AUSVEG renews Regional Partnership with Greater Shepparton City Council and Committee for Greater Shepparton

AUSVEG is pleased to announce a continuation of its Regional Partnership with the Greater Shepparton City Council and Committee for Greater Shepparton.

The Greater Shepparton City Council and Committee for Greater Shepparton work with local organisations and businesses to drive initiatives, policies and projects that foster positive outcomes for the Greater Shepparton region. The region’s plentiful water resources and fertile soils provide fantastic opportunities for agriculture businesses in the area.

AUSVEG is eager to continue working with the Greater Shepparton City Council and Committee for Greater Shepparton on mutually beneficial interests, and continue our relationship over the next 12 months.


Geoff Moar re-elected as AUSVEG Chair, Belinda Adams elected as Deputy Chair

Following a Board meeting held on Thursday 24 November in Sydney, New South Wales potato grower Geoff Moar was re-elected as Chair of the AUSVEG Board.

Queensland vegetable grower Belinda Adams was elected as Deputy Chair, taking over from David Addison, who stepped down after three years as Deputy.

AUSVEG CEO Simon Bolles praised Mr Addison for his hard work and dedication during his time on the AUSVEG Board.

“As AUSVEG Deputy Chair, David worked tirelessly to ensure vegetable and potato growers all around the country have been represented on important industry issues,” Mr Bolles said.

The Board Meeting coincided with the AUSVEG Annual General Meeting, attended by representatives from all of AUSVEG’s state member grower organisations.


Jon Shaw steps down from AUSVEG Board

AUSVEG Director and Northern Territory vegetable grower Jon Shaw has stepped down from the AUSVEG Board on Thursday 24 November after two years.

AUSVEG would like to acknowledge Mr Shaw’s contribution to the Australian vegetable industry during his time on the Board, and for his ongoing dedication towards the future of the industry.
Soil Wealth Farm Walk: Richmond NSW

Val and Sam Micallef will host a farm walk on Monday 12 December at Yarramundi Land, Agnessbanks.

Attendees will join Kelvin Montagu to take a fresh look at soil management and biofumigation in intensive vegetable production.

The farm walk will also look at a biofumigant mixed cover crop of Caliente and Nemat for reducing soil borne disease and weed loading. Attendees can observe this cover crop’s management, learn how to incorporate their own cover crops and hear about how cover crops are performing at other sites.

Attendees will also observe different soil management practices including a no-till pumpkin crop and three tillage implements (rotary hoe, a power harrow and a spadder).

Details for the farm walk are:
Monday 12 December
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Yarramundi Land, Agnessbanks

This farm walk is a joint Soil Wealth and National Vegetable Extension Network activity.

For more information, please click here, or contact Leigh James on 02 4724 2117 or 0412 429 418, or by email at

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.

Soil Wealth and the National Vegetable Extension Network are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Hort Innovation welcomes new Board

Following its Annual General Meeting on Friday 25 November, Horticulture Innovation Australia has appointed its board members for another term.

Selywn Snell, an industry leader with over four decades’ experience, will continue in the role of Chair, while Northern NSW grower Mark Napper was re-elected as Deputy Chair.

The Board’s newest two members are Paul Harker, with over 20 years of retail experience, and Jenny Margetts, with over 25 years of industry experience.

Professor Rob Clark and Peter Wauchope were re-appointed, while retiring directors David Moon and David Cliffe were thanked for their hard work and commitment.

The full board comprises:

  • Selwyn Snell (Chair)
  • Paul Harker
  • Mark Napper (Deputy Chair)
  • Stephen Lynch
  • Prof Rob Clark
  • Richard Hamley
  • Sue Finger
  • Jenny Margetts
  • Peter Wauchope


Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan: Online survey available for comment
As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the vegetable industry, Horticulture Innovation Australia has engaged specialist consulting firm Consulting & Implementation Services (CIS). As part of this process CIS will seek industry feedback to ensure the SIP accurately reflects how to best spend the Vegetable R&D levy to maximise the industry’s funding priorities for the next five years.

As well as hosting grower workshops around the country, 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 next five years (it only takes about 10 minutes to complete).

It is important that a wide range of feedback is gathered, so please complete this survey and have your say on the industry’s funding priorities for the R&D levy.

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

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


Environmental certification collaboration – EnviroVeg and Freshcare sign letter of intent for MOU

The Australian vegetable industry’s own environmental best practice program, EnviroVeg, has signed an agreement with the fresh produce industry’s on-farm assurance program Freshcare.

