Two weeks to go until the 2016 National Horticulture Convention!

There is only two weeks to go until the 2016 National Horticulture Convention kicks off on Thursday 23 June at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast!
This year’s Convention promises to be the biggest and best yet, with the highest ever number of industry bodies involved, a sold-out Trade Show and a huge number of delegates coming to the Gold Coast from Australia and overseas.
The Convention includes an array of speaker sessions featuring presentations by domestic and international experts, as well as an exciting social calendar, including the DuPont Masquerade Theme Night, the Steritech Women in Horticulture High Tea and the Dow AgroSciences NextGen Free Fall event.
The Convention also features a three-day Trade Show with over 75 exhibitors from the horticulture industry, and will finish with the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, celebrating the work of our great industry and recognising its best and brightest.
For more information on the premier event in Australian horticulture, please click here to visit the Convention website or click here to view the Delegate brochure. To register to attend the Convention, please click here.


Call for Board position applications: Horticulture Innovation Australia

In the lead-up to its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November, Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has five Director roles available on its Board. Applications are now open for growers and others with an interest in driving the future of Australia’s horticulture industry.
Following the conclusion of the advertisement and search processes, the Director Nomination Committee will meet in late July to agree on a shortlist of candidates for interviews, which will be held in August.
For the full advertisement and application pack, go to the Hort Innovation website and submit all applications to Rimfire Resources by close of business, Monday 27 June 2016. For more information, contact Mick Hay or Sharon Moloney at Rimfire Resources on (07) 3878 3411.
Grower members of Hort Innovation are encouraged to vote for Directors at the AGM in November. More details on this process, including the need to verify levies paid, will be available via member email and on the Hort Innovation website in the coming months.
To become a member of Hort Innovation and be eligible to vote at the AGM, please download the form available on the AUSVEG website by clicking here, and return it to


Last chance to sign up for the 2016 Reverse Trade Mission Produce Display!

Registrations for the Reverse Trade Mission Produce Display will close Thursday 9 June 2016 – this Thursday. AUSVEG strongly encourages all export-ready growers to apply for this priceless opportunity to display their produce to 40 leading international fresh produce buyers at the National Horticulture Convention.
The Produce Display at the 2015 National Horticulture Convention.
AUSVEG will be bringing leading fresh produce buyers from across Asia and the Middle East to Australia in a Reverse Trade Mission that will allow delegates to attend the National Horticulture Convention and to participate in a range of farm visits that will showcase the Australian vegetable industry.
Growers will have the valuable chance to meet the Reverse Trade Mission delegates and showcase their produce at the Produce Display, to be held on Friday 24 June from 10am to 1pm. This is your last chance to sign up and avoid missing out on this fantastic opportunity to establish lasting, lucrative relationships with leading international buyers.
To download the registration form for this event, please click here (file will download in Word document format). Register to participate in this exciting event by returning the registration form to, or call (03) 9882 0277 for further information.

Vegetable export market development activities are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


National Horticulture Convention to host university and industry networking event

The 2016 National Horticulture Convention will this year host a university and industry networking event to help foster relationships between universities and the horticulture industry, and help build stronger links between tertiary education organisations and our industry.
For more information on this networking event, please contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or email


Effects of growing environment on greenhouse cucumber quality

Many cucumber growers choose to grow cucumbers in greenhouses as a way of controlling growing conditions. However, there are many factors within the greenhouse growing environment that can still affect cucumber quality.
For example, fruit thinning and vine training can affect the quality of cucumbers. Thinning of one-third of the cucumber from the main stem and laterals in greenhouse-grown cucumbers can increase shelf-life, but may reduce marketable yield by eight to 10 per cent. Meanwhile, training systems can result in two to three days longer shelf-life, faster growth and fewer fruits per plant.
Maturity at harvest can also make a significant difference to shelf life. Two studies in California and Canada have found that if harvesting is delayed by three days beyond normal maturity, the shelf-life of that fruit will be reduced by about seven days when stored at 13 degrees Celsius.
Research funded by Hort Innovation using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government is currently looking at pre-harvest practices that can increase shelf-life and freshness in vegetables, and has been profiled in the latest edition of Vegetables Australia magazine. To read this edition, please click here. To read previous editions, please click here.

Project VG14025 Pre-harvest practices that will increase the shelf-life and freshness of vegetables is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Submit your story ideas for industry magazines!

Are you interested in hearing about research and development that can help your growing operation or do you have a story idea for your industry magazines?
AUSVEG is calling for grower feedback on its industry magazines Vegetables Australia and Potatoes Australia, including suggestions for stories for upcoming editions and possible growers of all ages to profile.
If you’d like to see an in-depth investigation into research and development being undertaken in the vegetable or potato industries, want a profile of a troublesome plant pest or disease, or have any other story ideas, please email

