The first phase of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) extension projects (VG13076 and VG13078) was successfully delivered by Applied Horticultural Research and RMCG over three years from 2014-2017, providing effective national coverage. The feedback from the vegetable industry has been strong and positive, with significant industry engagement and uptake of the projects’ outputs.

The new combined project (VG16078) delivering the next phase of both the Soil Wealth and ICP programs will respond to increasing economic, consumer, environmental and technological demands on vegetable producers. It will deliver integrated, independent, research-based information to growers and advisers to support business decisions on soil management and plant health from 2017-2022.

The project will be guided by four themes:

  • proactively scanning and reviewing new technological developments and presenting this information to growers;
  • taking a production systems approach reflecting the increase in challenges and sophistication of vegetable farming;
  • innovations in soil and crop health management which can increase productivity and/or reduce costs; and
  • improving sustainability and robustness of vegetable farming systems, especially under adverse conditions (including the impacts of increased climate variability).

For a full update on the next phase of the Soil Wealth and ICP projects, which are strategic levy investments under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, have a look at this fact sheet on what growers can expect from the next project.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 14 February 2018.