AUSVEG Weekly Update – 8 November 2017
In this edition
- Industry update: New high-tech protected cropping facility launched
- Potato R&D case study: Simplot sees certainty with PreDicta Pt
- Resources: Annual reports for Hort Innovation investment funds
- TPP update: New Quarantine Area Notice in effect in WA
- Industry update: NAB continues support for Australian vegetable industry
- Industry update: 2018 Growing Leaders program applications now open!
- Industry update: Carnarvon grower Michael Nixon nominated for Syngenta Growth Award
- Industry update: FMA-CMAA returns as co-host for Hort Connections 2018
- Workshop: Biosecurity update from the frontline (Bowen, QLD)
- Resource: The benefits of Hort Innovation membership
- Event: Future of Australian Farming seminar (Hamilton, VIC)
- Project update: Vegetable leafminer edition of InfoVeg Radio now available
- Resource: New VegNET video – Australian veg industry invests in robotics
- Webinar: Fusarium wilt management in vegetables
- Webinar: Getting soil and nutrition management right with the EnviroVeg program
- Survey: AUSVEG Economic Confidence Survey – September quarter 2017 closing soon!
- Event: TIA National Agriculture Day panel discussion (Sandy Bay, TAS)
- Scholarship opportunity: Masterclass in Horticultural Business – Applications closing soon
- Resource: Communications podcast for science researchers
- Resource: The Australian Farmer – Compendium and knowledge tool for growers
- Hort Innovation project opportunities
- The week’s top stories
- AUSVEG in the media
Vegetable feature article
Industry update: New high-tech protected cropping facility launched
Hort Innovation and Western Sydney University have joined forces to launch the nation’s first state-of-the-art vegetable glasshouse-production research centre as part of a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
The new National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre.
The National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre was officially opened on Wednesday 1 November 2017 by Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, joined by NSW Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres MP. The Centre comprises a $7 million glasshouse that will house various industry-driven research and development projects and university course material.
Researchers at the Centre will work to manipulate inputs, including light and atmospheric carbon levels, to create the optimum environment to drive maximum harvest windows and overall yield for a variety of vegetables, then share this information with Australia’s growers.
Potato feature article
Potato R&D case study: Simplot sees certainty with PreDicta Pt
Angus Galloway, Seed Potato Field Officer at Simplot Australia, has been using the pre-planting DNA soil testing service PreDicta Pt since it was launched in August 2014.
The PreDicta Pt service, which was funded through a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Potato – Fresh Fund, enables growers to have their soils tested for pathogens causing powdery scab, black dot, rhizoctonia, potato early dying and root knot nematode in potato crops. Soil samples and test results are interpreted by SARDI-trained agronomists fortnightly from mid-June to the end of October, meaning growers get prompt results that can inform their planting decisions.
By using the service, Simplot was able to DNA test all of its seed crops and identify the disease risk in each of its fields, in turn helping growers determine what cropping system they should use, which paddocks they could use for seed and whether they should explore different varieties.
For more information on PreDicta Pt, please see the PIRSA website. Angus’ experience with using PreDicta Pt was first profiled in the 2016 edition of Grower Success Stories: Real results from the potato R&D levy.
Resources: Annual reports for Hort Innovation investment funds
Hort Innovation has now released the annual reports covering its levy investment across 2016/17, including for the Vegetable, Potato – Fresh and Potato – Processing Funds.
These reports provide in-depth information on key projects under these investment funds and include a financial operating statement for each fund as a whole, as well as providing details on every single project funded through a levy.
To access these reports online, please see the Hort Innovation website. This page also includes the annual report for Hort Innovation’s operations in 2016/17.
|Annual reports for the Hort Innovation Vegetable and Potato – Fresh Funds were funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable and fresh potato research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.|
TPP update: New Quarantine Area Notice in effect in WA
A Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) is in place to contain and control the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) in Western Australia.
A new QAN with revised conditions came into effect on 1 November 2017. This replaces the previous QAN which expired on 31 October 2017.
The new QAN was developed in consultation with Western Australia’s horticultural industry and applies to commercially-produced and home-grown host plants or nursery stock grown within the Quarantine Area.
The Quarantine Area includes the Perth metropolitan area and other local government areas. For the full list of areas included in the Quarantine Area, please see the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.
Industry update: NAB continues support for Australian vegetable industry
AUSVEG is proud to announce that NAB will continue to support the Australian vegetable industry into 2018 as an AUSVEG Agribusiness Partner.
NAB has been working with Australian agribusinesses for over 155 years, and has 620 Agribusiness Bankers on the ground in 110 locations around the country. It offers a range of agribusiness products to help Australian growers manage their businesses and succeed into the future.
