Soil health workshop – Western Australia

Do you want to achieve a better understanding of soil-borne disease management by benefiting from lessons learned by the Soil Wealth team? Do you want to find out more about soil-health management in leafy vegetables, carrots and brassicas? Do you want to learn about the common factors and management approaches for all vegetable crops?

The Soil Wealth team and C-Wise are inviting interested growers and industry members to attend a soil health workshop, including a site visit to the C-Wise facility in Nambeelup for a site visit, a Soil Wealth Seminar on soil-borne disease management, and a visit to Baldivis Farms to see soil health management in action.

Attendees will also be able to meet and speak with Doris Blaesing (RMCG) and Gordon Rogers (AHR) from the Soil Wealth / ICP team.

Date: Wednesday 16 November
Time: 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: C-Wise facility in Nambeelup, followed by a visit to Baldivis Farms

Dinner and drinks will be provided for attendees. For more information, or to register for this event, please click here.

To find out more about the Soil Wealth and ICP projects visit the website, or join the Community of Practice online. You can also follow the projects on Twitter @SoilWealth and @ProtectingCrops.

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


Consultation for Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan

As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the vegetable industry, Hort Innovation has engaged specialist consulting firm Consulting & Implementation Services (CIS). During this process they will meet with growers and industry to 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.

The locations for the New South Wales, Northern Territory and Western Australia consultations have now been confirmed. Workshops will be held in these areas in the coming weeks:

New South Wales:
Bathurst City Community Club
29 William Street, Bathurst NSW 2795
6:00pm – 8:00pm, Wednesday 2 November

Cowra Agricultural Research & Advisory Station
84 Binni Creek Road, Cowra NSW 2794
3:30pm – 5:30pm, Friday 4 November

Northern Territory:
Knotts Crossing Resort
Cnr Giles and Cameron Street, Katherine NT 0850
3:30pm – 5:30pm, Monday 7 November

NT Farmers – Shop 15A Coolalinga Shopping Centre
460 Stuart Highway, Coolalinga NT 0839
4:00pm – 6:00pm, Tuesday 8 November

Western Australia:
Carnarvon Motel
34 David Brand Drive, Carnarvon WA 6701
3:00pm – 5:00pm, Friday 11 November

Wanneroo Villa Tavern
18 Dundebar Road, Wanneroo WA 6065
4:00pm – 6:00pm, Monday 14 November

Manijump Horticultural Research Institute
28527 South West Highway, Manjimup WA 6258
4:00pm – 6:00pm, Tuesday 15 November

Old Coast Road Brewery
Lot 1238 West Break Road, Myalup WA 6220
4:00pm – 6:00pm, Wednesday 16 November

RSVPs can be sent to

Growers are encouraged to attend their local workshop so that they can have their say on where levy funding should be spent. These workshops provide one of the best opportunities available over the next five years to guide levy investment for the vegetable industry, and any grower interested in how their levy is spent is strongly encouraged to attend. The workshops will also provide a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and hear about developments in the vegetable industry.

This consultation is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Improving marketable yields of processing potatoes in Canada

The Agronomy Initiative for Marketable Yield (AIM) is a collaborative program that aims to improve marketable yields of processing potatoes as well as the profitability of potato growers in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, while improving the environmental sustainability of the industry.

The program includes three working groups which will focus on the key areas of soil health, seed management and science and technology. AIM’s Project Lead, Ryan Barrett, consults with these working groups to identify applied research or extension projects in their areas and then find research or agronomy partners which whom to collaborate on the projects.

The AIM program’s first project is focused on comparing small, whole seed with cut seed for commercial potato production. Other priority areas include building soil organic matter, assessing different crop rotations for economic value, soil health and potato yield, precision agriculture applications for soil management/improvement and improved seed handling.

The program plans to make research reports and extension documents available via the internet to PEI and Canadian growers, with growers in other regions having the opportunity to access this information if they find it valuable for their own production systems.

A full profile on the AIM program can be found in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine. To read this edition, please click here. To read all editions of Potatoes Australia, please click here.

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


Potato Strategic Investment Plan – survey online for industry comment

As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the potato industry, Hort Innovation has engaged specialist strategic planning consultancy McKINNA et al to meet with growers and industry to accurately reflect the industry’s funding priorities for R&D in the next five years.

A survey has been developed to let growers have their say on priority areas for levy investment in the potato industry. To take this survey online, please click here.

Interested parties can also click here to download a copy of the survey, or email to have their voices heard.

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


New Nielsen consumer research and presentation dates

New reports from Nielsen consumer research into the fresh vegetable market are now available on InfoVeg as part of Hort Innovation’s research project VG15019 Baseline Demographic Research for the Vegetable Industry.

Nielsen’s Homescan service records the vegetable purchases of 10,000 Australian households, with the data on these purchases then collated into reports on the sales performance of these commodities. The latest ad hoc reports from Nielsen are now available on the AUSVEG website. Access to these reports is restricted to vegetable industry members who have registered to use the InfoVeg database. To access these reports, please click here.

As part of this project, a series of presentations has been organised with the assistance of the National Vegetable Extension Network. These presentations will briefly explain the project, its data and the resulting analysis to those unfamiliar with the data, with case studies of how the analysis could be applied to a growing operation, focusing on the commodities grown in the regions in which the presentations are being held. There will also be a brief opportunity for any interested growers to speak with the Nielsen data team one-on-one.