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

Seed potato certification in Australia – continuous improvement

The National Standard for Certification of Australian Seed Potatoes is currently undergoing an update to incorporate new knowledge. At the same time, governance arrangements are being reviewed to ensure a robust system for the future of the Australian potato industry.
Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited commissioned two projects to achieve the objectives of a modernised standard and governance system.
The work of both projects builds on the strengths of current arrangements and will benefit all with a stake in the industry from tissue culture / minituber production to trade. The project teams have been consulting with industry and key stakeholders over the past three months.
Project PT15004 is conducting the technical review and update of the current National Standard for Certification of Australian Seed Potatoes. A team led by Russell Pattinson is undertaking this project in close cooperation with the Australian Seed Potato Council. The team has examined national, state and international standards and conducted a number of consultations with growers, buyers, processors, certifiers, mini-tuber producers and regulators. A standalone website was created and widely publicised to allow any interested party the opportunity to make a submission to the review. From these submissions and consultations, the team put together a summary of issues to be further considered by industry.
Project PT15005 is looking at governance arrangements across the Australian certification system to ensure they continue to meet the needs of regulatory authorities and all industry participants into the future. “The majority of people interviewed said that the current arrangements are working well,” said Donna Lucas, PT15005 Project Leader. “There are some opportunities to clarify and fine-tune certain aspects to better grasp future opportunities.” The team has also investigated governance arrangements for seed potato certification systems overseas, several of which have undergone or are undergoing similar updates. “This is to ensure that we are at least equal to the best.”
Hort Innovation hosted a meeting of the Australian potato industry in Melbourne on 2 June 2016 for further consultation on these two investments and to seek feedback on preliminary findings.
The meeting identified some key principles for the National Standard and then discussed the key technical issues identified and provided valuable feedback. From this presentation and discussion, a revised draft National Standard will be produced for circulation to industry for further comment and finalisation. The second half of the day considered options for the national seed potato governance framework. Industry representatives worked in groups and independently came up with systems with a high degree of similarity that builds on existing arrangements. This will now be worked into an options paper for the future framework, including any funding requirements.
Both projects will be completed by mid to late 2016. At the completion of the two projects Australia will be able to further enhance its national seed potato certification system.
Interested parties can contact Donna Lucas at: (governance options), Russell Pattinson at: (update of the National Standard) or Anthony Kachenko, the Horticulture Innovation Australia Project Manager via

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


AUSVEG office closure

Due to the upcoming Queen’s Birthday public holiday, the AUSVEG office in Melbourne will be closed on Monday 13 June 2016. The office will reopen on Tuesday 14 June.


Pip Courtney and Dr Sharman Stone to join Women in Horticulture High Tea

AUSVEG is pleased to announce the 2016 Women in Horticulture High Tea, proudly sponsored by Steritech, will be joined by Landline host Pip Courtney and Dr the Hon Sharman Stone MP, Federal member for Murray prior to the 2016 election.
Ms Courtney and Dr Stone will lead a discussion on the unlimited potential of women in horticulture, while a panel of speakers comprising growers from the vegetable and apple industries will also discuss the different skills and expertise that women can bring to a farming operation during this important networking event.
The High Tea will be held at the luxurious Palazzo Versace and will bring together women in horticulture to celebrate their invaluable contributions to our great industry.

Saturday 25 June
2.30pm to 4.30pm
Palazzo Versace
(Buses will depart from RACV Royal Pines at 2.00pm)

In addition, Convention delegates can also attend the business session Step out to step up: upskilling and inspiring professionals working in horticulture production. This session is targeted to people working in HR, finance, marketing, research and more, and will identify development opportunities to help individuals and their businesses flourish.

Friday 24 June
2.00pm to 4.00pm
RACV Royal Pines

These events are free to all full delegates at the National Horticulture Convention. Individual tickets can also be purchased.
Please click here to register by 17 June. For more information, please email or call AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277.


Calling all young growers to the NextGen Free Fall event

This year’s NextGen Free Fall indoor skydiving event is sure to make you pay attention to your next airline safety briefing.
Dow AgroSciences is proud to sponsor this year’s event, which is free for growers aged 35 years or younger who have registered as a full delegate for the 2016 National Horticulture Convention. Spaces are strictly limited and only growers who are registered directly with AUSVEG may attend.

When: Saturday 25 June from 2pm to 5pm
Where: iFLY Gold Coast

Transport will be provided to and from RACV Royal Pines and drinks will also be provided at the nearest pub to reclaim your wits after the event.
For more information or to register, please contact Mr Nicholas Schmidt at (03) 9882 0277 or
To find out more, view the delegate registration brochure or sign up online 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. Visit for more information and to apply.


Nufarm – Digger label extension

Nufarm has recently extended the label of Digger, a fungicide with the approved active of Difenoconazole.
This label extension covers the uses that were previously allowed in PER14245 and PER14812 to control Leaf spot in beetroot and Cercospora leaf spot and Septoria spots in celery.
As a result, minor use permits PER14245 and PER14812 will be surrendered once industry has had sufficient time to utilise existing stocks of other 250g/L and 400g/L Difenoconazole products.

AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett appeared across radio this week commenting on the news that Oakville Produce has entered into voluntary administration. Mr Brooke-Barnett discussed reports that many growers are being left out of pocket, and called on the ACCC and ASIC to ensure that growers are fully compensated and to ensure that potential buyers of Oakville have a long-term plan for the success of the company.
AUSVEG Manager – Communications Shaun Lindhe appeared in print media this week discussing the latest findings from the Project Harvest tracking study. Mr Lindhe noted that emphasising the short-term gratification of vegetable consumption over the potential long-term gains could be the key to getting Australians to eat more vegetables.
AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew Kruup appeared in print media commenting on the impact of price pressures and high costs of production on Australian vegetable growers. Mr Kruup stated that Australian growers are forced to compete with cheap foreign imports, threatening their viability.

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.