Through this partnership, NAB is supporting AUSVEG’s advocacy on behalf of Australian growers and our industry. It will also contribute to the success of Hort Connections 2018, the biggest event in Australian horticulture and the premier destination for business and networking opportunities. For more information about NAB, please visit its website.
Industry update: 2018 Growing Leaders program applications now open!
Applications are now open for the 2018 Growing Leaders program!
Funded by Hort Innovation through a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, Growing Leaders is the only national leadership and development program tailored for the vegetable industry, with previous graduates coming from all sectors of the industry.
Growing Leaders participants will be involved in a nationally strategic project, and outcomes for participants focus on personal, business and industry change and management. The content of the program ensures that participants are exposed to handling conflict, delivering effective communication, holding efficient meetings, high performance team building, managing change and negotiating the media.
Applications for the 2018 program are open until 15 January 2018. For more information, or to apply for the 2018 Growing Leaders program, please visit the Rural Training Initiatives website.
Industry update: Carnarvon grower Michael Nixon nominated for Syngenta Growth Award
Carnarvon grower and AUSVEG Director Michael Nixon has been recognised as a regional winner in the Syngenta Growth Awards, and has been nominated as a finalist for a Syngenta Growth Award in the Community & People category.
Michael started his career as a mixed broadacre farmer, but 12 years ago, he and his wife Catriona decided to move to Carnarvon to become banana growers. While he could not have foreseen the large learning curve, Michael and Catriona worked hard to overcome the many challenges they faced. As such, Michael has found that the only way to succeed is to keep learning, and he achieves that for himself through collaboration with a wide variety of farmers and industry stakeholders.
As part of his growing operation, which now includes herbs and vegetable crops, Michael works to ensure safe and fair treatment of seasonal workers. He is active in a number of industry groups, including Carnarvon Growers’ Association, and was a past member of the Carnarvon Fruit Fly Committee, which helped establish Carnarvon’s fruit fly free status. Michael’s efforts have also resulted in expedited and increased government support for cyclone victims in the Carnarvon area.
Industry update: FMA-CMAA returns as co-host for Hort Connections 2018
AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) are excited to announce that Fresh Markets Australia in partnership with the Central Markets Association of Australia (FMA-CMAA) has signed up as a co-host of the premier event in Australian horticulture, Hort Connections 2018!
FMA is the national organisation representing each of the six Market Chambers around Australia, which themselves are organisations that represent the fruit and vegetable wholesalers located in each of Australia’s six central markets.
CMAA was formed in 2001 to provide a peak body for the six wholesale central markets around Australia. Its members include the Adelaide Produce Market, Brisbane Markets, Market City in Western Australia, the Melbourne Market, Newcastle Market and the Sydney Markets.
FMA-CMAA’s co-hosting of Hort Connections 2018 will be a great addition to the event line-up, with its support including exclusive sponsorship of the massive Trade Show, and delegates from the markets and wholesaling sector are guaranteed to add a valuable extra perspective on the industry for all attendees. Please see the FMA website for more information about the FMA and CMAA.
Workshop: Biosecurity update from the frontline (Bowen, QLD)
As part of the VegNET project being delivered in Bowen, Gumlu and Far North Queensland by the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, a workshop is being held to provide local growers with updates on key biosecurity projects that are receiving investment from the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
This event will include two key speakers: Dr Paul Walker (TIA), discussing the TPP incursion in Western Australia and the strategic levy investment into surveillance efforts in South Australia and the eastern states; and Dr Jessica Lye (AUSVEG), providing an update on the newly launched strategic levy investment project preparing the industry for an incursion of vegetable leafminer into production areas.
Time/date: 2:30pm–5:00pm, Tuesday 14 November 2017
Location: QDAF Bowen Research Facility, 45 Warwick Road, Bowen QLD
Jessica Volker from Prospect Ag will also present at the workshop, which is part of a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. For more information, please see the event flyer. To register for this event, please click here.
Resource: The benefits of Hort Innovation membership
AUSVEG encourages all levy-paying growers to sign up to become members of Hort Innovation, the research and development corporation for the Australian horticulture industry.
Becoming a member of Hort Innovation gives you a range of benefits, including:
- Access to your industry’s Relationship Manager.
- Quarterly updates on every levy fund investment.
- Specific industry news and information for you about your levy investment.
- Direct invitations to participate in industry events.
Levy payers also have the opportunity to have their say at Hort Innovation Annual General Meetings by registering for voting entitlements, letting them contribute to decisions about how the company is run.
For more information on Hort Innovation membership and how to apply, please see the Hort Innovation website.