Location Time/date Commodities
John Cranwell’s farm
105 Murray Road, Nairne SA 5252
10:00am – 12:00 noon
Friday 18 November
Focus on broccoli/broccolini, cauliflower and value-added items.
South Australian Produce Market Boardroom
Burma Road, Pooraka SA 5095
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Friday 18 November
Focus on capsicums, cucumbers and leaf salads.

Industry members interested in attending these workshops can RSVP by e-mailing

Nielsen Homescan data for the vegetable industry is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


TIA Forthside Vegetable Research Facility open day

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is holding its annual open day at its Forthside Vegetable Research Facility for interested industry members.

Visitors to the open day have the opportunity to find out about current TIA research projects, including Sensor-Smart Irrigation, the Vegetable Productivity Partnership and research into Precision Agriculture. Attendees will hear from Tasmanian vegetable industry experts about a range of topics, such as precision agriculture, the use of unmanned aircraft systems, export opportunities and sustainable business models.

The open day will also include a field walk to inspect trial plots as part of the Precision Peas project, which aims to increase the productivity and profitability of processing peas in Tasmania.

Date: Wednesday 9 November 2016
Time: 10:00am – 3:30pm
Location: 125 Forthside Road, Forthside TAS 7310

To view the program for the open day, including the full list of speakers, please click here. Industry members interested in attending are requested to RSVP by 7 November to Leonie White on 0407 865 640 or at


Hort Innovation Annual General Meeting – Nomination of proxies

The second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Members of Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) will be held on 25 November 2016 in Sydney, New South Wales.

Voting Members of Hort Innovation who are unable to attend the AGM may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf at the meeting. The Notice of AGM and Proxy Form has been distributed by Hort Innovation to Voting Members this week by post and email.

An industry representative body (such as AUSVEG) may be appointed as a proxy if the Voting Member directs the body how to vote on each resolution at the AGM.

Any growers who are unable to attend the AGM may appoint AUSVEG as their proxy to ensure their votes are counted. If appointed as a proxy for any Voting Member, AUSVEG must vote on each resolution as the member directs.

For more information on the upcoming AGM, including the resolutions to be considered at the AGM, please click here.


Masterclass to give insights into value-adding for fresh produce and food safety

A masterclass will be hosted in Hobart on Wednesday 30 November 2016 by two food safety research centres – the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Food Safety Centre, and the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.

This masterclass will give food safety professionals, product technologists and food product entrepreneurs insights into tools which can be used to add value to fresh products and take their products into new categories.

Date/time: 9:00am – 1:00pm, Wednesday 30 November 2016
Location: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture – Hobart campus

For more information on the event, please click here.


Webinar: Rediscovering cover crops

Cover crops are being rediscovered by vegetable growers as practical ways of improving soil productivity and health. While cover cropping is a simple concept, it can be complex to implement in today’s intensive production systems. In this webinar, Dr Kelvin Montagu from the Soil Wealth – ICP team talks about the use of cover crops in vegetable production and the practical issues which need to be considered.

The webinar will cover:

  • What is your objective for the cover crop?
  • What cover crop to use
  • How to integrate cover crops into vegetable production

Date: Thursday 10 November 2016
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm (AEDT)

Click here to register for this webinar. For more information on this event, please click here.

In a follow-up webinar on Thursday 1 December 2016, Julie Finnigan, technical Agronomist with Serve-Ag in Tasmania, will look at the use of biofumigation cover crops in vegetable production.

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


AUSVEG submission to Senate inquiry into backpacker tax

AUSVEG has filed its submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker Reform package, which includes the bills revising the backpacker tax down to the planned rate of 19 per cent.

In the submission, AUSVEG calls for a quick resolution to any continuing negotiations over the backpacker tax and the measures which have been linked to the tax. To read this submission, please click here.

The inquiry is scheduled to table its report on 7 November 2016. For more information on the inquiry, please click here.


New Minor Use permits

Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER13153 V2 Actives: Fipronil
Crop: Sweetpotato
Pest: White fringed weevil
14-Dec-2011 31-Dec-2021 Growcom NSW, QLD, NT and 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 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.

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


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG National Manager – Communications Shaun Lindhe appeared on radio this week discussing supply issues with potatoes following recent adverse growing weather conditions in some parts of the country. Mr Lindhe noted that these effects are normally short-term and that supply should return to normal in a few months.

AUSVEG SA State Manager Jordan Brooke Barnett featured in print media discussing the South Australian State Government’s plans for an extra 20 gigalitres of recycled water which is to be made available to the Northern Adelaide Plans. Mr Brooke-Barnett said that growers in the area could benefit from access to the extra water supply and in turn deliver significant benefits to the local economy, and urged local growers to contact him about their water needs.

Mr Brooke-Barnett also appeared on ABC’s Landline discussing the impact of the recent severe floods in South Australia and the damage inflicted on local vegetable growers. The Landline episode can be found here.

AUSVEG spokesperson Jarrod Strauch appeared on radio commenting on the findings from the latest levy-funded Project Harvest research, which showed that consumers believe package claims about “fresher for longer” and “washed and cleaned ready for use” to be important factors in their vegetable purchases. Mr Strauch noted that consumers are increasingly looking for convenient vegetable products which can be used in meals quickly and easily.

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.