AUSVEG Weekly Update

09-May-2017

Hort Connections 2017 – One week to go!

The final countdown is on – there is only ONE WEEK left until Hort Connections 2017! There is still time to register for this incredible event, so if you haven't yet done so, please click here.

Hort Connections will be filled with a huge range of events to benefit all sectors of the horticulture industry, including thought-provoking speaker sessions, a number of networking events, and a trade show filled with the most exhibitors under one roof in Australian horticulture.

The event will culminate in the Gala Dinner on Wednesday night, with limited places remaining. To reserve your spot, please click here.

For more information, please see the Hort Connections website, or email info@hortconnections.com.au.

Please note that accommodation at the Mayfair is still available for Wednesday 17 May only - to book accommodation please contact AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277 or email info@hortconnections.com.au


 
AUSVEG office closure

The AUSVEG office in Melbourne will be closed from Monday 15 May to Friday 19 May (inclusive), due to Hort Connections 2017. As a result, there will be no Weekly Update on Tuesday 16 May.

The office will re-open for full operation from Monday 22 May.


 
Women in Horticulture event – Places running out!
 
The ever-popular Women in Horticulture networking event will once again return at Hort Connections 2017. The event is open to all delegates at Hort Connections, providing a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the integral role that women play in the industry.

The event will be held on Wednesday 17 May from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. This year’s theme will focus on getting involved and adding value to your business.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston will be headlining the guest speakers, while ABC presenter Tonya Roberts will emcee the event. The Eat.Drink.Innovate Pty Ltd founder Susie White will speak on new product and packaging innovations, while celebrity chef Geoff Jansz will perform a cooking demonstration with local produce. Horticulture Innovation Australia Relationship Manager Christian Patterson will also discuss levy-funded projects.

The event will conclude with the announcement of the 2017 Women in Horticulture award winner.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit hortconnections.com.au or call AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277.


 
Soil Testing and Interpretation for Vegetable Crops: A guide
 

As part of project VG13076 (Soil condition extension and capacity building), Applied Horticultural Research and RMCG have produced a guide to soil testing and interpretation for vegetable growers. The purpose of this guide is to help growers and agronomists interpret conventional ‘chemical’ soil tests and identify soil chemical constraints for commercial vegetable production in Australia.

This resource can be used to guide site-specific decisions on nutrition management. It does NOT provide prescriptive information on how much of a certain nutrient or fertiliser to apply to various vegetable crops. A recipe approach is not recommended because results in crop performance would be unreliable.

A soil test, when combined with a visual soil assessment and knowledge about paddock history and production plans, provides a sound basis for a nutrition program. A conventional soil test can provide some information about biological and physical soil properties, while a complete soil condition assessment covers physical, biological and chemical soil properties of the topsoil and subsoil.

For more information, or to download the guide, 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.


 
Fair Farms Initiative Workplace Relations Workshop

Growcom's Fair Farms Initiative will be launched with a Workplace Relations Workshop, held in conjunction with Hort Connections 2017 on Wednesday 17 May. The workshop will be a hands-on, practical session based on Growcom’s Workplace Essentials Workshops, and will equip all attendees with a clear picture of what they need to do to ensure that their businesses comply with workplace legislation - whether they employ their workers directly or through third parties.

As detailed in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia, Growcom's Fair Farms Initiative aims to ensure not only that growers have the tools and knowledge to treat their workers fairly, but that they can also demonstrate that to their customers and the wider community.

The initiative has five main components: a series of informative articles in key industry magazines; the rollout of the Hort360 Workplace Relations best management practice module; targeted regional seminars throughout Australia; the development of a voluntary third-party audited certification for growers; and the development of a pathway to qualifications in Human Resources for interested growers.

