. Fans of the page got to connect with a passionfruit grower with a video profile from Kaye Ziser at her farm on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. Celebrating the summer season, the video reached 14.4K people, received a high engagement rate of 8% and was shared 68 times. The Facebook audience loves to hear from growers so please get in touch if you’d like to contribute your images or stories. Please email For any “how to grow” questions, Facebook users are directed to our fact sheet on the Aussie passionfruit website. However growing passionfruit at home is not encouraged on the Facebook page to ensure we’re driving fans to purchase. Likes: The page currently has 37,781 Page growth: Since September 1st 2016, the Aussie Passionfruit Facebook page has increased by (Continued on page 4)

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Key Coverage Examples: Below : The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Good Food supplement, readership of 815,000

Above left :The Gold Coast Bulletin, readership of 110,000 Above right :The Rural Weekly, readership of 325,250 (Continued from page 3)

4,973 fans, or 15%. Reach: Since September 1st 2016, the page has achieved a reach of

1,465,788 page impressions Engagement rate: Average engagement rate of 9% throughout 2016, which is well

above the industry benchmark of 3%. Popular posts: See below:

Left: reach : 25,934 Middle: reach : 13,135 Above: reach : 15,420

The Passion Vine – October 2016 INSTAGRAM ACTIVITY Overview: The Aussie Passionfruit Instagram page shares inspiring imagery of fresh Aussie passionfruit, paired with handy tips, seasonal information and farming information. The Aussie passionfruit page builds the passionfruit industry’s presence within the Instagram community and inspires Instagram users to use passionfruit in new ways and demonstrates how versatile they are. Sweet recipes and usage ideas as well as mouthwatering closeups of passionfruit paired with seasonal information and tips perform particularly well on this channel.

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To drive fan numbers we are currently conducting a competition, encouraging Instagram users to share their favourite ways to finish a dish with passionfruit Weekly winners receive a fresh passionfruit hamper until mid January, when the final winner is

announced. Followers: The page currently has 717 fans. Page growth: Since September 2016, the Aussie Passionfruit Instagram page has increased by 137 followers, or 24%. Popular posts:

Above: Likes : 112 Right: Likes : 85


PASSIONFRUIT AUSTRALIA FEES Don’t forget the benefits of membership include :  Showing support and being involved in the Australian Passionfruit industry  Accessing industry contacts and information  Discounted cost of royalties on the purchases of Passionfruit Australia plant varieties  Up-to-date information through industry publications, field days and meetings New Grower Membership Fee $253 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fees Renewal Grower Membership Fee $198 incl GST and lobby fees New Associate/Supply Chain Partner $297 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fee Renewal Associate/Supply Chain Partner $242 incl. GST and lobby fee

Bank account details Passionfruit Australia Incorporated BSB: 124-001 Acc No.: 21655088

Memberships run with the fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th each year irrespective of the date joined. Membership lapses if not renewed within three months of end of the fiscal year. Plant Royalties are due on propagation or purchase of all PAI varieties. Fees are payable to Passionfruit Australia Incorporated using a Tax Invoice/Plant Order form available through PAI. These fees are $0.35 per plant for PAI members, otherwise $0.70 per plant for all non-members.

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Passionfruit Australia Incorporated Executive Committee and Sub-Committees President


Tina McPherson

Sean Russell (JE Tippers)

15 Zinks Road Bundaberg QLD 4670 P: 07 4159 3001 M: 0428 415 930 E:

PO Box 27, Brisbane Markets QLD 4006 P: 07 3379 1041 M: 0418 158 331 F: 07 3379 4817 E:

Secretary and Vice-President


Jim Gordon

Jane Richter

PO Box 119 Yandina QLD 4561 P: 07 5446 7536 M: 0403 185 961 E:

160 Judds Road Glass House Mountains QLD 4518 M: 0431 700 258 E:



Ian Constable

Keith Paxton

260 Boyds Lane Dulguigan Via Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 6826 M: 0428 181 246 E:

31Atkinsons Road Woombye QLD 4559 P: 07 5445 9387 E:

Industry Services Manager Margie Milgate 21 Turramurra Road Tarragindi QLD 4121 M: 0439 596 174 E:

Letters and adverts to the Editor Don’t forget to send your letters or your adverts to the Editor

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Breeding and Vine Trial Committee

Communications Sub-committee

Jim Gordon—Chair Ross Brindley Peter Griffiths John McLeod David Peasley Brian Westwood Keith Paxton

Jane Richter - Chair To be advised This sub-committee gives oversight to the levy funded Communications Project which runs until June 2017. This includes the magazine and website.

