Layers of love

ALL things onion will be on the agenda in Swan Hill next week, with the Onions Australia annual conference set to be held in town.

The two-day event will run from October 17-18, with a number of speakers in the line-up.

Beverford grower and Onions Australia chairman Peter Shadbolt told The Guardian this was the first time the annual general meeting (AGM) had been held in Swan Hill.

"The main reason is I'm the chairperson, and I've been pushing to bring people to the district," he said.

"We've moved around a lot of the capital cities, but I wanted to bring people into the district and show them Swan Hill and what we have to offer."

Mr Shadbolt said around 40 to 50 people were expected to attend the conference from around Australia.

Delegates will kick off the conference with lunch and a farm tour on the afternoon of October 17.

"We'll be doing a farm tour up to Tooleybuc to look at the export citrus packing line," Mr Shadbolt said.

"Exporting is one of the focusses of Onions Australia, so we're going to talk to a guy who does quite a bit with exports."

This will be followed by evening festivities including a cruise on the PS Pyap and a delegates dinner at Spoons Riverside.

Guest speakers at the dinner will be Hort Innovation, who will update those in attendance about onion industry levy fund spends and marketing moves. The evening will also include a Heartbeat of the Murray laser light show.

The Onions Australia AGM will be held on the morning of October 18, followed by a series of industry presentations showcasing onion developments and biosecurity measures.

Mr Shadbolt said speakers would cover various topics to keep growers up-to-date with what's happening in the industry.

He added growers were looking at a good season.

"The crop is looking really well this year across the nation, and prices are looking like they're going to be strong, mainly due to water shortages," he said.

"It's looking like a good year."