Get ready for Asia’s leading trade show – Asia Fruit Logistica

Levy-paying vegetable growers who are currently exporting or interested in beginning to export are invited to apply to attend and exhibit at the upcoming Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong. Funded attendance will give growers the chance to participate in Asia’s leading tradeshow for the international fresh fruit and vegetable business, gain an understanding of the Hong Kong market and establish new business contacts in Asian markets.
The Asia Fruit Logistica tradeshow will be held from 7 – 9 September 2016, with anticipated travel dates for participants being 5 – 10 September 2016. To download an application form, please click here. This form can be returned to AUSVEG at or via fax on (03) 9882 6722.

Participation in Asia Fruit Logistica is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Occupational health and safety in the vegetable industry

With National Farm Safety Week taking place this week, it is important to think about ways to make Australian horticulture safer for workers. A recent analysis of data from Safe Work Australia found that the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the highest number of injuries and fatalities of any Australian industry from 2003 to 2014, with the 686 deaths recorded accounting for 23 per cent of total workplace deaths across that period.
With a 2012 research project showing that vegetable growers believe occupational health and safety (OHS) is one of their top skill weaknesses, there is a clear need to develop the OHS capacity of the Australian vegetable industry.
To help achieve this goal, Horticulture Innovation Australia commissioned project VG13053 to develop vegetable industry OHS resources, with RMCG acting as service provider for the project. This project aimed to move OHS information from a “system-based approach” to a “task-based” approach, allowing growers to select OHS resources by individual tasks relevant to their operations.
After consulting with vegetable growers and reviewing existing management systems and resources in the industry, RMCG developed a suite of tools for growers to use to help them improve OHS practice on-farm and in the packing shed, including a Safety Management System, 72 tasks with safe work assessments and procedures, and diagrammatic, pictorial and LOTE tools.
To read the final report from this project, which includes appendices with OHS posters in multiple languages that can be used on a vegetable growing operation, please click here.

Project VG13053 Develop vegetable industry occupational health and safety resources was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Help shape the future of EnviroVeg

With consumers becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental credentials of their food, showcasing a commitment to environmental best practice growing techniques has never been more important.
EnviroVeg, the vegetable industry’s own environmental program developed specifically for vegetable growers, provides growers with guidelines and information on how to manage their business in an environmentally responsible manner.
As EnviroVeg enters a crucial period, feedback received from growers and industry will be invaluable in refining its direction and overall effectiveness. AUSVEG has developed a short, five-minute survey about the EnviroVeg program for growers and industry members who would like to contribute to the future of the program.
All responses to the survey will be treated as confidential. The survey can be accessed online here, or can be received and completed in hard copy by contacting the AUSVEG Environment Coordinator on (08) 8221 5220 or at

The EnviroVeg program is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



Soil Wealth fact sheet: Taking soil samples


Soil sampling and testing is usually done prior to planting a crop, with specific in-crop testing producing useful information that growers can use throughout the growing process, such as the levels of nitrate and ammonium in soil.
However, a soil test report is only as good as the care taken in sampling. There are some important steps that can help improve the accuracy and effectiveness of soil testing – for example, tools and equipment should be cleaned prior to collecting each sample, and complete labels and write on bags or containers before going out to the field to save time and avoid confusion.
This fact sheet describes how to take soil samples correctly for obtaining reliable information on the nutrient status of your soil. Click here to download the fact sheet.
To find out more about the Soil Wealth project or managing your soil visit the website, or follow one of the demonstration sites in your region online. You can also follow the project on Twitter @SoilWealth.

The Soil Wealth project is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Varroa mites found in Townsville port

Biosecurity Queensland is implementing a quarantine and surveillance program within a 10km radius of the Townsville port after confirming detection of varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni) in an Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) hive at the port.
The hive has now been destroyed. A check of the surrounding area has found no further Asian honey bees or their hives and traps, and sentinel hives that are already in place around the port as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program have not collected any exotic bees or mite pests over the past two years.
Restrictions have been imposed on the movement of bees, bee hives, bee products (excluding honey), and used bee keeping equipment from the Townsville area to prevent any possible spread of the mite.
Varroa mites are a serious pest and a threat to the local honey bee industry. Certain species and strains can infest European honey bees, killing off hives and severely affecting honey production and pollination services. Asian honey bees are the natural host of this species of varroa mite.
If you know of feral bee hives in the Townsville area, or see Asian honey bees or suspect your bees have been affected, call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.