Integrated Pest and Disease Management Committee Keith Paxton—Chair Steve Grey Ross Brindley Ian Constable

Sub-committees are important to the operations of the industry as they concentrate their energies on specific topics and then provide advice and recommendations back to the Executive. Their wonderful and volunteer work is greatly appreciated and shows commitment to the development of this passionate industry. For information regarding administration issues for Passionfruit Australia Incorporated please contact: Margie Milgate, 21 Turramurra Road, Tarragindi, QLD 4121 Mobile: 0439 596 174 Email: (Please note Margie works 2-3 days a week and if contacted will get back to you as soon as she can.)

For varieties and plantings issues please contact your local Executive Member as listed on page 6. Other enquiries can be made through Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries on their call centre number 132523. All contributions concerning the passionfruit industry are most welcome. Thank you to growers Brian Westwood, Peter Griffiths, Jim Gordon, Nick Hornery and Tina McPherson for their contributions. Also thank you to Monique Emmi and Jodie Pedrana from Hort Innovation, Sean Russell from JE Tipper, Dan Papacek from Bugs for Bugs, Peter Bundock from Southern Cross University and also Stacey Watson from AustSafe Super. This publication of The Passion Vine is edited by Margie Milgate and Jenny Drew. R&D and marketing projects reported in this newsletter have been funded by Hort Innovation Australia Ltd. The advice and opinions in the articles published in The Passion Vine are essentially those of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Passionfruit Australian Incorporated or the Editor. The advice is at the reader’s own risk, and no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of the material presented. Inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product, company or service by Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor.

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Red Scale - a Serious Pest of Passionfruit By Dan Papacek from Bugs for Bugs (07 4165 4663) There are several pests that can damage passion vines. The management of these is critical if vines are to remain robust, healthy and productive for their maximum lifespan. Some common pest problems include red scale, mealybugs, fruit fly, false spider mite and passion vine bug. Fortunately there are effective biological control agents for many of these insect and mite pests. Growers should always take advantage of biological control as a first line of defence before resorting to pesticides. Red scale can be particularly damaging to passion vines and will kill plants if unchecked. Often it is treatments for other pests that cause red scale to increase in severity. This is due to the adverse impact on several key biological control agents that are able to keep red scale at acceptable levels. Two very useful biological controls for red scale in passion vine include the tiny wasp parasite Aphytis lingnanensis and a very prominent and highly visible ladybird beetle Chilocorus circumdatus. These are both available from Bugs for Bugs and can be released strategically to work in tandem with other naturally occurring beneficial species including the wasps Encarsia and Comperiella as well as another native ladybird species Rhyzobius lophanthae. You don’t need to remember all of these names but it is good to understand that these natural enemies are ready to work for you if you give them the opportunity. What can you do to maximise the biological control of red scale in

your passion fruit orchard? Some suggestions include:  Make 4-5 releases of Aphytis wasps at 25,000 per hectare commencing soon after winter. Releases should be made at intervals of around 3 weeks. The number and frequency of releases may vary depending on the severity and history of red scale in any particular block. Following these initial releases an assessment of parasitism can help determine the efficacy of the release program. Additional releases may be necessary if red scale persists.  Chilocorus ladybird beetles can be released strategically into ‘hot spot’ areas. These predators will assist Aphytis wasps in their role to reduce red scale to acceptable levels.  Manage your fruit fly using our proven systems approach which includes monitoring, placement of MAT cups and protein baiting. At all costs you should avoid the temptation to apply cover sprays for fruit fly as these products universally cause harm to beneficial species and inevitably the result is a sharp increase in red scale activity.  Again to reduce the adverse impact of toxic pesticides, manage other pest problems such as flat mite (false spider mite) and mealybugs with biological control options.  As much as possible ensure you provide a favourable environment for beneficial species to survive and thrive. This includes minimising dust

and doing your best to encourage biodiversity within your orchard. A vigorous grass sod between the rows and suitable flowering plants can offer nectar and pollen as food sources for beneficial insects and mites to your long term advantage.  If chemical sprays are required, do your best to keep their use to a minimum and select materials that are least likely to harm your beneficial insect populations. Be aware that it is not just the insecticides and miticides that can harm our beneficials but also certain fungicides can be disruptive.  Finally, after you have applied all the above principles, if you still feel that your red scale control is inadequate then you may need to seek assistance from pesticides. This should only be after you have explored all other options. If this is the case, give us a call and we will do our best to make suggestions on how you might manage to do this in the most sustainable way.

