AUSVEG Weekly Update


Transplant Systems re-sign as AUSVEG Strategic Partner

AUSVEG is pleased to announce the continuation of its strategic partnership with Transplant Systems.

Transplant Systems specialises in the supply and installation of plant, container, vegetable and forest nursery equipment, including seeding machines and soil handling systems.

Transplant Systems supplies the HD Transplanter, which is designed to save labour on the farm and provide a fast and efficient means of planting lettuce crops into the ground. Seedlings are gently removed from the cells and automatically delivered to the planting units, which then position the seedlings in the ground at the desired spacing. The process is fully automatic. Click here to see video clips of the machines in action.

Transplant Systems is a leading supplier of machinery for the horticulture industry with a tailored range of products to suit a broad range of vegetable growers.

For more information please click here

SIP Consultations in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria next week

The consultation process for the Strategic Investment Plan's Draft White Paper will travel to Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria next week.
The first consultation will be held on Monday October 3 in Wanneroo, Western Australia, before heading to Virginia, South Australia on Tuesday October 4 and Devonport, Tasmania, on October 5. The consultations then head to Victoria, where a meeting will be held in Werribee on Thursday October 6 and Cranbourne South on Friday October 7.
Vegetable growers are strongly encouraged to attend these consultations as they will influence the investment of the National Vegetable Levy over the next five years.
Levy payers are invited to the consultations to validate the draft report on a proposed new Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan.
It is important that growers attend these consultations and provide feedback on the proposed investment of the vegetable research and development levy, as it will direct levy investment over the next five years.

A summary of the findings from the first round of consultation will also be made available to growers attending these meetings for review and discussion.

As the Strategic Investment Plan will guide investment of the National Vegetable Levy over the next five years, it is critical that as many growers as possible are involved in this process to validate the recommendations within the report.

To RSVP please call AUSVEG on (03) 9822 0388. Alternatively, please complete and fax or email the attached flyer to AUSVEG on (03) 9822 0688 or
Details of the consultations are listed below:


Perth - 3 October - 6:00PM-8:00PM - Wanneroo Villa Tavern, 18 Dundebar Rd, Wanneroo.


Virginia - 4 October - 6:00PM-8:00PM - GrowSA Headquarters, Old Port Wakefield Rd, Virginia.


Devonport - 5 October - 6:30PM-8:30PM - Argosy Hotel, 221 Tarleton St, Devonport.


Werribee - 6 October - 6:00PM-8:00PM - 601 Heaths Road, Werribee.

Cranbourne - 7 October - 6:00PM-8:00PM - Settlers Run Golf Club, 1 Settlers Run, Cranbourne South.


United Nations focuses on Obesity

Obesity and diabetes were in focus at the recent General Assembly of the United Nations. This was an historic event as it was only the second time that the UN had met to discuss health issues, with the first meeting held to discuss the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

This highlights the growing global concern in regards to these health problems which are both on the rise.

The adoption of healthy eating habits that feature fresh fruit and vegetables have been linked to the prevention and management of diabetes and obesity.

AUSVEG recently met with the Australian Preventative Health Agency to discuss how the vegetable industry can assist in plans aiming to target obesity and promote healthy eating.

CropLife calls for action on importation and trade of illegal agricultural chemicals
The trade of illegal agricultural chemicals is said to be on the increase in Australia due to a strong Australian dollar and an ineffective regulation system.

These agricultural chemicals, which are banned in Australia, pose potential threats to Australian agriculture and human health.
The banned chemicals predominantly originate from China and India and are then moved using established transport links.

CropLife has commenced a public information campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using illegal and unregistered agricultural chemicals from illegitimate overseas suppliers.

For more information on the trade of illegal agricultural chemicals click here

AUSVEG flying high with mechanisation article

This month, OUTthere, which is the in-flight magazine of Regional Express, features an article about advances in mechanisation in Australia's fruit and vegetable industries.

The article discusses new harvesting and processing innovations for spinach and potatoes, and outlines the new mobile Potato Washer and Pre-grader manufactured by Toolpak.

The high-flying story also discusses the success of this year's Mechanisation Seminar, which featured as part of the 2011 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence. The seminar helped growers outline their mechanisation needs to researchers and manufacturers.

The 2012 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence is being held from May 10 - 12 at Wrest Point Hotel-Casino in Hobart. Click here for more details.

Queensland vegetable growers flood assistance

Vegetable growers affected by the 2010-2011 flooding in Queensland are being offered assistance packages to help their operations recover from the devastating events.

There are three levels of assistance package available and the deadline for applying for these has been extended to January 31 2012.

These packages consist of grants and low interest loans, which are designed to help with the recovery and rebuilding of flood and cyclone-affected operations.

Click here to learn more and access application forms.

World-renowned biological farmer Gary Zimmer to tour Australia in October

Gary Zimmer is one of the world's top exponents and educators on biological farming and will be touring Australia in October.