Soilborne Disease Master Class


Registrations are open for a Soilborne Disease Master Class to be held 16 – 17 August 2016 in Ipswich, Queensland as part of the Soil Wealth project commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia.
A team of industry experts will explore the latest biological, cultural and chemical options for managing soilborne disease in vegetable crops and, most importantly, provide tools for implementing these options within a risk-based approach on-farm.
The Master Class will be an intimate setting for discussion of specific issues. This a rare opportunity for growers or other industry members affected by soilborne disease. The program will cover:

  • Biology and life-cycles of key soilborne diseases and how knowledge of these can be used to tailor management approaches.
  • Non-chemical control strategies including biofumigant crops, organic amendments and farm management (such as tillage, crop rotation, irrigation, nutrition and hygiene).
  • Information on new products with potential as ICP tools, including novel biologicals, biopesticides, endophytes, seed dressing and inducers of systemic acquired resistance.
  • Developments in soil disease diagnostics and related monitoring: what’s currently available, how to interpret the results and what’s on the horizon.
  • Disease suppressing soils – what’s known about them and how to foster disease suppression in intensive vegetable production systems.
  • How to combine all the above elements to implement a risk-based approach to managing soilborne disease on farms.

Last year’s event was a full house, and with only 30 spaces available for participants in this year’s Master Class, interested parties are encouraged to register early! Attendance is free for growers who pay the National Vegetable Levy, and industry advisors and stakeholders are also welcome.

Please click here for more details, or to register, contact Heather on 03 9882 2670 or

The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



2016 National Horticulture Convention Feedback Survey

AUSVEG invites all attendees of the 2016 National Horticulture Convention to give their feedback through our online survey. To take the survey, please click here.


Potato pest update: Root-knot nematode

Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are plant-parasitic roundworms which have caused economic damage worldwide due to their broad range of hosts across almost all horticulture sectors.
There are five Root-knot nematode species that most commonly cause damage to potato crops in Australia. These nematodes enter plant roots as juveniles, with the females of the species then becoming stationary and feeding on adjacent plant cells as they grow. This stimulates root tissue to enlarge and form galls, which are typical signs of infection.
The most obvious symptoms for Root-knot nematode can be seen when the crop is nearing maturity, by pulling up plants and examining their roots or tubers for galls or raised bumps. However, if there are brown lesions on the roots without the presence of galls, the crop may instead be invested with a Root-lesion nematode which is also a common problem in horticultural crops.
The latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine features an in-depth profile on Root-knot nematode, including an interview with the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia. To read this edition, please click here.

This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Update on the SITplus partnership

The SITplus partnership, a five-year research and development cross-industry partnership that aims to deliver an integrated management solution to the major horticultural pest Queensland fruit fly (Qfly), has recently released an update on its progress.
This update summarises the partnership’s progress on the social component of its area-wide management and sterile insect technology (SIT) project identifying barriers and faciltators to area-wide management and uptake of SIT, as well as developing recommendations for future uptake as a means of long-term control and eradication of Qfly.
To read the partnership’s full update on this project, including the results from preliminary interviews about Qfly, SIT and area-wide management, please click here.

This project is supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia and CSIRO through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit Programme.


Applications now open for GrowAg Summit

The GrowAg Summit, presented by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Australia’s Rural Research and Development Corporations, will bring together Australia’s sharpest and most innovative leaders in agriculture.
To be held over 21 – 23 September 2016 in Albury, New South Wales, the Summit is free for participants and will be a meeting place for the new generation of decision makers in agriculture to discuss new technologies, ideas, smart business, leadership and innovation.
Applications are currently open, and close 20 July 2016. Please click here to access the website and application form for the Summit. If you require more information about GrowAg or the application process, please contact Jennifer Medway on (02) 6271 4132 or at


54th Australian Export Awards – Applications now open

The Australian Export Awards (AEA) is a national program that honours Australian businesses for their export achievements and contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity.