Event: Future of Australian Farming seminar (Hamilton, VIC)
Rising input costs, climate impacts, labour shortage and lower returns make the enhancement of agricultural yields increasingly crucial. Using findings from its research across diverse markets and technologies, business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan will present the latest thinking, practices and technologies in highly productive farms from around the world at this seminar discussing the future of Australian farming.
Time/date: 10:00am–1:00pm, Thursday 30 November 2017
Location: DEDJTR Hamilton Centre, 915 Mt Napier Road, Hamilton VIC
This event will also showcase an example of futuristic farming technology, with Mitsui Chemicals Inc presenting its iCAST™ (Integrated Cultivation-Accelerating System) and the results from its recent trials at the DEDJTR Hamilton Research Centre. iCAST™ is a cultivation system that aims to address all the key challenges faced by Australian farmers, including maximising crop and yield quality, minimising input use, and helping to reduce manual labour requirements.
Project update: Vegetable leafminer edition of InfoVeg Radio now available
A new edition of InfoVeg Radio, the research and development podcast for the vegetable industry, has been released. This edition focuses on the vegetable leafminer, and discusses biosecurity measures that are in place to prepare for the potential spread and establishment of the leafminer throughout Australia, including project MT16004 RD&E program for control, eradication and preparedness for vegetable leafminer.
The episode features three interviewees:
- Dr Jessica Lye, from AUSVEG, who discussed the effect the vegetable leafminer can have on crops, and the new strategic levy investment by Hort Innovation focusing on research, development and extension for control, eradication and preparedness for the vegetable leafminer;
- Dr Elia Pirtle, from cesar, who discussed the various components of the new project, and ways it is looking to get ahead of the vegetable leafminer before it spreads; and
- Dr Kevin Clayton-Greene, AUSVEG Biosecurity Advisor, who discussed Australia’s biosecurity as a whole, and reiterated how important it is to implement biosecurity best practice on-farm.
Previous editions of the podcast, which is funded through a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, have covered product development, postharvest management, food safety, on-farm energy usage and more. To listen to the latest edition of the podcast, or any previous edition, please click here.
Resource: New VegNET video – Australian veg industry invests in robotics
Applied Horticultural Research (AHR) has produced a series of videos communicating research and development outcomes and giving growers practical information about important on-farm processes as part of the strategic levy investment project VegNET, which is part of the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
In AHR’s video The Australian vegetable industry invests in robotics, leaders in the field of robotics demonstrate the latest developments in robotics for vegetable producers.
The name ‘robotics’ encompasses a whole spectrum of technologies, from mechatronics to artificial intelligence. Robotics means labour-saving tasks – for example, weeding that uses a system that can discriminate crops from weeds by colour. Such systems can operate continuously. This is not science fiction: the technology is in the pipeline and the user timeframe is in the next few years.
To watch this video, please click here.
Webinar: Fusarium wilt management in vegetables
Learn about the latest techniques in managing the soilborne disease fusarium wilt in vegetable crops, including solanaceous vegetables, legumes, cucurbits and sweetpotatoes. Interact with leading vegetable pathologist Dr Len Tesoriero to understand the latest ways of managing this disease to keep your plants in production for longer and to improve yield and pack out rates.
Date: Thursday 30 November 2017
Time: 12:30pm–1:30pm (AEDT)
This session is being facilitated through the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects (delivered by RMCG and AHR), which are strategic levy investments under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
Webinar: Getting soil and nutrition management right with the EnviroVeg program
Join an informative and interactive one-hour lunchtime session to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts on healthy soil and correct nutrition management, which are essential to a productive vegetable business and protecting the natural environment. While the focus will be on nitrogen, the team can also answer your questions about other nutrients during the discussion.
The webinar, to be delivered by Dr Doris Blaesing (RMCG) and Andrew Shaw (AUSVEG), will offer a unique insight into how to manage vegetable soils and nutrition with a focus on environmental and economic sustainability. Growers Belinda Adams and David Anderson will also share the main benefits they’ve experienced from being involved in the EnviroVeg program.
Date: Wednesday 22 November 2017
Time: 12:30pm–1:30pm (AEDT)
This session is being delivered as a collaboration between the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects (delivered by RMCG and AHR) and the EnviroVeg program (delivered through AUSVEG in partnership with Growcom and Freshcare), both of which are strategic levy investments under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
Survey: AUSVEG Economic Confidence Survey – September quarter 2017 closing soon!
AUSVEG conducts a quarterly economic confidence survey to understand and then communicate the impacts of various economic factors on the business operations of vegetable growers. This survey helps AUSVEG identify the current business conditions that vegetable growers face and track grower sentiment of these economic factors over time.
Information from the survey will be collated in aggregate form and used as a guide to inform industry at various forums, including the media, and in regular articles providing commentary on such matters.