Mr Zimmer focuses on attempting to ensure that the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil are in balance in order to achieve maximum yield.

The talks will take place as part of the Biological Farmers of Australia annual roadshow, which begins on October 4 in Mullumbimby.

Click here for more information.

Joint meeting in Scottsdale

Last week, a joint workshop was held in Scottsdale, Tasmania, between AUSVEG and the Tasmanian Farmers and Grazier's Association.

The workshop allowed the TFGA and AUSVEG's Environment Coordinator Christian Malins to communicate relevant industry information that is regionally specific to the Scottsdale area.

AUSVEG will be visiting Perth on Monday October 3 and Tuesday October 4, and growers in the area who wish to learn more about the EnviroVeg Program are encouraged to contact AUSVEG on 03 9822 0388 or email at

Grower talks for APRP2
The Australian Processing Potato Research Program Phase 2 is involved with three grower talks over the next week.

Please see the details for these talks below.

Date and time: Monday 3rd of October, commencing at 6.30pm
Location: Warragul Arts Centre (directions and flyer available by calling ViCSPA office on 03 5962 0000)
Speakers: Minister for Agriculture Hon. Peter Walsh, Australian Potato Research Program speakers: Dr George Lazarovits from A&L Canada. Dr Tonya Wiechel from DPI Victoria.
Cost: Dinner and drinks (2 course meal) $40
RSVP: by 29th September for dinner ViCSPA office 03 5962 0000.

Date and time: Tuesday 4th October, commencing at 10.15am - 3pm
Location: Tasmanian University Building on Moorville Rd, Burnie
Topic and Speakers: APRP2 Update Dr George Lazarovits from A&L Canada, Dr Calum Wilson from TIAR, Mr John McPhee from TIAR and Dr Frank Hay from TIAR
Cost: Free
RSVP: Monday the 3rd of October to Julie Overall 03 6430 4915 (TIAR)

Date and time: Wednesday the 5th of October, commencing at 6.30pm
Location: Donegan's Farm, 309 Butterfactory Rd, Gordon
Topic and Speakers: Dr Dolf de Boer from DPI Victoria, Dr George Lazarovits from A&L Canada, Dr Tonya Wiechel from DPI Victoria, Prof Richard Falloon from Plant & Food Research NZ (discussing APRP2 and the disease mitigation/plant health preliminary research outcomes)
Cost: Dinner $20 per head
RSVP: by 3rd of October to Dolf de Boer 0409 854 536

Unearthed - Weird and wonderful vegetable news

Peter Glazebrook - the British man who recently broke the Guinness World Record for the heaviest potato - has done it again!

(Photograph courtesy of BBC)

Smashing his old record of 3.8kg by more than a kilogram, the hobby gardener's subterranean monster tipped the Guinness scales at 4.99kg, making it the heaviest potato ever grown on record.

Mr Glazebrook, of Nottinghamshire, says that the secret is a long growing season with a small number of plants.

He admitted that the potato would quite possibly end up on a large number of dinner plates.

Click here to see the BBC clip for the story.

Economic Brief

Economic Brief: Ian James

Economic Sub Program, National Vegetable Industry Development Program

New data on household spend
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently released the results of its household expenditure survey for 2009/10. This is an extremely important data collection on the expenditure, income, net worth and other characteristics of Australian households. The Survey is conducted every six years. It provides crucial data that forms the basis of other economic data series. It is also important because the information provided forms the basis of many social policy decisions.

Key aggregate data

The average Australian household spent $1,236 per week on goods and services in 2009-10, an increase of 38% ($343 per week) from the previous 2003-04 survey. Half the money that Australian households spend on goods and services goes on housing, food and transport. Reflecting the rise in house prices over the period, housing costs were up $80 (55%). Higher living standards were reflected in a $47 a week increase in expenditure on recreation, while a combination of increased parent contributions and the drift to private schools was reflected in a 107% increase in education fees.

Variation across states and household structure

The level of weekly expenditure varied across states and territories. Households in the Australian Capital Territory ($1,536) and the Northern Territory ($1,500) recorded the highest average weekly expenditures. The lowest average weekly expenditures were in South Australia ($1,044) and Tasmania ($1,064). The average weekly expenditure of households located in capital cities was $1,310, compared with $1,107 in areas outside of capital cities. Not surprisingly, family households with dependent children had much higher average weekly expenditure on goods and services ($1,748) than the national average. Households which were lone persons aged 65 years or over ($446), had much lower weekly expenditure on average.

Vegetable expenditure

Weekly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks averaged $204.20 across Australia. Of this $12.46 was spent on fruit and nuts and $13.70 spent on vegetables. $10.79 was spent on fresh vegetables, $1.28 on frozen vegetables and $1.53 on other vegetables. Some key expenditures on vegetables are presented below and next week we will present some break-up between income and household groups.

Please click here for an enlarged version of this table