Please see below for the details of the Workplace Relations Workshop:

Date/time: 11:20am – 12:40pm, Wednesday 17 May 2017
Location: Riverbank Room 5, Adelaide Convention Centre

For a more detailed look at the Fair Farms Initiative, please see page 30 of the latest Potatoes Australia, or click here to visit the Growcom website and register for the workshop at Hort Connections 2017.
Potatoes Australia is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
New ACCC information resources on the new Horticulture Code of Conduct available for growers

If you are a grower who sells fruit or vegetables through an agent or to a merchant, there is a law called the Horticulture Code of Conduct that says you must have a written contract.

The Horticulture Code of Conduct was recently amended starting 1 April 2017 and AUSVEG encourages growers to familiarise themselves with the changes. If you have an existing written Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) signed before 1 April 2017, you have until 1 April 2018 to make sure it includes the things the new Code says it should include. Any new agreements signed must comply with the new Code.

To assist, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has provided the following resources for growers:
How the Horticulture Code helps you

The Code details when agents or merchants must pay you and how they must treat you. If someone breaks certain parts of the Code, the ACCC can ask a court to issue a penalty.

The Code:
  • Requires growers and traders to have a contract called a Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA), and applies to all HPAs.
  • Obliges all parties to deal in good faith.
  • Obliges merchants to explain how price will be calculated.
  • Requires growers, agents and merchants to keep certain records.
AUSVEG encourages growers to familiarise themselves with the new horticulture code using resources available on the ACCC website.


 
East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days a great success

Last week a team of AUSVEG representatives, including CEO James Whiteside and Deputy Chair Belinda Adams, travelled to Lindenow for the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days. The event, held from 3-4 May at Bulmer Farms, was jointly hosted by agronomist Stuart Grigg and Bulmer Farms’ Managing Director Andrew Bulmer. It was a major event for the East Gippsland Food Cluster as part of the National Vegetable Extension Network, a program funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Over two days, the group visited the demonstration sites that were on display at Bulmer Farms, listened to engaging speaker sessions (with a leafy vegetable focus) and attended an Industry Networking Dinner at Lindenow Hall. The dinner was a raging success, attracting more than 300 people to the hall with former AFL footballer Sam Kekovich providing the keynote speech during the night.

The Hort Innovation vegetable levy-funded project RIPPA (Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application) from the University of New South Wales was also on-site, with the development team showing delegates the progress to date.

AUSVEG would like to congratulate the organisers of the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days on a tremendously successful event.

For a full wrap-up of the event, please see upcoming editions of Vegetables Australia.
VG15047: Regional capacity building to grow vegetable businesses – East Gippsland (East Gippsland Food Cluster) has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Horticulture Field Day Agenda

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.

A PDF of the full day's agenda can be found here, or by clicking the below image.
 
To register for the event, please email info@ausveg.com.au.


 
Soil Wealth and ICP want to hear your voice
 
The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) projects provide R&D extension services, products and communication on improved soil management and plant health to the Australian vegetable industry.

Over the past 3 years, AHR and RMCG have delivered extension projects on behalf of Horticulture Innovation Australia, and are consulting with a wide range of growers and industry stakeholders to determine their impact and value.

This survey will be open from 1 to 19 May 2017 and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and all responses will remain confidential.

To complete the survey, click here.
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.


 
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 also 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 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: 12:30-1:30pm (AEST)

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.
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.


 
Greenhouse technical guidelines and best practice extension toolbox

Horticulture Innovation Australia, Osborn Consulting Engineers, FERM Engineering, RMCG and Doyle’s Construction Lawyers are nearing the completion of the project Developing technical guidelines and best practice extension toolbox for greenhouse construction and safe operation (VG16004).

In Part 1 of this project, the team developed technical guidelines for greenhouses and grow structures for inclusion in the National Construction Code (NCC). The project team has developed measures for horticultural building classification and a provisional framework to reduce classification ambiguity and irrelevant NCC provisions, particularly relating to areas of fire and egress. Part 2 developed a toolbox containing vital information and resources relating to the design, approvals, construction and safe operation of greenhouses in Australia – a tool specifically designed for growers and the protected vegetable cropping industry. This toolbox can be found here.

