Review of vegetable consumer data collection and analysis projects

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (Hort Innovation) is seeking grower feedback on the current vegetable consumer data collection and analysis projects ‘Consumer and market program for the vegetable industry‘, also known as Project Harvest (delivered by Colmar Brunton as part of projects VG12078 and VG14060), and ‘Baseline Demographic Research for the Vegetable Industry‘, also known as Homescan data (delivered by Nielsen as part of projects VG13088 and VG15019). This review will provide input to any future investment in vegetable consumer and market research projects funded by Hort Innovation using vegetable levy funds.
Growers are invited to complete a short, 10-minute survey to assist Hort Innovation in obtaining a broad industry view of the value of these data collection and analysis projects and how they may be improved. To take the survey, please click here – the survey will be open for contributions until midnight Sunday 18 September 2016. Your input will be of considerable value to your industry.
Growers who are registered for the InfoVeg database can access the levy-funded consumer and market data reports developed by Colmar Brunton and Nielsen on the AUSVEG website.

Vegetable consumer data collection and analysis is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


The Front Line: Colorado potato beetle

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is regarded as one of the greatest potato pests. It is incredibly destructive, broadly spread around the world and highly resistant to insecticides, with around 56 active chemicals now limited in their effectiveness against the CPB.
Cold War propaganda featuring the Colorado potato beetle.
The CPB is capable of stripping an entire potato plant of all foliage, which can kill young plants or result in a 50 per cent reduction in yield for a crop. It has spread across North America, Europe and much of Asia, and is able to survive in extremely hot and cold environments.
Although young CPBs require potato plants to reach adulthood, once grown, the CPB can feed on a broad range of hosts, including Solanaceous crops (such as tomato and eggplant) and weeds such as nightshade. Importantly, adult CPBs can also feed on a number of Australian native bush tomatoes, meaning that the beetles could find hosts to act as a corridor across Australia if they were to arrive in the country.
A full profile of the CPB, including a history of its spread and a discussion of the challenges in effective control of the pest, is available in the The Front Line biosecurity section of the latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine. To read this edition, please click here. To read all previous editions of Potatoes Australia, please click here.

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



Draft National Standard for Certification of Australian Seed Potatoes available for industry comment

A draft of the revised National Standard for the Certification of Australian Seed Potatoes is now available for industry comment.
Over the past six months a small team has been consulting widely with industry to review the existing National Standard for Certification of Australian Seed Potatoes. The project will ensure that we have a Standard that meets world’s best practice. The seed certification system across Australia operates well and is well-recognised in the marketplace, and the process of review ensures that the industry stays current and up-to-date.
Consultation covered growers, processors, researchers, certification authorities and government agencies and included a substantial industry workshop.
Further industry comment is now sought. Interested parties can request a copy of the draft National Standard by contacting Anthony Kachenko from Horticulture Innovation Australia at Comments in relation to the standard can be submitted online at or simply send an email with your name and phone number and one of the consultants will be in touch.
This project is funded by the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Submissions on the draft standard close Friday 30 September 2016.

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


AUSVEG submission to the working holiday maker visa review

AUSVEG has coordinated a joint submission to the Australian Government’s review of the working holiday maker visa program, with the signatories to the submission calling on the Government to remove the “backpacker tax” and investigate options for regulating labour hire firms in Australia. To read the submission, please click here.
AUSVEG is proud to have coordinated this submission with the leading state-based bodies representing vegetable and potato growers and horticulture around Australia, including Growcom, vegetablesWA, NSW Farmers’ Association, NT Farmers, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, AUSVEG VIC and AUSVEG SA.
While the submission period for the review formally closed on Friday 2 September, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is currently still accepting standalone submission documents – for more information, or to make a submission, please click here.
If you are a grower and wish to speak with AUSVEG about the working holiday maker visa review or the backpacker tax, please contact AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett at 0404 772 308 or e-mail


Growers urged to take survey to help combat Queensland Fruit Fly

Commercial fruit and vegetable growers, and the community at large, have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the management of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) as part of a new survey and help inform the future management of the pest.
The phone-based survey is part of the ongoing ‘SITplus’ initiative, a collaborative and multi-faceted project to fight Qfly involving Horticulture Innovation Australia, key government agencies and the country’s leading research organisations.
Targeting the Riverland, Sunraysia and Murray/Goulburn Valley regions, the survey is being run by CSIRO and will delve into the acceptance of and attitudes towards area wide management (AWM) of Qfly. AWM involves the coordination of pest-management approaches across all fly habitats within a set area – not just on commercial farms, but throughout the whole community.
The survey will also collect participants’ thoughts on the use of the sterile insect technique, which involves the release of sterile flies into the environment so that the wild population of flies cannot reproduce.
Growers who are interested in taking part in the research can register their telephone number by clicking here. They will be contacted during mid-September for the survey, which is expected to take approximately 25 minutes and can be scheduled for an appropriate time.
For more information on the SITplus partnership, please click here.

