Biosecurity alert regarding tomato potato psyllid detection in WA

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is undertaking surveillance in commercial crops and backyard gardens in the Perth area, following the confirmed detection of tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli).

The tomato potato psyllid can significantly impact production, attacking a range of plants in the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum and chilli.

The tomato potato psyllid can carry the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum”, causing the ‘zebra chip’ disease in potato. Testing for the bacterium is underway.

Check your crops
WA Commercial growers are urged to check for signs of the psyllid and report any unusual detections to the department using the MyPestGuide Reporter app.

Growers are advised not to spray specifically for the psyllid until their crops have been surveyed and appropriate chemicals for use have been identified.

How to report the pest
MyPestGuide Reporter app is available from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

This app is a photographic reporting tool which lets users take up to four photos, map pest observations and communicate directly with the department. If you don’t have a mobile device you can add, view and report the pest via the department website.

Alternatively, email your photo with your name and address to or contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.

Practice sound farm biosecurity procedures to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm Biosecurity website

What action is being taken?
DAFWA is working with the horticulture industry, including peak bodies, VegetablesWA, the Potato Growers Association of WA and AUSVEG to respond and minimise the tomato potato psyllid impact by:

  • Undertaking surveillance in metropolitan and regional areas to determine spread; and
  • Liaising with other State jurisdictions, the Federal department and industry through the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests.

AUSVEG is supporting DAFWA in its response, and a member of the AUSVEG team is currently on the ground in Western Australia sharing his expertise and his experience of dealing with this pest in New Zealand.


Solargain renews as Strategic Partner

AUSVEG is proud to announce the continuation of its Strategic Partnership with leading solar energy provider Solargain.

With electricity continuing to be one of the highest operating costs for Australian growers, Solargain can provide affordable solutions to reduce expensive energy bills and boost profits. AUSVEG is looking forward to working closely with Solargain over the coming year to assist growers with their solar energy needs. To find out more about Solargain please click here to visit their website.


John Deere renews as Strategic Partner

John Deere, one of the iconic global leaders in agricultural machinery, has renewed its Strategic Partnership with AUSVEG to continue its strong bond with the vegetable and potato industries.

While John Deere is one of the best-known tractor manufacturers in the world, it also offers a number of other products and services, including advanced irrigation systems.

The company’s machinery displays were among the most popular exhibits at last year’s National Horticulture Convention, and AUSVEG is excited that John Deere will be part of Hort Connections 2017.

Please click here for more information.
Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan: Queensland workshop locations and survey

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.

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:

Wednesday 15 March – Lockyer
Venue TBC

New South Wales
Monday 6 March – Richmond
Venue TBC

Wednesday 8 March – Werribee
Venue TBC

Thursday 9 March – Lindenow
Venue TBC

RSVPs can be sent to

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.

To complete this survey and have your say on the future of investment in the vegetable industry please click here.

This consultation has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.


2017 AUSVEG SA and William Buck Vegetable Industry Awards for Excellence 2017

The AUSVEG SA and William Buck Vegetable Industry Awards for Excellence will be held on Wednesday 12 April 2017.

The event will celebrate the South Australian industry with a three course dinner, drinks and entertainment, and will be attended by leading supply chain and grower participants from throughout the state.

Tickets are $100 for members and $120 for non-members, with corporate packages available on request.

For more information, please click here, or email


Vegetable Feature Article

Soil Wealth Farm Walk: Cambridge, TAS

Houston’s Farm will host a farm walk at their Cambridge farm on Tuesday 21 February, with attendees invited to view the recently established cover crop trial and seven different cover crops on display. Attendees can observe a range of cover crops and see firsthand how they can be managed to fit into vegetable production.

The control plot at the trial site uses conventional cropping, producing approximately two and a half baby leaf crops per year. The main treatments on trial at the site are:

  • Summer cover crops with winter baby leaf production
  • Winter cover crops with summer baby leaf production
  • Perennial pasture for 18 months, then cropping

Details for the farm walk are:
Location: 121 Backhouse Lane, Cambridge TAS 7170
Date: Tuesday 21 February 2017
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm, followed by a BBQ

For more information, please click here for the flyer, see the Soil Wealth website, or contact Donna Lucas on 0459 047 478 or

This farm walk is a joint activity between project VG15010 Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection and the National Vegetable Extension Network.

For more information on Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects, you can visit the website, or join the Community of Practice online. You can also follow Soil Wealth and Protecting Crops on Twitter.

Soil Wealth, Integrated Crop Protection and National Vegetable Extension Network projects are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Expressions of interest for export seminar for Australian vegetable growers

On Monday 15 May 2017, AUSVEG will host an export seminar for Australian vegetable growers on behalf of Horticulture Innovation Australia. The seminar will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre directly before the opening of Hort Connections 2017.

The focus of this event is to provide the industry with an overview of the recently developed Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2020 and how it will help the industry to drive export growth.

An exciting range of speakers will present on key areas outlined in the strategy, including product differentiation, value-adding, branding, collaborative partnerships and supply chain efficiency. This event aims to assist in providing Australian vegetable growers with the tools and resources to build a successful export operation.

Expressions of interest are now welcome. Vegetable levy paying growers can apply to have associated travel and accommodation costs covered in full.

To express your interest, contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or email

This seminar has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Potato Feature Article

Fight against Golden nematode intensifies in U.S.

A million dollar funding grant will help researchers from the United States complete further research into Golden nematode.

Researchers from New York’s Cornell University have received a $1.2 million grant to delve further into the disease, which is only found in the state of New York.

The spread of Golden nematode over the last number of decades has been minimal, with researchers attributing this to the large amount of effort put into controlling the disease.

