AUSVEG Weekly Update – 21 November 2017
In this edition
- Hort Connections update: Registrations now open for Hort Connections 2018!
- Industry update: UK potato expert gives growers international perspective
- Project update: Mission to Berlin Fruit Logistica – Applications open now!
- Workshop: VegNET robotics field day (Richmond, NSW)
- Industry update: Dobmac Ag Machinery shows support with Strategic Partnership
- Project update: Study tour to 2018 International Spinach Conference
- Survey: 2017 AUSVEG biosecurity feedback survey
- Industry update: Southern Grampians Shire Council join Regional Partnership
- Project update: EnviroVeg Pilot Program applications now open
- Survey: Share your thoughts on the Weekly Update re-design
- Event: Gippsland Women in Horticulture Advance – Program now available! (Ellinbank, VIC)
- Resource: New reports available on InfoVeg database
- Industry update: Suprathion supply issues
- Scholarship opportunity: Masterclass in Horticultural Business – Closing soon!
- AUSVEG service provision: QA trainer function
- Webinar: Getting soil and nutrition management right with EnviroVeg
- Industry update: Varroa mite response works on proving area freedom
- Webinar: Fusarium wilt management in vegetables
- Workshops: Hort Code of Conduct information sessions (WA)
- Resource: New ABARES data available for vegetable industry
- Industry update: Lindenow grower Andrew Bulmer nominated for Syngenta Growth Award
- The week’s top stories
- AUSVEG in the media
Hort Connections update: Registrations now open for Hort Connections 2018!
Registrations are now open for Hort Connections 2018, the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry!
Hort Connections 2018 will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre across 18–20 June 2018, with the event catering to buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and floral supply chain, including seed companies, growers, packers, processors, shippers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and retailers, food service, associated suppliers to the industry, and many more.
To register for Hort Connections 2018 online, please click here. To explore the rest of the website, which will be updated with more information as we get closer to this exciting event, please click here.
Potato feature story
Industry update: UK potato expert gives growers international perspective
Potato cyst nematode (PCN) is a serious pest that affects over 40 per cent of potato fields in the United Kingdom. It can have a major impact on yield, and a full rate nematicide adds approximately $700 per hectare to the cost of production.
The pest was a major focus of a presentation from John Sarup, an internationally renowned potato agronomist from the United Kingdom, who was a guest speaker at the 2017 Roberts Potato and Vegetable Industry Expo and Forum on 27 July at Ulverstone in northern Tasmania. During the event, Mr Sarup also gave an overview of potato production in the United Kingdom and discussed PCN control and the use of cover crops, as well as precision farming for potatoes.
A full article profiling Mr Sarup’s visit is available in the October/November edition of Potatoes Australia. All previous editions of Potatoes Australia are available on the AUSVEG website. To subscribe to receiving hard copies of Potatoes Australia, please contact AUSVEG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vegetable feature story
Project update: Mission to Berlin Fruit Logistica – Applications open now!
Expressions of interest are now open for the 2018 European Industry Leadership and Development Mission, which will visit Berlin Fruit Logistica, the world’s leading international meeting place for the fresh produce trade, as well as the global headquarters of a world-leading agribusiness!
This mission will run from 4–11 February 2018 and is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, with participation only open to vegetable levy-paying growers.
The subsidised cost of $2,500 covers air and land travel, single room accommodation and most meals on the mission. For more information, see the mission flyer, or to express your interest in attending, please contact email@example.com.
Workshop: VegNET robotics field day (Richmond, NSW)
Greater Sydney Local Land Services and the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics invite growers and industry members to a demonstration of the Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application (RIPPA).
Attendees will see the RIPPA operating on a lettuce crop at the Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm, demonstrating the machine’s current capabilities including independent weeding.
Time/date: 12:00noon–2:30pm, Friday 1 December 2017
Location: Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm, Gate 6 Southee Road, Richmond NSW
This workshop is part of the VegNET project being delivered locally by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, and is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. For more information on the workshop, see the event flyer. To register to attend the event, please click here.