Enter for your chance to:

  • Boost your profile and reputation among local and international customers.
  • Distinguish yourself from your competitors as an AEA winner/finalist.
  • Increase your profile with the Australian Government and your state/territory government.
  • Attend a masterclass hosted by business experts and top exporters.
  • Critically review your business during the application process and uncover ways to improve export strategies and operations.
  • Gain media exposure for your achievements.
  • Network with other exporters.

Enter the AEA through your state or territory’s export awards program. There are 12 national award categories, entry is free and the application process is straightforward. The application processes for each state and territory close on:

  • Victoria – 31 July 2016
  • Queensland – 1 August 2016
  • South Australia – 1 August 2016
  • Western Australia – 1 August 2016
  • Northern Territory – 12 August 2016
  • Australian Capital Territory – 12 August 2016
  • New South Wales – 15 August 2016
  • Tasmania – 25 August 2016

Visit for more information and to apply.



New biosecurity laws for Queensland

The Queensland Biosecurity Act came into effect on 1 July 2016. There are new requirements changing how government, industry and the community deal with biosecurity, to better protect the environment and the community from animal and plant pests, diseases and contaminants.

For more information, please click here.


Vegetable leafminer control minor use

Vegetable leafminer (Linomyza sativae) has been found in Cape York. It is likely to move over time, and vegetable growers in Queensland should be aware.
Vegetable leafminer is different to ordinary beanfly and soybean stem fly, though the differences may need an entomologist or agronomist to identify correctly. Vegetable leafminer has a vast range of hosts and is a prescribed and notifiable pest.
PER81876 has recently been granted by the APVMA to control vegetable leafminer, using abamectin products for suppression of the pest. If you are in Queensland and suspect vegetable leafminer is present in your crop, please report it to 13 25 23.

Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER81876 Actives: Abamectin
Crop: Fruit vegetables – cucurbits, fruiting vegetables – other than cucurbits (except sweet corn and mushrooms), leafy vegetables (except lettuce), legume vegetables, root and tuber vegetables, bulb vegetables, cabbage, celery and rhubarb
Pest: Vegetable leafminer
24-Jun-2016 30-Apr-2019 Growcom QLD

Please refer to the minor use section below this article for details on how information on minor use permits are communicated to users.

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

New Minor Use permits


Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER12047 (V2) Actives: Thiabendazole
Crop: Sweetpotato
Pest: Field rots caused by scurf & root rot
29-Jun-2011 30-Sep-2021 Growcom All states
PER14326 (V2) Actives: Captan
Crop: Capsicums, chilli peppers, cucumbers & leafy lettuce
Pest: Grey mould
19-Dec-2013 30-Nov-2021 Growcom All states except VIC

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 MRL 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.
Minor use plays an integral role in the Australian vegetable industry. Please register your details on the Minor Use Database. For more information, please contact the AUSVEG Minor Use and Agronomy Coordinator Scott Kwasny on (03) 9882 0277 or email


This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG National Manager – Scientific Affairs Dr Jessica Lye continued to feature in print media this week commenting on the discovery of varroa mites at the Port of Townsville. Dr Lye promoted the importance of reporting any suspected sightings of pests to state or territory departments of agriculture or biosecurity.
The latest consumer research from the Project Harvest tracking study, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, featured on radio this week. AUSVEG National Manager – Communications Shaun Lindhe discussed findings from the study showing that consumers significantly overstimate the amount of imported fresh produce on supermarket shelves, noting that it’s easier than consumers think to buy local and support Australian growers.
Mr Lindhe also appeared in print media this week commenting on research into the use of parasitic wasps as a control option for aphids which target potato crops. Mr Lindhe noted that three species of wasps parasitise these aphids, allowing for a control option which doesn’t risk increasing chemical resistance among aphid populations.
Mr Lindhe was also featured in print media discussing the results of a new study which identified a potential link between fresh vegetable consumption and higher overall happiness levels. The study, conducted by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the University of Queensland, concluded that increases in daily fruit and vegetable consumption could increase general happiness.

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.