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Summary of Resources and Communication: Handy hints and where to find useful information (Phase 1)

Summary of Resources and Communication: Handy hints and where to find useful information (Phase 1)
30 Nov 2017

This guide summarises useful information developed by the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) Phase 1 projects from 2014-2017, and where to find it. These resources are relevant to all major vegetable growing regions in Australia. The resources developed includes fact sheets (51), case studies (12), videos and apps (36), e-newsletters (32 editions), as well as demonstration site information. The main topics covered by these resources include crop management, pest and disease management, and soil, nutrition and compost.

All the resources in this guide can be found on this project website.

Soil Wealth and ICP Achievements Phase 1

Soil Wealth and ICP Achievements Phase 1
31 May 2017

The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection 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, RMCG and AHR have delivered the projects for Horticulture Innovation Australia. Phase 1 of the projects have now been completed. So, what’s been achieved?

Winter Crane Fly (Trichocera annulata)

Winter Crane Fly (Trichocera annulata)
8 Jul 2018

The winter crane fly is part of the large insect family Tipulidae. In Australia, the winter crane fly larvae feed on rotting organic matter and, possibly, on frost-damaged or waterlogged plants.

Read this fact sheet to discover more about the winter crane fly damage, life cycle, management options and further references.

Irrigation Management in Sweet Corn

Irrigation Management in Sweet Corn
7 Jul 2018

Sweet corn has a high water requirement. The most sensitive growth stages (3–5) are also when crop water usage is at its highest, increasing by more than 400% over a few weeks. This rapid increase in crop water use can catch growers out and reduce yield and quality.

Read this fact sheet to discover more about practical irrigation tips including crop development, water use and key irrigation decisions, as well as handy tools available to help with irrigation decisions. Guidance on soil moisture monitoring is also provided.

How to get and use the free 10m NDVI maps through DataFarming

How to get and use the free 10m NDVI maps through DataFarming
6 Jun 2018

DataFarming’s innovative software platform is backed by over 20 years of hands on experience solving agricultural problems in the real world.

Through cloud-based systems, farm data, and satellite technology, DataFarming deliver simple data solutions to drive farm productivity across all production factors, gaining valuable insights into the agricultural industry.

A strategic approach to weed management for the Australian Vegetable Industry

A strategic approach to weed management for the Australian Vegetable Industry
5 Jun 2018

The University of New England are undertaking a four-year research program which aims to help safeguard the vegetable industry by reducing its dependence on herbicides and tillage for weed control.

Adaptive Area-Wide Management for Queensland Fruit Fly using Sterile Insect Technique

Adaptive Area-Wide Management for Queensland Fruit Fly using Sterile Insect Technique
3 Jun 2018

Area-Wide Management (AWM) is a proven management approach for mobile pests around the world, employing a united strategy to target all pest habitats within a well-defined area or region to reduce the total pest population. These guidelines will help you understand AWM, how to get started implementing it for Queensland fruit fly, and the opportunities to implement Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) once AWM has been successfully implemented.

Fruit fly management for vegetable growers

Fruit fly management for vegetable growers
2 Jun 2018

Videos and Best practice guide

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

VegPRO - the Australian vegetable industry's own education and training initiative

VegPRO - the Australian vegetable industry's own education and training initiative
1 Jun 2018

Are you a grower, employee, or trainer in the vegetable industry? VegPRO is an industry education and training initiative that’s role is to provide training, resources, and tools to the Vegetable industry. Whether training is existing or just an idea, we’re here to support your training needs.
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Soil CRC | Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils

Soil CRC | Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils
31 May 2018

The CRC for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) is bringing together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions for Australia’s underperforming soils.

Spray technology for vegetable growers: a guide to getting it right (webinar recording)

Spray technology for vegetable growers: a guide to getting it right (webinar recording)
24 May 2018

Chemicals play an important role in vegetable production and are regularly used to control insect pests, diseases and weeds.

Watch this informative and interactive one-hour webinar to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts in Australia.

EnviroVeg Pilot Program: Apply Now

EnviroVeg Pilot Program: Apply Now
28 Mar 2018

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.

Biosecurity lessons in planning and response for the vegetable industry (webinar recording)

Biosecurity lessons in planning and response for the vegetable industry (webinar recording)
22 Mar 2018

Plant biosecurity is a series of measures that aid in protecting production areas from harmful insects, weeds, and various plant diseases.

Watch this informative and interactive one-hour webinar to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts in Australia.

Replicated small plot field experiments - is the pain worth the gain? (webinar recording)

Replicated small plot field experiments - is the pain worth the gain? (webinar recording)
15 Mar 2018

The Soils Network of Knowledge (SNoK) faciliatated a webinar on replicated small plot field experiments with Steve Morris from NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Watch this webianr to find out more about the complexities of field research design and the logical case for undertaking field research in a structured manner.