Above: onon passion vine. Above :Red Redscale scale passion Infestations of this severity can vine quickly cause Top right : debilitation and ultimate death :of vines. Bottom right (Photo: Dan Papacek, Bugs for Bugs)

The Passion Vine – October 2016 The Passion Vine – October 2016

Above: Chilocorus scale eating ladybird in action. (Photo: Denis Crawford, Graphic Science)

Above: Aphytis wasp laying an egg into red scale. (Photo: Denis Crawford, Graphic Science)

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The Passion Vine – October 2016

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Regional Roundup From the growers...

NSW Area

By Nick Hornery Hi All After a dry October November, we finally received some good rain which was very welcome. Our new vines are jumping away and need constant attention. We planted all sweethearts again this year and feel the blind tipping was better than last. I’ve heard some reports of a bit less fruit on the Tweed this summer with smaller sized fruit. On our farm, we seem to have some good fruit hanging especially on the 12 month old vines. We were lucky we got the rain when we did as the vines were definitely feeling the pinch. With the full moon in a couple of days the fruit should start to increase and it will be good to get it to market before Christmas. We started picking at the end of November and have had a fair bit of small fruit and poor colour. All the best.

SE Queensland By Jim Gordon

The Sunshine Coast has certainly lived up to its name lately. It has been very hot and very dry making it difficult to get the young plants up and going. The only good thing is that we have avoided any severe and damaging storms so far. Touch wood. We started picking a decent amount of fruit late November and then suddenly it has gone quiet again. I expect we will be busy by the second week of December. Better late than never. As with most of South-East Queensland we have been invaded

by Rutherglen Bug which have chewed out all our flowers over the past few weeks. I'm guessing there will be a gap in production in the new year. So much for the doom and gloom. On a brighter note , Christmas is just around the corner and hopefully there will be a few cool, cloudy days when we can all have a bit of a break. Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for the new year. Jim and Jill.

Bundaberg Area By Peter Griffiths

Hello everyone. In the Bundaberg region the last three months we have experienced warm nights with only three minor rain events in November. The Misty Gems have performed well with fruit all through the good money period of Oct – Nov, thanks to the warm winter we experienced. Bundy was inundated with the Rutherglen Bug in late November, basically destroying all flower set. This will result in minimal fruit in February – March. The Pandoras are looking good for a January crop. On a personal note, Sally and I would like to thank all those people who contacted us and showed concern regarding our uncontrolled bushfire on the 21st November. Our ‘red’ buffer zone along the creek is now a very ‘black zone’. We intend to replace our bana grass windbreaks with something that is not so flammable. Final toll

was about 500 vines lost or affected, one kilometre of trickle tape gone and about two hundred metres of windbreak destroyed. Could have been a lot worse. Our hothouses, sheds and house are fine and I would like to thank the Rural Fire Brigade for turning up and doing a good job. That’s all until next time. Thanks.

North Queensland By Brian Westwood

Hi everyone, Mareeba is drought declared and the long-range weather forecast is for no major rain until late January. At the publishing of the October Passion Vine Tinaroo Dam capacity was 43.5% and allocated water was 70%. Tinaroo Dam’s capacity is now 35.5% and water allocation rose to 75% to my disbelief. Water usage from Tinaroo Dam is 500 to 600 megalitres daily. Irrigators that rely on the Tinaroo scheme are concerned. Panama passionfruit growers in the Mareeba district are running behind time due to late flowering. The harvest is still ongoing with reasonable quantities of good fruit departing for the southern markets. Lakeland Downs to the north of Mareeba along with the coastal growers at Mossman have completed their 2016 harvest. The northern growing season for 2016 has been difficult and different to past years with only two late flowerings throughout the season. We are looking forward to a normal season in 2017. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all, Kind Regards,

