AUSVEG Weekly Update

07-Feb-2017

Tuesday 7 February 2017






 
DuPont renews as Leading Strategic Partner

AUSVEG is proud to announce the continuation of its Strategic Partnership with DuPont.

DuPont has been a Leading Strategic Partner since 2009 and will continue to actively support Australia’s vegetable and potato industries throughout the year and during Hort Connections 2017.

DuPont is a global leader in crop protectant research and development. The partnership between AUSVEG and DuPont has ensured streamlined information from the global agriculture and nutrition business to Australia's vegetable and potato growers. This means that the benefits of new chemicals and pest protection strategies can be passed directly on to growers, allowing AUSVEG to link company experts with industry members to deliver the best advice.

AUSVEG and DuPont are looking forward to working together to achieve another successful year for both the Australian vegetable and potato industries.

Please click here for more information on DuPont.

Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan: Queensland workshop locations

Venues have been booked for the Queensland consultations for the vegetable industry’s Strategic Investment Plan. Queensland vegetable growers are encouraged to attend the consultations and meet with consulting firm Consulting & Implementation Services (CIS) to have their say, and ensure the SIP accurately reflects how to best spend the R&D levy to maximise the industry’s funding priorities for the next five years, with the value of these investments estimated to be worth over $100 million.

Queensland
Monday 27 February – Ayr
Location: Ayr Research Station Conference Room
Address: 343 Old Clare Road, Ayr
Date/time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Monday 27 February, 2017

Tuesday 28 February – Bowen
Location: Bowen Research Station Conference Room
Address: 45 Warwick Road, Bowen
Date/time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm Tuesday 28 February, 2017

Thursday 2 March – Bundaberg
Location: Burnett Club
Address: 5 Quay St, Bundaberg
Date/time: 1:30pm – 4:00pm Thursday 2 March, 2017

Venues for the following workshops will be released shortly. Growers are encouraged to save the following dates:

Queensland
Wednesday 15 March – Lockyer
Venue TBC

New South Wales
Monday 6 March – Richmond
Venue TBC

Victoria
Wednesday 8 March – Werribee
Venue TBC

Thursday 9 March – Lindenow
Venue TBC

RSVPs can be sent to veg@consultingis.com.au.
This consultation is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Hort Connections 2017: Early Bird registrations closing soon!
 
Registrations are now open for Hort Connections 2017, with Early Bird rates closing in three weeks on 28 February.

Hort Connections 2017 is the premier event bringing together the entire horticulture supply chain. It will be co-hosted by AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand, alongside Australian Organic, Onions Australia, Irrigation Australia, Central Markets Association of Australia, Fresh Markets Australia, Potatoes South Australia and Growcom.

Hort Connections 2017 will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May 2017, and Early Bird rates are available for any industry member who registers before midnight on 28 February 2017, with further discounts available to members of any of the host organisations.

Hort Connections combines the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections, and this event offers a not-to-be-missed opportunity for delegates to network with their peers from across horticulture, benefit from expert speaker sessions and visit over 250 exhibitors at the extensive Trade Show.

To register for Hort Connections 2017, please click here.


 
Gaining an insight into Powdery scab suppressive soils

Australian potato processors have identified Powdery scab as having the biggest disease impact on potato productivity. Some producers in Tasmania estimate that at least 10-20 per cent of yield is lost to Powdery scab root infection, on top of discarded tubers affected by scab. In 2013, the Australian Potato Research Program (APRP) estimated the cost of Powdery scab to the processed potato industry at AUD$13.4 million per annum.

At a forum in New Zealand, Simplot’s Frank Mulcahy encountered work led by Plant & Food Research New Zealand’s Peter Wright that showed evidence of what appeared to be a Powdery scab suppressive soil.

These soils, found in the Pukekohe region of New Zealand, appear to suppress Powdery scab despite the presence of pathogen inoculum and the cold, wet environmental conditions that are conducive to the disease. Over 10 years, pathogen levels at the research site remained very low throughout a range of crop rotations, including a continuous potato crop.

Although the potato industry is a long way off understanding the precise role that these soil biological communities play in suppression, there is some hope that new management options may be developed from research in this area.

A detailed article on this research can be found on page 27 of the latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine. Click here to read the magazine online.
This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Nominations open for 2017 National Awards for Excellence

The 2017 National Awards for Excellence will be presented throughout Hort Connections 2017, and will provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise the outstanding contributors in our industry. Nominations are being sought in the following categories:
  • Grower of the Year – Sponsored by Syngenta
  • Young Grower of the Year – Sponsored by Dow AgroSciences
  • Industry Impact Award
  • Environmental Award – Sponsored by Butler Market Gardens
  • Community Stewardship Award – Sponsored by DuPont
  • Innovation Partner Award – Sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries
  • Women in Horticulture Award
  • Researcher of the Year Award – Sponsored by Bayer
Nominations for the 2017 National Awards for Excellence close on 31 March 2017. Make sure your colleagues are recognised for their hard work and dedication to the industry by nominating them today – to view the selection criteria and to nominate someone for an award, please click here to download the Nomination Brochure.

Everyone who submits a nomination for an award will go in the running to win a Leatherman Surge (RRP $226.00).

If you have not yet registered to attend Hort Connections 2017, AUSVEG encourages you to get in before the early bird rate closes on 28 February. To register as a delegate please visit hortconnections.com.au or sign up online.

For more information about Hort Connections 2017, please contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277, email info@hortconnections.com.au or visit the Hort Connections 2017 website for more information.


 
Horticulture industry will lift standards in relation to vulnerable workers

Growcom has been successful in obtaining funding through the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Community Engagement Grants Program to allow it to develop a national ‘ethical labour’ certification program.