Industry update: Dobmac Ag Machinery shows support with Strategic Partnership
AUSVEG is proud to announce the signing of a Strategic Partnership with Dobmac Agricultural Machinery, an innovative market leader in the design, manufacture, supply and maintenance of specialised agricultural machinery.
Supplying specialised equipment and service throughout Australia, New Zealand and internationally, Dobmac can provide a solution for all root crop vegetable needs, including specialised potato, onion and carrot field equipment, as well as offering grading, weighing and packing, and bulk handling equipment.
Through this partnership, Dobmac is helping to support AUSVEG’s advocacy on behalf of vegetable growers and our representation of the industry in the public sphere. For more information on Dobmac, see its website.
Project update: Study tour to 2018 International Spinach Conference
Are you an Australian spinach production enthusiast seeking to gain further knowledge in global spinach production, spinach varieties, production challenges and management techniques?
Andrew Bulmer and Stuart Grigg (under the EGVID banner and supported by a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund) will be conducting a study tour to Murcia, Spain to facilitate knowledge transfer at the 2018 International Spinach Conference. The study tour will visit leading European producers, global breeders with trials being planned especially for the tour contingent, and the two days of the 2018 International Spinach Conference.
This tour will run from 9 February 2018 to 1k8 February 2018, and growers will be required to make a $1,800 contribution towards the cost of the tour. For more information, please see the tour flyer. For further details or to register your interest please contact Stuart Grigg on 0400 860 763 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Survey: 2017 AUSVEG biosecurity feedback survey
The 2017 AUSVEG Biosecurity Feedback Survey forms an integral part of the Vegetable and Potato Biosecurity Program, which is co-managed by Plant Health Australia and AUSVEG.
This survey seeks to measure improvements in farm biosecurity practices among vegetable and potato growers, who play a key role in protecting Australian plant industries from pests and diseases by implementing sound biosecurity measures on the farm.
The survey is also a useful tool in measuring the level of biosecurity awareness across the country as well as providing a benchmark for industry performance over time.
AUSVEG is calling on Australian vegetable and potato growers to complete this short survey. Please click here to access the survey.
Industry update: Southern Grampians Shire Council join Regional Partnership
AUSVEG is excited to announce the signing of a new Regional Partnership with the Southern Grampians Shire Council.
The Southern Grampians Shire is located in the centre of the Western District of Victoria, 290 kilometres west of Melbourne and 500 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, and covers the main retail and service centre of Hamilton and nine surrounding townships. It is a leading, innovative and creative community offering many opportunities with the best of country living.
For more information about the Southern Grampians Shire Council, please see its website.
Project update: EnviroVeg Pilot Program applications now open
The EnviroVeg program 2017–2022 is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund that builds on the work of previous EnviroVeg projects while developing a new, collaborative and effective structure. Resources within the new program structure are currently being updated to harmonise elements from three industry environmental programs: EnviroVeg, Freshcare Environmental and Hort360.
The new project includes the EnviroVeg Pilot Program, a funded pathway through EnviroVeg to reach Freshcare Environmental certification and attain the best practice benefits of environmentally responsible, sustainable vegetable production. Applications are now open to take part in this pilot – to find out more and to register your interest, review and complete the What is the EnviroVeg Pilot Program – register your interest form and return to email@example.com.
EnviroVeg is an industry-led environmental best-practice management program for vegetable production businesses. It provides resources for sustainable growing techniques and represents vegetable businesses as responsible stewards of land, water and biodiversity. To find out more about EnviroVeg, review the What is the EnviroVeg Program factsheet.
Survey: Share your thoughts on the Weekly Update re-design
It’s been a little while since we launched the re-designed AUSVEG Weekly Update, and we want get your thoughts on the new layout, some of the features we’ve added, and the sort of stories you like to see!