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The Passion Vine – October 2016

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News from the Passionfruit Breeding Program managed by Southern Cross University By Peter Bundock, Southern Cross Plant Science, SCU Lismore NSW E: There is a lot to talk about and I wanted to start by mentioning that the Breeding Program Survey is ready for growers to fill out. We would like as many growers as possible to complete the survey as it will help inform the program of what is needed. It is an on-line survey and takes less than 5 minutes. Margie Milgate has sent (or soon will send) out a link to all growers on her list. If there is anyone reading this who has not received an email about the survey, you could type in the following anonymous survey link that is unable to track identifying information of respondents. [Survey link is: http://]. Alternatively send Margie or myself an email and we will respond (Margie: au Peter: We would like to get information from as many growers as possible. In September Professor Graham King and I travelled up to Bundaberg to attend the PAI Annual General Meeting and field walk at Brindley’s farm just outside Bundaberg. We both presented a short talk at the meeting to explain aspects of the National Passionfruit Breeding Program which is being managed by Southern Cross University. I wanted to take the opportunity here to try to follow that up with some written information for those who could not attend and to refresh the memories of those who were there.

The National Passionfruit Breeding Program officially started on 1 July 2016. It is funded by HIA (Hort Innovation) which as you know uses passionfruit levy funds and some government funds to fund research projects. The project is advised by a Steering Committee which had its first meeting in September as well. For the first meeting the steering committee was comprised of: Ross Brindley, Keith Paxton, Leo Burgoyne and Sue Granger (PAI Representative Jim Gordon was unfortunately unable to attend). We had a very useful meeting which was chaired by Kathryn Young from HIA. I will likely provide more news on outcomes from this meeting at a later date. The National Passionfruit Breeding Program is funded initially for three years (started 2016 and concluding mid 2019). Six main aims have been identified: (1) Generate new candidate scion varieties, (2) Improve selection for new passionfruit cultivars, (3) Obtain information on traits of importance to associate with DNA markers, (4) Start breeding new inbred lines and F1 ‘hybrids' from current in-bred lines, (5) (5) Establish a seed bank and (6) (6) Maintain the industry arboretum. To generate new scion varieties

requires carrying out crosses between varieties (or selections) and selecting promising vines - as in the past. This requires good luck or exhaustive choice of parent varieties. We have and will continue to take advice on crossing from PAI breeding and vine committees, David Peasley, the project steering committee and any others in the industry who might be able to provide advice. Producing seedlings from crosses then requires somewhere to grow the vines and people to select the best candidate vines from crosses. We believe growers are in the best position to look after vines with vine committees to make selections. So we need your help.

A short note on trials. Trials can perhaps be divided into three types. First stage trials comprising of unselected seedlings from a cross, generally produce a mixed bag of vines – overall not likely to give good yield or quality fruit and will require a visit from

The Passion Vine – October 2016 an assessment team. These are however essential to get new varieties coming through and the more the better. In second stage trials a number of selected lines are grafted onto rootstock and replicates compared against industry standard varieties. There is a much better chance of getting some reasonable quality fruit from these vines. In a third stage trial a number of individuals of the one variety with good commercial potential are compared to the industry standard. Really looking at overall performance here. Could this variety take the place of the current variety?

The second aim of the breeding program is to improve the system for selecting new passionfruit cultivars. Main aims here are: to record trial and varietal information in a central database (we have a database system used for other crop plants that we are getting ready for passionfruit called CropStoreDB), DNA fingerprint selected material for verification purposes (so we can be sure of what we have), include standard variety interspersed with trial plants as a reference (for comparison if not already being done), grafted selections to be replicated on farm (so that there are a few individuals to assess from each variety), standardise measurements for assessments (may need to do this for some traits e.g. use a hand held refractometer for BRIX measurements), blind and random allocation of crosses (prevents bias, helps ensure objective assessments).