The SITplus initiative has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited with co-investment from Macquarie University, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, SARDI/PIRSA, Plant and Food Research Australia, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Agriculture Victoria) and funds from the Australian Government.


2017 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award

Applications for the 2017 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award are now open.
The Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s preeminent award for rural women. It recognises and supports emerging women leaders who have the potential to make a greater contribution to the primary industries and rural communities across the country.
The award offers a $10,000 bursary to each state and territory winner and provides the resources to bring to life a project or initiative that will benefit rural industries and communities.
For more information, please click here to visit the RIRDC’s website.


National farmer survey on agricultural extension

As part of the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit programme, a national survey of farmers about the topic of agricultural extension is being conducted.
As a participating Research and Development Corporation in the project, Horticulture Innovation Australia is encouraging participation in the survey to ensure the diverse views of horticulture levy-payers on this important topic are represented. Ensuring that growers have the information, advice and support they need to be productive, profitable, sustainable and connected to the latest research is a topic of national significance identified in the Australian competitiveness white paper.
For more information on the short 15-minute survey, and to participate in the survey, please click here.
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 RIRDC (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation), Dairy Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, Sugar Research Australia, Horticulture Innovation Australia, NSW Department of Industry, Agriculture Victoria and the University of Melbourne. The survey is administered by Quantum Market Research.

International plant health conference confirmed for Australiaclick here.


Are you a greenhouse or protected cropping grower? We want to hear your voice

The purpose of this survey is for growers to have input and give voice to any needs, concerns and suggestions in regard to the certification, operation and information requirements about greenhouses and grow structures (G/GSs) in Australia.
Horticulture Innovation Australia, Osborn Consulting Engineers, FERM, RMCG and Doyle’s Construction Lawyers are embarking on a new project VG16004 Developing technical guidelines and best practice extension toolbox for greenhouse construction and safe operation. In Part 1 of this project the project team will develop technical guidelines for G/GSs for inclusion in the National Construction Code and Part 2 will develop and communicate relevant G/GSs information for growers in an accessible and practical format. This follows an earlier project, VG13055 Building Codes and Greenhouse Construction completed by Osborn Consulting Engineers in 2014, which developed a Code of Practice document in response to the cost of local council compliance concerns raised by growers.
This project will provide guidelines that will meet regulatory principles and the needs of growers and industry stakeholders, and to provide useful, accessible and timely information to help growers make informed decisions about the certification and operation of their G/GSs facilities through the use of the toolbox.
This short survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday 30 September 2016. To access the survey click here.

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



Correction: Value of potato imports and exports

AUSVEG would like to advise that a story entitled Potato terms of trade: First quarter 2016, published on page 16 of the August/September edition of Potatoes Australia, contained incorrect data pertaining to the value of Australian potato imports and exports.
AUSVEG sincerely apologises for any inconvenience this error may have caused. The corrected data sourced from Global Trade Atlas is as follows:

Export (AUD$ million)              
Product Q4-14 Q1-15 Q2-15 Q3-15 Q4-15 Q1-16 Q2-16
Frozen prepared potatoes 2.87 3.92 3.49 3.09 2.46 3.15 2.75
Non-frozen prepared potatoes 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.32 0.34 0.24 0.49
Flakes, granules and pellets of potatoes 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.1 0.02 0.01 0.04
Seed potatoes 0.11 0.58 0.88 0.7 0.05 0.76 1.14
Flour and meal of potatoes 0.02 0.06 0.08 0.06 0.02 0.09 0.1
Frozen potatoes boiled in water 0.06 0.03 0.09 0.05 0.16 0.15 0.02


Import (AUD$ million)              
Product Q4-14 Q1-15 Q2-15 Q3-15 Q4-15 Q1-16 Q2-16
Frozen prepared potatoes 42.88 28.65 35.06 34.4 36.25 35.03 33.38
Non-frozen prepared potatoes 2.07 1.71 2.03 2.58 2.14 2.34 1.56
Flakes, granules and pellets of potatoes 0.86 1.15 2.36 1.89 1.44 1.49 1.57
Seed potatoes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Flour and meal of potatoes 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.03 0.05 0.17
Frozen potatoes boiled in water 0.07 0.14 0.05 0.06 0.03 0.08 0.07

According to these figures:

  • Potato imports rose 23 per cent in Quarter 1 2016 when compared to Quarter 1 2016
  • In Quarter 1 2016 when compared to Quarter 1 2015:
    • Frozen prepared potato imports rose 22 per cent;
    • Non-frozen prepared potato imports rose 37 per cent.
  • During Quarter 1 2016, Australia imported around AUD$38.99 million worth of potato produce.