This quarter’s survey closes on Friday 10 November 2017. To add your voice before the survey closes, please click here. This short survey will take approximately three minutes to complete.
Event: TIA National Agriculture Day panel discussion (Sandy Bay, TAS)
The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is marking the first-ever Australian National Agriculture Day with a panel discussion about the current state of Tasmania’s food and agriculture sectors and where they are heading into the future.
Leading experts from across the University of Tasmania will explore key topics including how consumers are influencing the way food is marketed and the politics of food, what the emerging trends in agricultural technologies are, and what the key pressures and opportunities are for the future of Tasmania’s agrifood sector.
Time/date: 5:30pm–7:00pm, Tuesday 21 November 2017
Location: Centenary Lecture Theatre, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay TAS
There will be opportunities for networking at the event, with the evening starting at 5:00pm for drinks and refreshments, which will also be available after the panel. For more information, please see the TIA website.
Scholarship opportunity: Masterclass in Horticultural Business – Applications closing soon
The University of Tasmania, New Zealand’s Lincoln University and the Netherlands’ Wageningen Research Academy have joined forces with Hort Innovation to offer the Masterclass in Horticultural Business. The Masterclass runs for 10 months, with course content focussing on high-level leadership and management skills.
Applications are now open for the 2018 intake of students, including 15 for levy-paying vegetable growers. Applications close on Sunday 12 November 2017. The Masterclass will start on 12 February 2018. For more information, see the website.
The Masterclass in Horticultural Business is funded by the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with co-investment from the University of Tasmania and contributions from the Australian Government.
Resource: Communications podcast for science researchers
The Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science is producing a podcast on research communication, designed to help researchers address issues they face in trying to present their research in an engaging way.
The Key Message aims to explore these issues and provide tips based on evidence and experience on how to improve. To listen to the podcast, please click here.
Resource: The Australian Farmer – Compendium and knowledge tool for growers
The Australian Farmer, a comprehensive compendium of knowledge about Australian agriculture and the agrifood sector, is now available for free to the entire industry. With over 280 pages of valuable agricultural information and a wide array of links to other sources, this digital book is an immense knowledge tool for growers and all farmers.
AUSVEG has been involved in the delivery of this publication, along with a huge range of other horticulture and agriculture industry bodies. To access The Australian Farmer, please click here.
Hort Innovation project opportunities
|Project code||Project title||Closing date|
|VG17005||Document discovery portal||5pm (Sydney time)
Friday 17 October 2017
|HN17000||Development of new nutrient-dense, value-added fruit and vegetable products||5pm (Sydney time)
Monday 13 November 2017
Join Hort Innovation’s delivery partner mailing list to receive email notifications of new opportunities by registering through its delivery partner registration form.
The week’s top stories
- Australian vegetable farm numbers drop, according to ABARES report (Lyndal Reading and Hannah Driscoll, The Weekly Times)
- Uni glasshouse grows vegetables for Foodbank charity and research (Sarina Locke, ABC Rural)
- Spare Harvest battles food waste by swapping, selling and sharing excess produce (Jennifer Nichols, ABC Rural)
- Migrant workers living in squalor prompts council crackdown in some horticulture regions (Sarina Locke, ABC Rural)
- Amazon’s pending arrival forces online fresh fruit and veggie retailers to compete (Clint Jasper, ABC Rural)
- How labour hire villains make millions from Australia’s ‘modern slavery’ market (Sarina Locke, ABC Rural)
- Agriculture to bear brunt of emissions reductions (Natalie Kotsios, The Weekly Times)
- Banksia Sustainability Awards: Tomato farm wins environment gong (The Weekly Times)
- Ineligible Nats’ rulings in doubt (Peter Jean and Rueben Hale, The West Australian)
- Food waste: Excess crops become base for healthy snacks (Lyndal Reading, The Weekly Times)
- Food waste: CSIRO to use science to map losses (Lyndal Reading, The Weekly Times)
- Nature’s protein-packed powerhouses need more attention, for the soil’s sake (Les Hodge, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
Victorian vegetable growers also featured on episode five of the cooking competition television show Family Food Fight, with growers from Kelly Bros, Gazzola Farms, Corrigans Produce Farms, Adams Farms and Hawkes Vegetables and Farm Store helping to showcase the great fresh produce that our industry grows for Australian families to put on the table every single day.
AUSVEG in the media
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside appeared in print media this week commenting on the latest ABARES figures showing a drop in the number of Australian vegetable farms. Mr Whiteside noted that farmgate prices continue to be a major issue for growers, particularly in the face of rising input costs. For more, please see the article in The Weekly Times.