High levels of infestation of Golden nematode can result in a 100 per cent yield loss. The microscopic worm attacks the roots of potatoes and other crops.

The research being undertaken in America may benefit Australian growers in the future; however, the full scope of what the research may discover is hard to predict.

A more detailed look into the fight against Golden nematode is available on page 30 of the December/January 2017 edition of Potatoes Australia magazine. Please click here to read the magazine online.

This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Potato levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Virus diseases in crops: Call for comment

Virus diseases frequently cause economic losses in vegetable crops as diverse as beans, capsicum, lettuce and zucchini.

Management of virus diseases is challenging for several reasons, including the presence of active and efficient insect vectors, the wide range of crop and weed hosts of important viruses and the lack of curative measures once infection has occurred.

Despite considerable investment through research, development and extension projects, losses from virus diseases remain a significant factor in the production of several important vegetable crops.

Horticulture Innovation Australia has initiated a project (VG15008) to review the importance and impact of virus diseases in the vegetable industry. The review will recommend future strategies for investment which are likely to deliver tangible economic benefits for industry through reduction in the impact of viruses in crops.

The project team is seeking comment from all sectors of the industry in relation to the impact and importance of virus diseases in crops and suggested future investment.

If you would like to provide comment or contact the team you can do so using these details:
Denis Persley – or 07 3255 4388
Brenda Coutts – or 08 9368 3266.

Please provide comments by Friday 24 February. A survey form can be found here to assist with responses.

Project VG15008 has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG welcomes proposed reforms to Hort Code of Conduct

The Australian government has now released its response to the recommendations made by the 2015 independent review of the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

This response includes a range of proposed reforms and amendments to the current Code, such as the introduction of civil penalty provisions for breaches of the code. These reforms will be implemented in the development of the new code, which will take effect from 1 April 2017.

To read the government’s response to the review, please click here. To read AUSVEG’s statement on the proposed changes, please click here.


Varroa mite eradication program update

There have been no further detections of Asian honey bees since the last feral nest was destroyed in November 2016, and no detection of varroa mites since July 2016.

A number of European honey bee hives located within range of the previously detected infected hives are being monitored and regularly checked for any sign of varroa mite.

The National Varroa Mite Extension Program is responsible for a number of surveillance, testing and engagement programs to ensure detection of varroa mite and destruction of infected hives. For more information on these projects, please contact

The vegetable industry is contributing funds to this eradication project.

For more information on the eradication project, please see the Bee Aware website or the Queensland Government’s biosecurity website.

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Expressions of Interest for large-scale electricity generation at the South Australian Produce Market

The South Australian Produce Market is seeking expressions of interest from Australia-based companies or partnerships with capacity and past experience in delivering large-scale electricity generation projects for single sites with a nameplate capacity of at least 200kW.

Respondents must demonstrate capability and past experience in all facets of large-scale electricity generation project delivery, including project management, engineering design, high voltage construction, protection, configuration, commissioning and maintenance. Respondents must utilise tier one solar suppliers in addition to displaying experience in controlling back up generators.

For more information, please click here.


New look Potatoes Australia – out soon!

AUSVEG is excited to announce the release of our new look Potatoes Australia magazine. Keep an eye on your mailbox for the latest edition, which features a number of R&D articles, grower profiles, the latest in potato industry news and more.

If you would like to receive Potatoes Australia magazine, or wish to submit any feedback regarding magazine design or story ideas, we would be happy to hear from you! Contact the editorial team on (03) 9882 0277 or email

Potatoes Australia magazine is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Potato levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Freshcare Limited now recruiting Business Manager

Freshcare Limited is currently recruiting for a Businesss Manager to drive the operational aspects of the Freshcare Program.

For further information on the position, please see the advertisement on Seek, or email


New Minor Use permits

Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER13626 V2 Actives:S-Metolachlor (Dual Gold) & Metolachlor
Crop: Silverbeet, spinach, spring onions, shallots, green beans and navy beans
Pest: Various broadleaf and grass weeds
23-Jul-2012 30-Jun-2022 Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, NT & WA ONLY

All efforts have been made to provide the most current, complete and accurate information on permits. However, AUSVEG recommends that you confirm the details of any permits at the APVMA website.

Users are advised that while the pesticide can be applied legally under the APVMA minor use permit, there can be a significant delay until the maximum residue limit (MRL) gazetted by the APVMA is adopted in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Until this occurs the MRL may not be recognised and a zero tolerance may be imposed for residues of the pesticide resulting from its use according to the APVMA permit.

Please be aware that in the absence of a MRL in the Food Standards Code, the use of the pesticide according to the permit may result in the suspension of the produce in the marketplace. Please check the FSANZ website or the Australian Government ComLaw website to confirm if there are MRLs established by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Please consult APVMA documentation before applying any product to your crop. For more information contact the APVMA on (02) 6210 4701 or Growcom on (07) 3620 3880.

If an adverse experience occurs as a result of using the permit, please fill out a Non-Performance Reporting Form for Horticultural Pesticides and return to To download a Non-Performance Reporting Form for Horticultural Pesticides, please click here.

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG National Manager – Export Michael Coote appeared in print media this week discussing the Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2020. Mr Coote highlighted the benefits of increasing Australian vegetable exports, emphasising that it was vital to the long-term viability of the industry.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan-Brooke Barnett appeared on radio this week discussing the changes to country of origin labelling. Mr Brooke-Barnett noted that these changes will protect Australian consumers and allow them to feel confident in knowing where their food has originated.

Communication of levy funded R&D activities is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable levy, National Potato levy and funds from the Australian Government.