The third aim of the breeding

program is to record information on inheritance patterns and associate DNA markers with traits of interest in the genetic mapping population. The DNA markers can then be used to select at the seedling stage instead of growing the whole vine up and assessing every mature vine. We are starting with fruit quality traits in the first mapping population (one large family of the cross between Tom’s Special x Lacey) that was established as a part of an earlier project in collaboration between SCU and PAI. As an example, we are recording fruit colour ‘segregation’ in the hope that we can identify markers which will enable us to identify plants at the seedling stage that will carry ‘purple’ fruit (rather than yellow or red fruit). If successful this would mean that we can grow on to maturity a large number of plants that will almost certainly have purple fruit and have a better chance of selecting a good candidate variety in the future. We have started to look at other fruit quality traits as well, such as sugar content (BRIX) and pulp pH. If we can find good markers for a number of traits it will really turbo charge the hunt for good new candidate varieties. It may also suggest new crosses to make. The fourth aim is to breed new inbred lines and F1 ‘hybrids' from current in-bred lines. Inbreeding requires the selfpollination of plants through a number of generations. Selfpollinated inbred plants will produce seedlings that are genetically very uniform – also known as true-breeding. This means that seedlings can be relied upon to perform similarly. Why produce inbred lines? One

Page 13 way to conserve genetic diversity in a crop species is by storing seed from different lines. Inbred lines produced from old varieties are a useful way to do this, before those lines die out. Some inbred lines may produce useful varieties as is the case with true breeding lines such as Panama varieties and McGuffies Red. Another use is to produce new F1 hybrids by crossing two inbred lines with different characteristics. This is done for example in tomatoes and maize and a number of other crop species. The F1 plants are also genetically uniform. If a new scion variety was created from an F1 this could prevent the problems of varietal decline and viral load build-up. This is because new F1 plants for producing scions could be created every year by crossing the inbred lines. The fifth aim of the project is to establish a seed bank. This will keep valuable passionfruit genetic resources in secure locations at low cost. It will also enable storage of valuable crosses, valuable seed from in-bred lines and new introductions e.g. from overseas. It is much cheaper to store seed than grow plants, and lots of seed can be stored away ensuring genetic diversity is conserved. The final aim of the National Passionfruit Breeding Program is to maintain the industry arboretum which is currently located at Duranbah under the management of David Peasley. Funds have been committed for the three year life of the project for David to maintain the arboretum and carry out crossing for the breeding program. There is the possibility of establishing a backup arboretum and small trial site at (Continued on page 14)

The Passion Vine – October 2016 (Continued from page 13)

NSW DPI site at Alstonville. This will depend on resource availability from DPI. There is a trial site being managed by John & Vicki McLeod which has kindly been made available by expert grower Shane Adams at Burringbar, NSW. There are currently around 180 freshly grafted vines that form the mapping population planted there. These are plants from the Toms Special x Lacey cross. They vary widely in fruit characteristics, such as colour, flavor and sweetness.

This is exactly what we require for establishing an association between DNA markers and traits. Before Christmas (2016) we will plant out another 200 seedlings, another 100 from the Tom x Lacey cross and 100 selfed plants from Lacey to start selecting for the inbred line program, which will need to be extended beyond this three year program to bear fruit (so to speak). However, you never know your luck there may be a winner in this lot! Some crosses went out in trial packs from the McLeod nursery in September/

Page 14 October. I believe they are from the following crosses: Toms Special x No. 12, Black Gem x Lacey, Sweetheart x No.12 and Pandora x No. 12. I hope to get out and see how some of these are performing next year. There is a second copy (clones) of the valuable mapping population at another location, but I will keep that a secret until next year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope there is plenty of demand for passionfruit (good prices) over the coming weeks.


Your Local Super Fund AustSafe Super is the industry super fund for rural and regional Australia and is dedicated to providing superannuation services to employers in many industries, including the passionfruit industry. We’ve been helping members and employers with superannuation for over 27 years and are passionate about what we do. We’re also committed to providing the best possible returns for our members. AustSafe Super was recently identified as one of an elite group of 8 funds whose members that invested in our balanced option have seen their money more than double since March 2009. All without even making a contribution – and this is something we’re really proud of. What’s particularly rewarding is that as the industry super fund for rural and regional, AustSafe Super has been able to provide local members with returns amongst the very best available in the Australian market.