Cover crop spotlight on Buckwheat

Cover crop spotlight on Buckwheat
8 Mar 2018

Some of the advantages of buckwheat include rapid growth, strong weed suppression and quick breakdown of residues, allowing it to fit into tight rotations and certain crops like baby leaf.

Watch this video to find out more.

Fusarium wilt management in vegetables with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)

Fusarium wilt management in vegetables with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)
7 Dec 2017

Watch this webinar recording to learn about the latest techniques in managing the soilborne disease Fusarium wilt in vegetable crops including solanaceous, legumes, cucurbits and sweet potatoes and to understand the latest ways of managing this disease to keep your plants in production for longer and improve yield and pack out rates.

Biopesticides in Australia

Biopesticides in Australia
30 Nov 2017

Biopesticides are a diverse group of pest control products based on naturally ocurring biochemicals, minerals and microbes. They generally have very low toxicity to humans and are sustainable with minimal environmental impacts. Many can be used in organic production.

Biopesticides often require a good understanding of pests and diseases to be used effectively. They help to manage, rather than completely control pests. Biopesticides are therefore best used in an integrated approach rather than as simple replacements for conventional pesticides.

Read this fact sheet to find out more about plant extracts, microbial pesticides, natural chemicals/minerals and biochemicals, including their availability, application, developments, challenges, advantages and disadvantages.

Reduced tillage webinar recordings from Cornell Small Farms Program, US

Reduced tillage webinar recordings from Cornell Small Farms Program, US
29 Nov 2017

Join the Cornell SFP as they team up with Michigan State University and the University of Maine to offer three webinars and share the latest research on reduced tillage for organic vegetable production. Learn about practices that fit your operation, from permanent beds, tarps, and mulches, to cover cropping, strip tillage, and cultivation tools.

Koo Wee Rup Demonstration Site: Practice Change Case Study

Koo Wee Rup Demonstration Site: Practice Change Case Study
29 Nov 2017

The Schreurs family have been farming on the Koo Wee Rup swamps in Gippsland, Victoria since 1963. After noticing a decline in soil condition, resulting in waterlogging and an increase in weed and disease pressure, the Schreurs partnered with the Soil Wealth and ICP team to trial a range of different cover crops to improve the overall quality and productivity of the farm from 2014 to 2017. Schreurs & Sons farm run by Adam, Ben and Chris produces a variety of different products including celery, leeks and baby leaf spinach.

This case study provides an overview and lessons learnt from trialling different cover crops at the demonstration site in Cora Lynn, Victoria.

Reducing tillage in vegetable crops: Is it worthwhile?

Reducing tillage in vegetable crops: Is it worthwhile?
27 Nov 2017

Reduced tillage can produce similar or better yields than more aggressive conventional tillage. It opens the door to improving soil health.

This case study outlines the pros and cons of reducing the intensity of cultivation in vegetable production systems. It is based on lessons learnt from three demonstration sites conducted as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) projects (2014 – 2016).

Getting soil and nutrition management right with the EnviroVeg program (webinar recording)

Getting soil and nutrition management right with the EnviroVeg program (webinar recording)
22 Nov 2017

Healthy soil and correct nutrition management is essential to a productive vegetable business and protecting the natural environment.

Watch this webinar recording to get the latest updates on managing vegetable soils and nutrition with a focus on nitrogen as the most mobile nutrient prone to losses via waterways and air, as well as the new industry-owned EnviroVeg program.

Soil Health; Biological, Chemical, Physical

Soil Health; Biological, Chemical, Physical
26 Oct 2017

Learn more about soil biological, chemical and physical fertility, as well as access the Soils are Alive tool - the complete soil health reference for farmers, consultants and researchers.

Phosphorus and soil biology - common questions answered

Phosphorus and soil biology - common questions answered
18 Oct 2017

This presentation provides a great overview of the role of phosphorus in soil biology by Dr Cassandra Schefe, from Monash University and Schefe Consulting.

Pesticides and insect pest control in vegetables with Dr Siobhan de Little (webinar recording)

Pesticides and insect pest control in vegetables with Dr Siobhan de Little (webinar recording)
18 Oct 2017

Chemicals have different modes of action that can affect both insect pests and beneficial species differently.

Watch the recording of this interactive session with Dr Siobhan de Little and James Maino from cesar, facilitated by Carl Larsen from RMCG.

Calcium Cyanamide Fertiliser; Use in vegetables

Calcium Cyanamide Fertiliser; Use in vegetables
16 Oct 2017

Calcium Cyanamide Fertiliser, also known as nitrolime, has been used in Germany as a slow release nitrogen and calcium fertiliser with liming e ect for over 100 years. It was introduced into Australia by the German manufacturer Alzchemie AG Germany (www.alzchem.com) in 1996.

Making the most of your Nitrogen

Making the most of your Nitrogen
11 Oct 2017

Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for plant growth, development and reproduction, so it’s important to ensure your crops have enough!

Read this fact sheet to find out more about the steps to providing the right amount of nitrogen, managing and monitoring N, and how nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) data can be interpreted.