The certification would enable growers to prove they are not exploiting their labour, and would be voluntary. Growcom has said the program was developed due to many well-publicised examples of worker mistreatment in the horticulture industry.

Growcom hopes that the certification scheme resonates with Australian consumers, and helps them to understand the values of the companies providing their food.

For more information on the scheme, please see Growcom's statement here and ABC's article on the scheme here.


 
Postharvest management of vegetables workshops

Good postharvest management keeps vegetables fresh and customers happy. This half-day professional development workshop will help packing shed managers, QA officers and vegetable supply chain businesses optimise their handling of fresh vegetables, maximising quality while minimising damage, water loss and disease.

Dr Jenny Ekman and Adam Goldwater from Applied Horticultural Research will use case studies, demonstrations and activities to explain the principles of postharvest management and discuss specific issues affecting vegetable businesses. Participants will also receive a free copy of the new Postharvest management of vegetables handbook.

These workshops are being held in coordination with VegNET (National Vegetable Extension Network) and include:
  • 21 February, 4:00pm – Ayr, QLD
  • 22 February, 4:00pm – Bowen, QLD
Further dates are scheduled for the rest of QLD and SA.

With limited numbers available, interested industry members are encouraged to book now and reserve their place. For more details, please click here. To register for a workshop, please contact Anna McCowan at idm@bowengumlugrowers.com.au or on 0427 701 225.
This project is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Horticulture industry secures more than $1.2 million in chemical grants

Horticulture Innovation Australia has secured more than $1.2 million in agriculture research grants as part of the Australian Government’s agriculture and veterinary chemicals programme.

Australian law dictates that any plant protection chemicals used in agriculture must be assessed and approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, after the safety and effectiveness of the chemical has been determined. This process requires the provision of specific data, which the grants will help provide. The grants are estimated to assist 7,000 produce and nursery growers across Australia,

The vegetable growing industry will directly benefit from three of the seven grant categories:
  • Assorted tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops including custard apples, persimmons passionfruit, olives, berry crops (rubus), and bulb vegetable crops: Bayer Crop Science Luna Privilege Fungicide for the control of a range of fungal fruit and vegetable blights.
  • Brassica leafy vegetable crops, onions and beetroot: BASF/Agnova Zampro Fungicide for the control of Downy Mildew.
  • Nursery (non-food), strawberries and carrots: BASF Versys Insecticide for the control of a range of Aphids and Whitefly species.
For more information, please click here.
This communication is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan: Complete the survey for a chance to win a $350 R.M. Williams voucher

As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the vegetable industry, Horticulture Innovation Australia has engaged specialist consulting firm Consulting & Implementation Services (CIS). As part of this process, CIS will seek industry feedback to ensure the SIP accurately reflects how to best spend the Vegetable R&D levy to maximise the industry’s funding priorities for the next five years, estimated to be worth over $100 million.

CIS has developed a short online survey for growers and industry members to provide feedback on what they think the opportunities are for the vegetable industry in the next five years (it only takes about 10 minutes to complete).

Just by filling out the survey you go into the draw to win a $350 R.M. Williams voucher.

It is important that we get as many growers providing feedback as we can, so please complete this survey and have your say on the industry’s funding priorities for the R&D levy.

To complete this survey and have your say on the future of investment in the vegetable industry please click here.
This consultation is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Australia's Healthy Weight Week: 13 – 19 February

The Dietitians Association of Australia's Healthy Weight Week kicks off on Sunday 13 February.

This year's campaign marks the 10th anniversary of Healthy Weight Week, and focuses on two themes: home cooking and portion size. The week also aims to raise awareness of how Accredited Practising Dietitians can assist Australians in reaching their health goals.

For more information on the event, as well as access to a range of resources and plenty of recipes, please see the Healthy Weight Week website.


 

New R&D reports available on InfoVeg
 
InfoVeg is a comprehensive database that has been designed to bridge the gap between researchers and growers. It acts as a resource for growers to easily access technical information and research funded by the National Vegetable and Potato Levies.

The following reports were published recently on the InfoVeg database:
  • PT13009 – Heritage Potato Collection
  • PT13012 – Review of Water Allocation Planning in South Australia and the impact on potato production
  • PT12019 – Potatoes Australia
  • VG13068 – Financial Performance of Australian Vegetable Farms 2013-14 to 2015-16
  • VG13096 – Minor Use and Agromony Coordinator - Minor Use Priorities and Awareness Program
  • VG14048 – Review of irrigation technologies
  • VG15062 – The Effects of Using Anhydrous Ammonia to Supply Nitrogen to Vegetable Crops
Click here to sign up or log in to your InfoVeg account to access the reports.
The InfoVeg database is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy, the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
AUSVEG in the media
AUSVEG National Manager Communications – Shaun Lindhe appeared on radio this week discussing the potato shortage. Mr Lindhe noted that recent supply issues in the potato industry were due to unseasonable weather conditions last year, but reiterated that supply issues would be short-lived.

AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer Dimi Kyriakou appeared in print media this week discussing the potato shortage and Canberra’s lack of available potato scallops. Ms Kyriakou noted that while weather had affected crops over the last few months, good growing conditions recently has meant that supplies should return to normal soon.

AUSVEG spokesperson Jarrod Strauch appeared in online media this week discussing Project Harvest research on consumers' perception of retailers. Mr Strauch noted that according to this research, Australians are now perceiving Aldi's value for fresh vegetable purchases as equal to Woolworths, and only slightly behind Coles.
Communication of levy funded R&D activities is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy, National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Weather Forecast – Wednesday 8 February

Please find below a weather forecast for Wednesday 8 February for key growing regions around Australia. To see a detailed forecast, please click the image.
 
  
 
This communication is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy, National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.