Tomato-potato psyllid management group communique

The National Management Group (NMG) for Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) —comprising all Australian governments, affected industries and Plant Health Australia—has agreed that TPP is no longer technically feasible to eradicate.

Surveillance has not shown any evidence of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso), which causes the serious exotic disease ‘zebra chip’ in potatoes.

NMG has agreed to continue with the current TPP response plan for two weeks, while a transition to management plan is prepared. During this period, surveillance to confirm the absence of CLso will also continue.

The NMG advises industry and the community to remain on alert and report any suspected detections of TPP in WA to the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) or in other jurisdictions to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

DAFWA has implemented restrictions on the movement of specified vegetables and nursery stock produced in the Perth area. A Quarantine Area Notice is in place for the Perth metropolitan area and other local government districts. Further information on the Quarantine Area Notice can be found on the DAFWA webpage.

Since the detection of TPP, interstate movement controls for risk material have been in place and continue to apply. Western Australia is working with other state and territory governments to develop protocols to support future interstate movements of risk material. There are no international trade restrictions or changes to import conditions at this point in time.

The Australian Government, all state and territory governments, and the initially affected industries are contributing to the cost of the response under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.

For further information please contact the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.

To view this communique, please click here.


Hort Connections only three weeks away – register now

Hort Connections 2017, the biggest event in Australian horticulture, is only three weeks away. The event, which will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May, is set to be the highlight of the horticultural calendar and will be host to a wide range of events that will educate and illuminate delegates, including:

  • Extensive trade show featuring over 200 industry-leading exhibitors
  • Speaker sessions from the industry’s brightest
  • Panel discussion on mental health
  • Not-to-be-missed networking events and Gala Dinner
  • Annual Women in Horticulture and Young Grower events

Growers and industry members in Australian horticulture who have not yet registered for Hort Connections 2017 are encouraged to do so quickly to avoid disappointment. For more information and to register please visit the Hort Connections website.


Latest South Australian requirements for tomato-potato psyllid

Following the detection of tomato-potato psyllid in Western Australia, a range of restrictions and prohibitions on hosts in solanaceae, convolvulaceae, lamiaceau and other families have been put in place in South Australia.

As of 21 April 2017, new entry requirements have been added to those restrictions (Condition 17). Condition 17 will require certification for host plant material, fruit and vegetables and associated planting-media, machinery and equipment to enter South Australia from Western Australia.

Entry of these items is prohibited unless in compliance with the conditions outlined in Condition 17, which can be found here.


CHT Australia event at Hort Connections 2017

AUSVEG is offering industry members an opportunity to hear the latest in soil moisture management practices. The event will be hosted by AUSVEG Strategic Partner CHT Australia on the evening of Tuesday 16 May at Hort Connections 2017.

Hear from one of the world’s leading surfactant chemists, plus get an insider’s insight on results from a number of CHT Australia’s local field trial programs.

Seats are limited and filling fast. If you want to hear the latest on soil moisture management practices, get in contact with AUSVEG to reserve your seat at this exclusive CHT Australia event.

For more information or to reserve a place, please email


Cyclone Debbie – Category C funding available

Queensland primary producers affected by Cyclone Debbie are now able to apply for grants of up to $25,000 to assist them in recovery under newly announced funding by the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Category C funding has been activated for the below areas in Central Queensland:

  • Whitsunday Regional Council
  • Mackay Regional Council
  • Part of Isaac Regional Council
  • Part of Livingstone Regional Council
  • Part of Central Highlands Regional Council
  • Part of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council

Category C funding has also been activated for the following areas in South East Queensland:

  • Logan City Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Part of Gold Coast City Council
  • Part Lockyer Valley Regional Council

The recovery grants are available through the QRAA. For more information, please contact QRAA on 1800 623 946 or view its website.


E.E. Muir & Sons renews Strategic Partnership

AUSVEG is proud to announce that E.E. Muir & Sons will continue to be a Strategic Partner throughout 2017.

A family-owned and operated company, E.E. Muir & Sons is a major distributor of fertilisers, crop protectants, seeds and other farm supplies to the Australian agriculture industry. The company also employs highly qualified and experienced field staff who are able to advise growers and assist them to achieve optimum yields and maximum profits.

The renewal of this partnership will mark six years of consecutive support for the Australian horticulture industry. AUSVEG looks forward to working closely with E.E. Muir & Sons on a range of industry issues over the coming year.

For more information on E.E. Muir & Sons, please click here to visit its website.


Winter cover crops fact sheet

Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection have released a fact sheet to assist growers in planning their winter cover crops.