Being local and available to support our members and employers is important to our dedicated team of Regional Managers. They live and work in your area and are on hand to help you with your super obligations and needs. Stacey Watson is the Regional Manager located in Bundaberg, and is a born and bred local who understands the specific needs of members and employers in her region. She’s experienced in primary industries and can assist employers with workers and their super needs, whilst also ensuring employers are meeting their obligations. “Super is just one aspect of running a business, and at Austsafe Super, we look for ways to make meeting your super obligations simple, so you can concentrate on what’s important – your business.” AustSafe Super is a fund that provides simple administration

and a customer service team that can help you when you need it. We are a fund that keeps you updated and also provides employee benefits like low fees1, strong long term investment performance2 and flexible insurance cover. We are a fund for life, so your employees can take us with them if they change jobs. We’re committed to helping you meet your super obligations and making it as easy to join and deal with us as possible. We support you every step of the way – and best of all it is free to join. If you would like to discuss your super or you would like to arrange an appointment with one of our local Regional Managers please call Stacey on 0437 490 445. 1 SuperRatings Fundamentals Assessment – Fee Comparison result less than average – 31 October 2016. 2 SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – Balanced (60-76) Index result above median on rolling 10 year return for AustSafe Super – MySuper (Balanced) – 31 October 2016.

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Harmonisation, Food Safety and Freshcare By Margie Milgate

Pictured are Richard Bennett from Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Australia-New Zealand, Clare HamiltonBate from Freshcare and Dianne Fullelove from the Australian Melon Association

As a member of Freshcare, Passionfruit Australia received an invitation to hear from Richard on the Harmonisation project, Clare on the changes with Freshcare and Dianne on the melon food safety crisis at a meeting held at Brisbane Markets. The key messages for the passionfruit industry regarding Harmonisation were:  HARPS stands for Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme and is designed to harmonise the elements and auditing of fruit and vegetable businesses that supply to a number of retailers such as Coles and Woolworths.  There will be agreed base elements, such as those in programs such as Freshcare, and then some add-ons for a customer. It is designed to

reduce duplication and costs. The business case has stated it could save the industry $40 million.  Growers who are indirect suppliers will need to comply with the base elements by January 2019. Growers who have HACCP systems that cannot meet this requirement will need to move to HARPS approved systems.  More information can be found at On Freshcare, Clare outlined the changes to the Food Safety and Quality and Environmental Standards. Freshcare growers will need to update their systems at their next audit from 1 January 2017 to meet the requirements of Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Version 4 and Environment Version 3. Growers can download the new codes and all the

documentation from the Freshcare website. Dianne gave a detailed account of the issues that the melon industry faced with the discovery of salmonella on melons – and the effect that this had on the whole industry. It was a lesson that industry needs to act swiftly and engage well with the community to regain confidence in their product. It was important that growers could tell their stories and provide the message that the industry had responded and what steps they were taking to manage the issue. Please let me know if you need any further information on any of the changes discussed above. As a Freshcare trainer I am also available to assist with any questions you have on updating to the new versions of Freshcare.

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Current Permits for Passionfruit Updated 21 October 2016 Current Permits List of all current permits:

Information is from Jodie Pedrana from Hort Innovation.

Permit ID


Date Issued

Expiry Date

Permit holder


Trichlorfon / Specified Fruit crops / Fruit fly





Cabrio (pyraclostrobin) / Passionfruit / Anthracnose & Septoria spot





Phosphorous acid / Passionfruit / Phytophthora Blight




PER13158 Version 8

Dimethoate / Specified Citrus, Tropical Fruit commodities and Hot chilli peppers (post-harvest) / Various Fruit Fly species





Glyphosate / Passionfruit / Grass & Broadleaf Weeds





Fenbutatin Oxide (Torque Miticide / Passionfruit / Passionvine Mite & Two-spotted mite





Abamectin / Passionfruit / Passionvine Mite & Twospotted mite





Dimethoate / Orchard cleanup - fruit fly host crops following harvest / Fruit Fly





Petroleum Oil & Paraffinic Oil / Passionfruit / Passionvine Mite & Two-spotted Mite




Version 6

Expiring Permits Permits that will expire by November 2016 with comments: PERMIT NO.


Permit Expires



Abamectin / Passionfruit / Passionvine Mite & Two-spotted mite


Trials underway to renew permit. Request a permit extension in the iterim.