AUSVEG grower biosecurity workshop

AUSVEG is coordinating a grower workshop covering the fundamentals of on-farm biosecurity and other plant pest and disease issues in the Sydney Basin area, to be held at the end of September.
Speakers at the workshop will include:

  • Dr Gordon Rogers (Applied Horticultural Research)
  • Dr Len Tesoriero (NSW Department of Primary Industries)
  • Andy Ryland (IPMC)
  • Dr Jessica Lye (AUSVEG)
  • Callum Fletcher (AUSVEG)

Time/date: 21 September 2016 at 1:00pm
Location: Gate 6, Sydney Field Vegetable Demonstration Farm, Southee Road, Richmond NSW
A free barbeque lunch will be provided to attendees from 12:00 noon. For more information on the workshop, please click here to view the flyer for the event. To register your interest in attending, please email or call (03) 9882 0277 by 14 September 2016.


Irrigation management training for leafy vegetables

As part of its levy-funded research and extension regarding soilborne disease, Applied Horticultural Research will be holding a pilot one-day irrigation management training workshop for leafy vegetables, including baby leaf spinach, lettuce, rocket and field-grown head lettuce.
The workshop will have a focus on managing water to minimise soil-borne disease and maximise quality, and will be aimed at vegetable growers and irrigation managers in eastern Victoria, with suggested topics including:

  • understanding soil wetting patterns and plant water uptake;
  • calculating crop water use;
  • soil moisture and soilborne disease;
  • plant water stress and the effect on yield and quality in leafy vegetables;
  • scheduling irrigations based on evapotranspiration data;
  • methods for measuring soil moisture; and
  • irrigation system efficiency.

If the workshop is successful, the project will undertake further workshops in other regions outside eastern Victoria.
The workshop will be held in East Gippsland on either Thursday 20 October or Wednesday 16 November. Anyone interested in attending should contact Sandra Marques at and indicate their preferred date.

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


Postharvest management of vegetables roadshow

Good postharvest management keeps vegetables fresh and customers happy. This series of free, half-day professional development workshops will help packing shed managers, QA officers and vegetable supply chain businesses optimise their handling of fresh vegetables, maximising quality while minimising damage, water loss and disease.
Dr Jenny Ekman and Adam Goldwater from Applied Horticultural Research will use case studies, demonstrations and activities to explain the principles of postharvest management and discuss specific issues affecting vegetable businesses. Participants will also receive a free copy of the new Postharvest management of vegetables handbook.
The workshops to be held as part of this roadshow in Victoria and Tasmania this week are some of the first activities of the National Vegetable Extension Network. These workshops include:

  • 6 September – East Gippsland, Victoria
  • 7 September – Somerville, Victoria
  • 8 September – Devonport, Tasmania
  • 9 September – Hobart, Tasmania

Dates will also be scheduled for workshops in Queensland and Western Australia.
With limited numbers available, interested industry members are encouraged to book now and reserve their place. For more details, please click here. To register for a workshop, please contact Sandra Marques at or on (02) 8627 1040.

These events have been made possible by funding from 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
PER14282 V2 Actives: Fluazifop-P
Crop: Taro, Rakkyo, Daikon, Burdock, Yam, Yam bean, Lotus root, Water chestnuts, Galangal & Turmeric
Pest: Grass weeds, including couch grass and Guinea grass
22-Nov-2013 31-Oct-2017 Growcom All states except VIC
PER13151 V2 Actives: Zinc phosphide
Crop: Sweet potato
Pest: House mouse & introduced rats
14-Dec-2011 31-Mar-2022 Growcom NSW & QLD 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. 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 Chairman Geoff Moar appeared in print media this week commenting on the announcement that AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand will host a joint horticulture industry event in Adelaide in 2017. Mr Moar said the event will include world-class presenters, visits to leading agribusinesses and networking opportunities for growers and industry members.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett appeared broadly on radio and in print media this week discussing the Australian Government’s proposed backpacker tax. Mr Brooke-Barnett continued to call on the Government to remove the proposed tax rate of 32.5 per cent, saying that it would hurt growers and damage regional industries.

AUSVEG National Manager – Communications Shaun Lindhe continued to appear on radio discussing recent research by Macquarie University which found that males who eat vegetables smell more appealing to women, as well as noting previous studies which have found that vegetables also improve the health and appearance of skin.

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.