The fact sheet includes information on how to:

  • Build soil structure
  • Add cheap nitrogen
  • Recover and store left over fertiliser
  • Control soil pests and disease
  • Control weeds
  • Protect the soil from wind and water erosion.

To download the fact sheet, please click here.

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 Integrated Crop Protection are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Hort Innovation’s new processing potato Strategic Investment Plan is here!

The processing potato Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) will help guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of investment programs for the processing potato industry for the next five years. It lays the foundation for decision-making in levy investments and represents the balanced interests of the industry. The SIP functions to ensure levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.

The SIP has been developed in close partnership with growers and other industry stakeholders, and Hort Innovation thanks all those who have contributed their valuable time and ideas.

An ‘at a glance’ version and the full document can be found on Hort Innovation’s processing potato grower page.

The processing potato Strategic Investment Plan was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Processing Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Version 4 (FSQ4) Training

Freshcare is an industry owned, not-for-profit on-farm assurance program. Freshcare recently upgraded its food safety and quality code to a fourth edition, bringing it in line with the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Until the end of 2016, growers will be able to have audits completed against FSQ3 or FSQ4. However, from 1 January 2017 all audits conducted must be against FSQ4.

Growcom is facilitating group training sessions across Queensland in FSQ4 training. For more information, or to register your interest in participating in FSQ4 training, please click here.


Export Council of Australia calls for exporters to complete Australian International Business Survey

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has released the 2017 Australian International Business Survey. Now in its fourth year, the survey has become the largest of its kind, looking into the international behaviour of Australian companies.

The survey aims to capture the international intentions and trends of more than 2,000 Australian exporters over time, and to build greater industry-government awareness of the key impediments to trade.

The ECA urges all exporters to ensure their voice is heard by completing the 15-minute survey. This year, the ECA is offering educational incentives for survey participants: a series of educational booklets, developed in conjunction with HSBC Australia, covering four Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Australia has with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand.

The booklets are specifically designed to help Australian exporters navigate the basics of utilising our four FTAs with ASEAN trading partners, as well as understanding the tariff and non-tariff benefits that apply to a range of goods and services across most industry sectors.

To complete the 2017 Australian International Business Survey, please click here.


Young Food Innovators program

Applications are now open for the Young Food Innovators program, a 12-month intensive, accelerated development program for young people working in the red meat, horticulture, seafood and dairy primary producer sectors.

The program is designed for producers or supporting professionals looking to develop new high-value opportunities in domestic or export markets, implement innovative new business models or accelerate the adoption of new disruptive technologies within their production business.

Applications are open to anyone currently working within the production sector (or a business closely related to the production sector) with a minimum of five years’ experience, as well as holding a university degree or relevant qualification.

Partial scholarships may be available from the relevant Rural Research and Development Corporation (RDC) to cover a portion of travel and accommodation costs.

Applications for the program close COB Friday 28 April 2017. For more information, please click here.


2017 Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards – Nominations now open!

The Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout regional and rural Victoria.

The awards include the Prime Super Agricultural Innovation award. Winners will either win $2,000 into an account in their name from Bank of Melbourne or a PRIME7 Television Package.

Do you know an individual or organisation that deserves to be recognised? Nominate them!

If you are able to provide the following, the Regional Achievement & Community Awards team can do the rest for you:

  • The nominee’s first name, last name and organisation (if applicable);
  • Nominee’s email address;
  • Nominee’s contact phone number; and
  • Your name, contact number and email address.

They will then be contacted to be be informed of their nomination, and will be able to complete the nomination questions.

To access the online nomination form, please click here. To find out more about the awards please click here.


Webinar: Managing Fruit Fly in Vegetable Crops with Dr Jenny Ekman

Fruit flies are one of the most serious pests in horticulture. They can breed rapidly, disperse widely and successfully infest most fruiting vegetables. The larvae not only destroy infested fruit, but are a major quarantine issue for both domestic and international markets.

A series of five videos and an accompanying handbook have been produced, titled Fruit fly management for vegetable growers. The resources outline the strategies available to growers to manage fruit fly in vegetable crops, including information on the fruit fly lifecycle, monitoring, use of protein baiting, male annihilation techniques and netting.

This webinar will provide an interactive overview of these resources, and the chance to interact with lead researcher Dr Jenny Ekman from AHR.

Date: Friday 19 May 2017
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm (AEST)

Please click here for more information and to register for the webinar.
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.

This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


RIPPA on display – Field trial and event update

The Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application (RIPPA) was on display at this year’s Tasmanian Agricultural Precision Group Precision Agriculture Expo in Deloraine, Tasmania, on Thursday 20 April.