We want to make sure that this newsletter gives you the news and information that you want to see, so we put together a feedback form so you can let us know what you think. Click here to take the quick survey.
Event: Gippsland Women in Horticulture Advance – Program now available! (Ellinbank, VIC)
The first-ever conference for Gippsland Women in Horticulture is being held to explore three dimensions of horticultural production: water, waste and wellness.
The program for this event has now been released! The morning session will be devoted to individual speakers addressing the whole conference on issues of leadership, wellness and collaboration, and the afternoon session will be a great opportunity for group discussions on key areas of interest like irrigation, organics, biosecurity, mental health, leadership, innovation and the new generation of horticulture.
Time/date: 10:00am–3:00pm, Thursday 23 November 2017
Location: DEDJTR Ellinbank, 1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank VIC
Funding to facilitate this event has come through the VegNET project in East Gippsland as part of a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. It is also being supported by the Commonwealth Bank, with attendees asked to contribute $30 per head to cover catering costs.
Resource: New reports available on InfoVeg database
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 strategic investment of the vegetable and potato research and development levies.
The following reports have been published recently on the InfoVeg database:
- VG15062 – The effects of using anhydrous ammonia to supply nitrogen to vegetable crops
- VG14048 – Review of current irrigation technologies
Please click here to access the InfoVeg database.
|The InfoVeg database is 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.|
Industry update: Suprathion supply issues
Hort Innovation has been advised by ADAMA that issues with supply of Suprathion are anticipated to continue, and that Suprathion will be in very short supply over the next 6–12 months.
This could impact the nominated crops with on-label use (see here), as well as those covered by the permits PER14047 (rutherglen bug in peppers and eggplant), PER13694 (various insect pests in persimmons) and PER14099 (various insect pests in lychee).
For more information, please get in touch with the ADAMA contact for your region. For a full list of ADAMA contacts, please see its website.
Scholarship opportunity: Masterclass in Horticultural Business – 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 soon, so be sure to get in before all the spots are filled! 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.
AUSVEG service provision: QA trainer function
Need staff training for adherence with a quality assurance scheme? Contact AUSVEG and we can facilitate.
If you have training requirements in quality assurance, food safety, environmental assurance or another area, get in touch with us and express your interest through the AUSVEG Quality Assurance Training page.
The AUSVEG Food Safety and Quality Assurance resources page contains industry resources and information on compliance requirements and details the role AUSVEG plays in a number of important food safety and quality assurance areas.
An example of AUSVEG’s commitment to strengthening collaboration on the critical issue of food safety in the fresh produce industry is its support of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre, an industry-led, not-for-profit company established to enhance fresh produce food safety across Australia and New Zealand through research, outreach and education.
For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar: Getting soil and nutrition management right with EnviroVeg
Join an informative and interactive one-hour lunchtime session with vegetable industry experts on healthy soil and correct nutrition management!
This 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.
Industry update: Varroa mite response works on proving area freedom
The National Varroa Mite Eradication Program, which was implemented in response to a detection of varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni) in Townsville in June 2016, has entered into the third stage of the response – proof of area freedom. If there are no further detections of varroa mite, the program will be on track for the official declaration of eradication from Australia and the reinstatement of area freedom for the Townsville local government area in September 2019.
Until then, the program will concentrate on surveillance activities and community engagement as the hunt for varroa mite continues. If varroa mites or Asian honey bees are still present in the Townsville area, it is essential for the success of the program that they are found and destroyed. With bee activity on the increase in the warmer summer months, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) is ramping up calls for the general public to report unusual bee activity and feral nests.
For more information on varroa mite and the QDAF response, please see the QDAF website.
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.
Workshops: Hort Code of Conduct information sessions (WA)
The Horticulture Code of Conduct is set to be in full effect by April 2018, and it is important that all growers are informed as to their rights and obligations under the revised Code.