The Proposal for Change to the NCC and the toolbox fact sheets will be open for comment from 1 May – 19 May 2017. The proposal will be provided to AUSVEG, Protected Cropping Australia and previous survey participants as part of the project. Feedback can also be given via the Greenhouse Toolbox Contact Form.

More information on the project can be found here.
VG16004 is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
Sponsored: Growers turn to Flow Power for a new way to buy power

When change happens, businesses need to get ahead of the pack with innovative solutions. For Australian growers, that can be a new fertiliser or a smart pump.

However, growers are now also looking for a smarter way to power their operations. Many are turning to wholesale – buying power directly from the market.

Businesses traditionally buy electricity through fixed-rate contracts. These contracts provide no visibility of how prices are calculated – and no control or flexibility. But in truth, power is traded on a wholesale market, with prices moving based on supply and demand. And most of the time, market prices sit beneath retail rates. In fact, wholesale prices were 10 per cent lower on average over the last 12 years.

Since 2008, Flow Power has been working with customers to help them regain control of their energy costs. It provide solutions to match your business operations and put you ahead of the pack. These solutions can deliver savings of up to 30 per cent on energy costs.

You have the power to make your electricity better.

Speak to one of Flow Power's advisors on 1300 08 06 08 or visit flowpower.com.au.


 
RIRDC Non-Executive Director positions

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) is aiming to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries, and has opened applications for Non-Executive Director positions.

With a new location, direction and team, an exciting opportunity presents itself to contribute to the future direction of the Corporation. If you align to these visions and are passionate about the following agricultural themes, then RIRDC would like to hear from you:
  • World-leading research and its application in Australia
  • Fostering emerging industries
  • Innovative thinking and groundbreaking technologies
  • Enhancing rural industries and regional communities
  • Supporting the industry leaders of tomorrow
  • Identification of national agricultural opportunities and challenges.
Successful applicants will be required to attend at least four board meetings and a range of other events throughout the year.

For more information on the role, please click here.


 
2018 Nuffield Scholarships – Applications now open!
 
Applications for the 2018 Nuffield Scholarships for Australian Primary Producers are now open.

Aiming to develop current, emerging and future leaders within Australian industries, each scholarship offers a $30,000 bursary to enable the successful applicants to study cutting-edge global agriculture.

A range of scholarships are available across multiple industries, including a vegetable grower scholarship supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia.

For more information on these scholarships and information on how to apply, please click here.
The 2018 Nuffield Scholarship for the vegetable industry is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


 
New Minor Use permits
 
Permit ID Description Date Issued Expiry Date Permit Holder States
PER14430 V2 Actives: Azoxystrobin
Crop: Lettuce
Pest: Bottom rot
21-Mar-2014 30-Jun-2022 Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, NT & WA (Note: Victoria is not included in this permit as their Control-of-Use legislation means that an APVMA permit is not required to legalise this off-label use in that State)

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 jodie.pedrana@horticulture.com.au. 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.


 
Current project opportunities with Hort Innovation

Hort Innovation advertises opportunities to become a delivery partner on research, development and marketing projects for Australian horticulture on its website and on tenders.net.

Join Hort Innovation's delivery partner mailing list to receive email notifications of new opportunities by registering through its delivery partner registration form.

The relevant documentation for each opportunity is available on tenders.net. To access this information, you will need to become a member by registering on the tenders.net registration page.

Please find below a table of current project opportunities directly related to the Australian vegetable and potato industries. For more details on any of the projects, or for information on other project opportunities across horticulture, please visit tenders.net.
 
Type Title Closing date
Request for proposal Tools and interventions for increasing children’s vegetable consumption 5pm (Sydney time)
Wednesday 24 May 2017
Request for proposal Vegetable digital asset redevelopment – Veggycation website 5pm (Sydney time)
Friday 26 May 2017
Request for proposal Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection – Phase 2 4pm (Sydney time)
Friday 16 June 2017
Communication of levy-funded R&D is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy, National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.