AUSVEG office Christmas closure

The AUSVEG offices will be closed from 23 December 2016 – 2 January 2017 inclusive.

As such, there will be no Weekly Update next week, with the next edition to be released on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

We thank our members for their continued support throughout the year, and look forward to an exciting 2017.

From all of us here at AUSVEG, we wish you a merry Christmas and a safe, happy and prosperous new year.

Webinar: Implementing integrated pest management on farm

Peter Schreurs and Sons grows a range of vegetable crops on their 180 hectare farm in Devon Meadows near Cranbourne in Victoria. Leeks are the main crop in the business, but they also produce cos lettuce, endive, kohlrabi, wombok and radicchio.

On the farm, Darren Schreurs is responsible for controlling pest and disease in the crops. Darren first encountered Integrated Pest Management (IPM) when he was trying to deal with mites and thrips in their leek crop.

The Schreurs trialed the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis to control two-spotted mite in a fish tank, before being comfortable enough to test the approach on a leek crop in field.

Having not used insecticides on their leek crop for the past 15 years, the Schreurs can see the results in the quality of their produce and reputation with buyers.

Read this practical case study to learn more from leading growers by clicking here.

To hear Peter Schreurs talk about the benefit of using lacewings to control aphids and mites on his lettuce crop, have a look at the short video.

To find out more about the Integrated Crop Protection project or protecting crops visit the website, or join the Community of Practice online. You can also follow the project on Twitter.

The Inegrated Crop Protection project is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Export Project Reference Committee: Expressions of interest now open

Expressions of interest to participate in Project Reference Committee – Export Development of Australian Vegetables to Japan (VG15074) are now open.

This project is focused on developing vegetable exports to Japan. The project will involve consumer research, competitor analysis and development and implementation of a market development strategy for Australian vegetables in Japan. The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is the project leader and is working in collaboration with Trade and Investment Queensland (Japan Office), The Agri Business and Western Australia Department of Premier and Cabinet (Japan Office) to deliver this project.

Growers either exporting to Japan or interested in exporting to this market, or individuals with specialist expertise related to exporting horticulture products to Japan, are invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in the reference committee. The key purpose of the reference committee is to provide commercially focused advice and input to the project team to ensure the project is commercially relevant and achieves sustainable trade outcomes. Click here to see the Terms of Reference for the committee.

The committee will meet around six times during the course of the project in various locations around Australia. Committee members’ travel costs will be met by the project. It is anticipated that between 1-2 days will be required to attend each meeting, including travel time. Committee members will also be required to provide professional input and advice to the project leader during the course of the project. The project will commence January 2017 and finish June 2018. This is a great opportunity to take a leading role in the development and implementation of a market development strategy for Australian vegetables to Japan.

If you are interested, please contact Bronwyn Warfield, Queensland DAF on 0418 783 404 or for further information on how to apply to become a member of the Reference Committee on this exciting project.

VG15074 Export Development of Australian Vegetables to Japan is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Combatting black dot in the fresh potato industry
Black dot is considered a mild disease in potatoes; however, it can cause significant damage to washed, pre-packed potato varieties, and a large outbreak could have large-scale economic consequences.
Black dot-affected tubers
Black dot is a fungal disease caused by the pathogen Colletotrichum coccodes, and is found in all Australian states. The disease causes skin blemishes and internal discolouration of stem ends, resulting in significant downgrading of produce.

Black dot is mostly spread by seed, which results in infected daughter tubers. It is a very common soil borne pathogen as it can last up to eight years in soil, lying dormant in the plant until it activates under the right conditions.

It is critical to take steps to ensure the threat of the disease is kept to a minimum. Growers are advised to keep weed hosts at bay, as the disease survives on fat hen, black nightshade and skeleton weed. It is also recommended that growers avoid planting at-risk seed or ground when soil temperatures are greater than 25 degrees Celsius. Wet and warm soil conditions will aid Black dot, so it is strongly advised that growers avoid over-irrigation.

More information about the management of Black dot can be found in the latest issue of Potatoes Australia magazine. 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.


2016 Syngenta Growth Awards
Seven agricultural professionals have been awarded the 2016 Syngenta Growth Awards.

Spreading across three categories, the winners were recognised for their achievements and dedication to improving the industry. Alongside this, two growers received special recognition as testament to the quality of this year’s competitive pool.

The winners of the 2016 Syngenta Growth Awards are:

  • Michael Fels (WA)
  • David Cameron (WA)
  • Randall Wilksch (SA)
  • Tayah Ryan (NZ)
  • Duc Nguyen (WA)
  • Tommy Le (QLD)
  • Allan Fong (NZ)

AUSVEG congratulates all award winners and nominees on their achievements and thanks them for their contributions to the industry.

For more information on the awards, please visit the Syngenta Growth Awards website.


Staying cool in the hot summer

On days where there is extreme heat, it is important to prioritise health and safety, especially when you’re in the field.