The letter of intent for an MOU provides the framework to align the certification requirements of the EnviroVeg Platinum program with the standards for Freshcare Environmental. This will give vegetable growers a clear process to environmental certification, underpinned by the largest accredited Australian assurance program for fresh produce.

EnviroVeg has recently developed a future strategy to ensure that the program implements current best practices for growers through extensive industry consultation. This strategy will be used to inform the direction of EnviroVeg as the current project reaches its conclusion.

For further information, contact the EnviroVeg Coordinator Andrew Shaw on (03) 9882 0277.

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


Powdery scab: A major challenge for potato growers
The presence of Powdery scab in potato crops has been an issue for the Australian potato industry since it first arrived in the 1920s. Caused by the Spongospora subterranea fungus, the infection causes root galling (small white growths on plant roots) and tuber lesions, and cannot be seen by the naked eye. The Powdery scab-causing pathogen has been reported to last up to 10 years (or more) in soil.

Powdery scab thrives in cool and wet conditions (generally in temperatures less than 15 degrees Celsius), and it can be transmitted by infected seed tubers and infested soil. Growers are recommended to plant in warmer conditions if possible to lower the risk of infection

Farmers must remain vigilant in maintaining on-farm hygiene practices, particularly when handling seed, and in the packing shed. Clean machinery, crop rotation and planting tubers shallower in the hills are also recommended to lower the chances of Powdery scab developing.

If an infection of Powdery scab is suspected, growers must identify which type of scab is present, and have their paddock tested using options such as DNA-based soil testing service PreDicta Pt, which was developed using levy funds.

A full profile on Powdery scab is available in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia. 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.


Sponsored: Tax incentives and grants help growers plan for future business investment

Growers interested in expanding their business through innovation or exploring new markets could be eligible to get cash back from the Government.

Investing in new project initiatives can have a significant impact on cash flows, with return on investment for some projects not developing for a period of time. As a grower, when assessing which projects to invest in, you should consider how the available tax incentives and government grants could provide an additional boost to the successful delivery of your project. Additional cash flows could help you accelerate your project, hire more specialist staff, aid in the purchase of new or upgraded equipment, or bring forward the funding of future activities related to the project.

Growers can discuss their R&D or export related activities with Watermark’s advisors who understand how integral R&D and exporting are to growing your business .


Safe Food Australia: Third edition now released

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released a new edition of Safe Food Australia. Available online, Safe Food Australia is a document outlining the food safety standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The guide is used by government agencies and businesses to ensure food safety standards are adhered to. It contains information which allows food safety issues to be addressed efficiently.

FSANZ has also launched the Food Safety Hub, an online space for food safety advice, guides, resources and tools for food businesses, regulators and consumers.

Safe Food Australia can be found here. Those interested in the Food Safety Hub can access it here.


New R&D reports available on InfoVeg

InfoVeg is a comprehensive database that has been designed to bridge the gap between researchers and growers. It acts as a resource for growers to easily access technical information and research funded by the National Vegetable and Potato Levies.

The following reports were published recently on the InfoVeg database:

  • PT07017 – National Potato Breeding program: Cultivar improvement
  • PT09027 – Improving management of white-fringed weevils in potatoes
  • PT12004 – Potato Industry Communications Strategy Management and Implementation
  • PT12019 – Potatoes Australia
  • VG12103 – Increasing productivity and extending seasonality in soil grown vegetables using capsicum as a candidate
  • VG12113 – Enhancing best practice in vegetable production and business management in the Northern Territory
  • VG14027 – Identifying and understanding the factors influencing bioactive levels in vegetables

Click here to sign up or log in to your InfoVeg account to access the reports.

The InfoVeg database is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy, the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG Interim CEO Simon Bolles appeared in print media this week prior to the government’s announcement of a compromise position on the backpacker tax, speaking about the importance of coming to an agreement on the dispute. He reiterated that delays in reaching a resolution were hurting to growers, and urged politicians to work together to pass the necessary bills.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett echoed this sentiment on radio, calling on politicians to end the deadlock before the end of the sitting year.

Following the government’s compromise on a 15 per cent tax rate for backpackers, Mr Brooke-Barnett appeared on radio welcoming the decision. He noted that AUSVEG will be watching the situation closely to monitor if growers experience labour shortages.

AUSVEG Marketing Coordinator Nathan McIntyre also appeared on radio this week, announcing the opening of the registration process for Hort Connections 2017. Mr McIntyre encouraged all growers to come along to the event to learn about the latest products and how to hugely benefit their businesses. Those interested in registering for Hort Connections 2017 can view the delegate registration brochure here, or visit the Hort Connections 2017 website here.

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.