AUSVEG encourages Western Australian growers to attend one of the Code information sessions being held by vegetablesWA in the coming weeks, with vegetablesWA CEO John Shannon giving a presentation about Horticulture Produce Agreements (HPAs) and how they will affect grower dealings with wholesalers.
Time/date: 5:00pm–7:00pm, Wednesday 22 November 2017
Location: 805 Eighty Road, Baldivis WA
Time/date: 5:00pm–7:00pm, Tuesday 28 November 2017
Location: Wanneroo Tavern, Dundebar Road, Wanneroo WA
Time/date: 5:00pm–7:00pm, Wednesday 29 November 2017
Location: Binningup Country Club, Lakes Parade, Binningup WA
Time/date: 5:00pm–7:00pm, Tuesday 12 December 2017
Resource: New ABARES data available for vegetable industry
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has released a new set of data on the Australian vegetable industry, including physical and financial characteristics of Australian vegetable-growing businesses like size, financial performance, debt and equity, and capital and investment.
To access the data, which is made available through a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, please click here.
Industry update: Lindenow grower Andrew Bulmer nominated for Syngenta Growth Award
Lindenow grower Andrew Bulmer 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 and People category.
Andrew heads up a massive salad leaf, baby spinach, lettuce and baby broccoli farm in East Gippsland, Victoria. One of the biggest challenges to supplying up to 100,000 bunches of baby broccoli, amongst a host of other crops, is labour – both sourcing workers and ensuring they are paid fairly and trained to carry out the job competently and safely. Bulmer Farms actively promotes career pathways within horticulture, employing many local people within the business as well as a employing a team of 70 people from Timor-Leste.
Andrew also has his eyes on the future and has committed to an apprenticeship program. He is one of the few production horticulture businesses that has made this commitment and now has three apprentices in production horticulture, one in warehousing and has plans for a diesel mechanic apprentice next year.
For more information on Andrew, see his profile as a Regional Finalist. For more information on the Syngenta Growth Awards, please click here. Winners of the Syngenta Growth Awards will be announced on 30 November.
The week’s top stories
- Agriculture engine room for SA economy (Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Surveillance ramps up for [tomato potato psyllid] (Eddie Summerfield, 2GB)
- Vegetable farmers in Australia struggling with rising costs (Lyndal Reading and Hannah Driscoll, The Weekly Times)
- Lesser known native veggies create buzz (Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- National Agriculture Day celebrated across Australia (Melody Labinsky, Stock and Land)
- Latin American researchers helping farmers globally combat climate change with big data (Brett Worthington, ABC Rural)
- ANZ brings the taste of farming to Sydney (Andrew Marshall, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Red tape: Food safety rules go nuts (Peter Hunt, The Weekly Times)
- Hail damage shakes coast producers (Jamie Brown, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Patience, positivity and persistence help farmer recover from shocking arson attack (Jennifer Nichols, ABC Rural)
- More to CTF than machinery: inventor (Ken Wilson, FarmOnline)
- Farmers need support from Aussie shopping baskets (Lechelle Earl, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- We’re all involved in ag (Simone Kain, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Farmers open the gate to social farming to change lives for people with disabilities and their carers (Kit Mochan, WA Country Hour)
AUSVEG in the media
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside appeared in print this week discussing the latest release of data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, showing that average farm cash income for vegetable growers has risen to its highest point in 10 years. Mr Whiteside noted that while some farms are doing well, there is a long tail of growers that are struggling. For more, read the full story here.
Mr Whiteside also featured in print with an editorial highlighting the importance of soil health in Australian vegetable production, noting that the industry extensively uses sustainable practices to improve soil health and improve their productivity, including through strategic levy investments by Hort Innovation. For more, read his full editorial here.
AUSVEG National Manager – Science and Extension Dr Jessica Lye appeared on radio this week discussing vegetable leafminer and the strategic levy investment by Hort Innovation to boost the Australia’s preparedness for the leafminer’s presence in major growing regions. For more information on the project, please see the latest edition of Hortlink.