Dimethoate / Specified Citrus, Tropical Fruit commodities and Hot chilli peppers (post-harvest) / Various Fruit Fly species


Growcom held permit. Renewal depends on the outcomes of the APVMA Dimethoate review.

PER13158 Version 8

For permits to be renewed (that do not have any outstanding data requirements), the APVMA fee is $350. The expected time frame to renew APVMA permits is 5 months. Therefore the renewal process should commence 5 months before the permit expires to ensure a continuation of the permit availability.

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Brisbane Market Update By Sean Russell As another year draws to its conclusion we find once again that growing passionfruit has certainly thrown up its challenges. Bugs, viruses, challenging weather conditions, you name it passionfruit growers have seen it all over the last 12 months yet somehow they have managed to maintain a quality product at market, a feat all should be proud of.

issue as always in December with one district finishing and others only just beginning.

In December we have seen the purple passionfruit varieties come to an end in North Queensland and commence in districts between Bundaberg and Northern New South Wales. Quality has been an

Panamas have appeared in larger numbers with most fruit coming from the Mareeba district. Quality has been good with heat still affecting some areas.

The usual culprit “Summer “has played a major part once again in quality with soaring temperatures, storms and lack of rain causing wrinkle and mixed colour problems. A lot of smaller fruit has also appeared in higher numbers than usual.

Demand for passionfruit has been good with quantities increasing each week and customers looking for a steady supply with Christmas around the corner. Now more than ever it is important to communicate with your agents about what is coming. With so many public holidays, arrangements must be made for transport and unloading of your produce to ensure that it is sold for its maximum value. Remember you provide the “passion” in the festive season. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a most prosperous 2017.


Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year from the Passionfruit Executive

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Business Matters.... Reminder from the Tax Office The Australian Taxation Office is reminding horticultural growers who employ 19 or fewer employees that they now need to pay their superannuation obligations via SuperStream instead of manual methods such as cheque or direct deposit. SuperStream is the new \standard for all businesses nation-wide, which involves making super contributions electronically. Those paying superannuation on behalf of horticultural employees will now be able to pay contributions to multiple super funds in one transaction. Fruit, vegetable and floristry businesses needed to have implemented SuperStream by 31 October 2016, meaning their next super guarantee payment should be through a SuperStream compliant option. For those who haven’t yet finalised their transition, they need to choose an option that best fits their business, such as upgrading payroll software, engaging with their tax agent or bookkeeper, or using a clearing house. Super funds, such as AustSafe Super (telephone 1300 131 293), also have a range of ways they can help employers make the change. Information courtesy of Growcom

Are you getting paid on time? Cash flow to any business is a critical matter. Any delays in payments can affect ongoing operations and ability to invest in inputs when needed. In the fruit and vegetable industry growers should have their terms of payments outlined under their Horticulture Produce Agreements. If you are not being paid according to these agreed terms then the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman wants to hear from you. They are conducting an inquiry into issues around time taken by larger businesses in paying bills. The inquiry has the aim of gaining an accurate picture of the trends surrounding commercial arrangements between large and small businesses as well as governments and small enterprises. The inquiry is seeking your comments in an online survey at payment-times-and-practices. If this is an issue for you, please have your say.

Wanted to Buy Teresa and Henry Agostinelli are interested in buying a grading line Phone : Henry 0438 960 330 Justin 0423 346 197

Passionfruit Australia Licensed Nurseries J & V McLeod Campbell’s Road Dungay NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6672 3503 Widebay Passionvine Nursery 408 Dahls Road Calavos via Bundaberg Q 4670 Ph: 07 4159 7394

The Passion Vine – October 2016

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Passion Vine Cook Book Passionfruit and Yoghurt Smoothie Ingredients  5 passionfruit  2½ cups skim milk  1/3 cup low fat (light) vanilla yoghurt  2 tsp wheatgerm (optional)  1 tbsp honey  1 crushed ice cube

Method 1. Halve the passionfruit and strain through a sieve to separate the juice from the pulp. 2. Set the pulp aside. 3. Crush ice in preparation for combining with other ingredients. 4. Place the passionfruit juice in a blender along with the skim milk, yoghurt, wheat germ (if using) and honey. 5. Add crushed ice. 6. Blend until just smooth then stir through remaining passionfruit pulp and seeds as desired.

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Passion vine december 2016  
Passion vine december 2016