Extreme heat has been shown to kill more Australians than any other natural disaster, and severe heat waves are becoming increasingly prevalent, making it even more important to prepare for these events and act appropriately.

Seniors and children are especially at risk of being affected by the heat, and knowing how to look after yourself and your loved ones is incredibly important as the weather heats up. There are simple steps to take on hot days to ensure you stay safe in the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep cool in air-conditioned buildings
  • Stay indoors where possible.

If you do have to go out, wear loose, light-coloured clothes, try to schedule activities in the coolest part of the day, and never leave kids in cars.

For more information, please click here.


Become a leader in the Australian horticulture industry

Applications are now open for University of Tasmania’s Masterclass for Horticultural Business.

Offered through flexible online delivery, the Masterclass gives participants the chance to gain practical management and leadership skills that can be applied to their business from day one.
The Masterclass is a global leadership program that has been tailor-made for Australian entrepreneurs in horticulture and is the first of its kind in Australia for the horticulture industry.

There are 22 industry-supported scholarships up for grabs, each worth $10,000. Applications close 31 December 2016.

For more information, please click here.


Scholarships for the vegetable industry are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy, National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



VegPRO’s RFP for Food Safety Inductions

If you can deliver training, VegPRO’s website has a request for proposal for “Food Safety Inductions” out now.

For more information, please visit the VegPRO website, click here to apply or call program coordinator Sophie Lapsley on 0426 200 996.

If you are a grower, producer or industry member and know of a training need, please fill in VegPRO’s “call for ideas” form, found here.

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


Agriculture extension services survey

  • Do you or your organisation provide information, advice or support to farmers in Australia?
  • Are you, or would you like to be, involved in development and delivery of extension services for Australian farmers?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, please consider completing this survey of individuals and organisations that provide these services, or would like to, to Australian farmers. Please click here for more information or to participate in the survey. The survey is expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

The survey forms part of research into agricultural extension being conducted as part of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Rural R&D for Profit programme and is supported by Dairy Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, Sugar Research Australia, Horticulture Innovation Australia, RIRDC (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation), NSW Department of Industry, Agriculture Victoria and the University of Melbourne. The survey is administered by Quantum Market Research.


Omethoate reconsideration finalised

The omethoate reconsideration has been finalised and the Omethoate: Regulatory Decision report (RD) is available via the omethoate review page.

The scope of this reconsideration was to assess the toxicological, occupational health and safety, residues and dietary exposure and trade risks associated with the active approvals, product registrations and associated label approvals for omethoate.

The APVMA assessed the available information and concluded that the use of omethoate products according to their previous instructions for use did not meet the safety criteria listed in section 5A of the Agvet Codes for continued registration and approval.

The APVMA has varied the instructions for use contained in approved labels of all products containing omethoate.

The proposed label variations are detailed in Appendix A of the RD. These include:

  • Deletion of all horticultural, pasture, grain legume, cereal and home garden uses, that may result in dietary residues of omethoate on edible crops.
  • Retention of the use of omethoate on ornamental plants.
  • Retention of the use of omethoate as a barrier spray against red-legged earth mite around broad-acre crops.
  • Amendments to the safety directions and first aid instructions for all product labels.
  • Addition of re-entry intervals to protect workers re-entering treated areas.

APVMA has now affirmed the active constituent approvals of omethoate, the registrations of products and the varied label approvals of products containing omethoate.

The holders have been sent their new, varied relevant label particulars (RLPs) and it is expected that they should start providing product with the new labels as soon as is practicable so as to ensure that existing stocks of product bearing the old labels are cleared from the supply and retail chain before the end of the permitted period of supply (1 December 2017).

These relevant label particulars will be available via PUBCRIS on the APVMA website in due course.

If you have any questions about these decisions you can contact the APVMA:
Director, Chemical Review
Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority
PO Box 6182

Telephone: +61 2 6210 4749
Facsimile:+61 2 6210 4776

New Minor Use permits

Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER13114 V2 Actives:Prometryn
Crop: Celeriac
Pest: Weeds as per the approved product label for carrots and celery
29-Mar-2012 31-Mar-2022 Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 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 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 funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside appeared on radio this week discussing his plans for the future direction of AUSVEG, and the aspects of the job he is looking forward to. Mr Whiteside stated that it is an exciting time to be involved in the Australian horticulture industry due to its global ventures.

AUSVEG Chair Geoff Moar appeared in print media discussing Mr Whiteside’s appointment as AUSVEG CEO. Mr Moar stated that the change will be a significant step for the vegetable and potato industries, and that Mr Whiteside’s proven experience in agribusiness will be of benefit to the organisation.

AUSVEG National Manager – Science and Extension Jessica Lye appeared on radio discussing the potential threat of red imported fire ants. Dr Lye discussed the financial setbacks the pest has caused other countries, and reiterated the need for the bug to be properly managed.

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.