The field trial evaluated and demonstrated specific functions of the robot and intelligent systems, including:

  • Autonomous row following
  • Crop mapping
  • Mechanical weeding
  • Vacuum concept for foreign object removal

For more information on the field trial, as well as upcoming events at which RIPPA will be displayed, please click here.

This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


SmartFarm Learning Hub PhD Scholarship

The University of New England (UNE) is seeking applicants with an interest and background in agriculture and extension/adoption for a 3-year PhD research project based at UNE, New South Wales.

The PhD project is part of the SmartFarm Learning Hub project funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The SmartFarm Learning Hub aims to increase the skill base of students and producers using a range of new technologies and innovations.

There is one PhD Scholarship available, with the successful candidate required to undertake research at UNE and other participating institutions as necessary. Applications close 31 May 2017 at 5:00pm. For more information, please click here.
Expressions of interest for attendance at the 2017 Horticulture Field Day

Hort Connections 2017 will be preceded by the annual Horticulture Field Day. This year, the field day will focus on pest and disease detection and management. The event is free and available only to those who have registered for Hort Connections 2017.

Date: Monday 15 May 2017
Time: 8:15am – 5:30pm
Location: Adelaide and surrounds

Spaces are strictly limited so be sure to register your interest with AUSVEG promptly. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for attendees.

The agenda for the day can be found on the Hort Connections website.

To register, please email

For further enquiries, please contact Callum Fletcher on 03 9882 0277 or at


Water for Profit event – Thursday 18 May

The Tasmanian Government’s Water for Profit program will deliver a statewide event on Thursday 18 May.

The event has plenty of variety to suit everyone, covering topics such as precision irrigation, autonomous systems and drones, as well as a trade show and practical sessions.

Date: Thursday 18 May 2017
Time: 8:30am – 2:00pm
Location: Riverlands Centre, 159 Wellington Street, Longford TAS

To register online, please click here.


Bringing ideas to life workshop

Monash University and the Food Innovation Centre will run a workshop on ‘bringing ideas to life’ using best practice innovation.

Participants will be given the opportunity to learn best practice in how to identify, craft and test ideas that will have the best chance of succeeding in their business and the market place as a whole.

Date: Wednesday 3 May 2017
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Monash University Clayton Campus – New Horizons Building. 20 Research Way, Clayton, Victoria.
Cost: $350 plus GST

For more information and to register, please click here.


New Minor Use permits

Permit ID: PER82459
(PLEASE NOTE: PER82459 is a consolidation of the following permits that have now been surrendered and replaced by the consolidation: PER13035, PER13257, PER14744, PER11348, PER11848, PER13397, PER14164 and PER14535)
Actives: Clethodim herbicide
Crop: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Radish, Carrots, Parsnips, Eggplant, Chilli Pepper, Paprika, Silverbeet, Spinach, Leeks, Spring Onions, Shallots, Rhubarb, Peas (fresh & processing), and Field & Protected Crops: Brassica Leafy Vegetables, Chicory, Endive, Radicchio & Rocket
Pest: Various Grasses as per product label
Date Issued: 19-Apr-2017
Expiry Date: 30-Sep-2021
Permit Holder: Horticulture Innovation Australia
States: ALL States and Territories where the use approved under this permit would otherwise be an offence against an eligible law of the jurisdiction.

Permit ID: PER81914
Actives: Emamectin (Proclaim)
Crop: Celery (field only), Eggplant, Snow and Sugar Snap Peas (Field and protected)
Pest: Heliothis, Lightbrown Apple Moth & Cluster Caterpillar
Date Issued: 19-Apr-2017
Expiry Date: 31-Oct-2019
Permit Holder: Horticulture Innovation Australia
States: ALL States and Territories where the use approved under this permit would otherwise be an offence against an eligible law of the jurisdiction.
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 MRLs 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.

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.

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside appeared in print media this week discussing the Federal Government’s changes to the 457 visa program. Mr Whiteside noted that overseas workers play a critical role in the horticulture industry and that any changes being made should take this into account.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett appeared on radio and in print media this week also discussing the 457 visa changes. Mr Brooke-Barnett reiterated the importance of the 457 scheme for regional areas, and reaffirmed that AUSVEG is looking to work with the Government to work out the plan.

AUSVEG VIC Executive Officer Kurt Hermann appeared in print media this week discussing Arnott’s Vegetable Farm receiving the Victorian Grower of the Year Award at the AUSVEG VIC Awards for Excellence. Mr Hermann said the farm was renowned for its dedication and commitment to producing high-quality vegetables.

AUSVEG National Manager – Communications Shaun Lindhe appeared in print media this week discussing the CSIRO report showing that Australians aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables, noting that increasing consumers’ familiarity with a range of vegetables may be a good way of indirectly increasing overall consumption.