Green peach aphid resistance management with Dr Siobhan de Little (webinar recording)

Green peach aphid resistance management with Dr Siobhan de Little (webinar recording)
24 Aug 2017

Green peach aphids (GPA) are an important pest of vegetables, causing damage by feeding and transmitting viruses. High levels of resistance to carbamates, pyrethroids and organophosphates are found across Australia.

Watch the recording of this interactive session with guest presenter Dr Siobhan de Little from cesar.

SOILpak for vegetable growers in NSW

SOILpak for vegetable growers in NSW
14 Aug 2017

The Vegetable SOILpak manual was developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries to provide soil information relevant to irrigated vegetable production in New South Wales. The manual aims to provide decision support for landholders and advisers, helping to maintain or improve productivity over both the short and long term.

Precision agriculture technology in vegetable production systems (webinar recording)

Precision agriculture technology in vegetable production systems (webinar recording)
2 Aug 2017

Precision agriculture (or PA) uses a combination of new technology and existing agronomic knowledge to maximise farm efficiency.

Watch the recording of this one-hour interactive session facilitated by the National Vegetable Extension Network (VegNET) in Victoria (N, W, SE regions) and Tasmania, funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Soil health toolbox

Soil health toolbox
26 Jul 2017

Read this excellent summary of some common tools for managing soil health in cropping/mixed enterprises in Tasmania. Generally, the more tools you can use, the better!

This poster was prepared by Adrian James, NRM North, with contributions by Bill Cotching, Doris Blaesing, Greg Gibson and John McPhee.

Controlled traffic in vegetable production: a grower's perspective

Controlled traffic in vegetable production: a grower's perspective
24 Jul 2017

Hear from Rob Hinrichsen of Kalfresh in QLD about using controlled traffic in commercial vegetable production systems.

This video captures Rob's experiences with the technology achieving 'growing zones' and 'driving zones', the benefits of reduced tillage down from 11-12 passes to 2-3 passes, the costs of transitioning the cultivation system, as well as how the business piloted the technology before making the big change.

Use a partial budget to assess practice change on vegetable farms

Use a partial budget to assess practice change on vegetable farms
13 Jul 2017

Will a potential change to soil management increase profit? How do we assess whether a change we’ve already made was profitable? One way to answer these questions is to use a ‘partial budget’. A partial budget assesses additional revenue and reduced revenue, additional costs and reduced costs to work out the net change in profit. A partial budget only includes items that change.

Cover crops in vegetable production: a grower's perspective

Cover crops in vegetable production: a grower's perspective
6 Jul 2017

Hear from Rob Hinrichsen of Kalfresh in QLD about using cover crops, or 'green carbon', in commercial vegetable production systems.

This video captures Rob's experiences in using different types of cover crops such as tillage raddish and sun hemp to achieve different objectives, some of the benefits of using cover crops such as increased soil carbon and crop resilience, as well as providing advice to those starting out.

Compost use in vegetable production: a grower's perspective

Compost use in vegetable production: a grower's perspective
8 Jun 2017

Hear from Rob Hinrichsen of Kalfresh in QLD about using compost in commercial vegetable production systems. This video captures Rob's experiences in soil biology, short and long-term compost, the financial implications of using compost, and advice for starting out.

What is compost worth? Using compost in Australian vegetable systems

What is compost worth? Using compost in Australian vegetable systems
5 Jun 2017

This case study outlines the economic considerations when using compost in vegetable production systems. It is based on lessons learned from several Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) demonstration sites, during the period 2014 to 2016.

The costs of compost are largely driven by the type and quality of the compost; freight costs depends on distance; and spreading/incorporation costs depend on application rates, type of compost, machinery required, travelling time and the scale of the work.

The benefits will depend on the individual farm as well as the objectives for using compost, for example increase organic matter or prevent be collapse. The main benefits of using compost are increased organic matter, adding nutrients to the soil, increased water holding capacity of the soil, and disease suppression. It is important to consider other practices that may need to change in conjunction with compost application, such as tillage, irrigation and crop protection requirements.

What is a cover crop worth? Cover crops in Australian vegetable systems

What is a cover crop worth? Cover crops in Australian vegetable systems
4 Jun 2017

This case study outlines the economic considerations when using cover crops in vegetable production systems. It is based on lessons learned from several Soil Wealth – ICP demonstration sites, during the period 2014 to 2016.

One of the most important considerations is being clear about the purpose of using cover crops in the farm system system as it influences the way you may judge costs and benefits and the timing of these.

The overall benefits will depend on each situation. However, to figure out what works for you on your farm and a specific purpose, talk to others who have used cover crops for a similar purpose / situation; trial cover crops or include a test strip if possible.

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Houston’s Farms, Tasmania

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Houston’s Farms, Tasmania
29 May 2017

Houston’s Farm, in southern Tasmania, grow a range of ready to eat leafy salad products including lettuce, brassica leafy vegetables, beets and spinach.

Despite a positive experience with IPM in the control of Lettuce Aphid, Houston’s Farm were reluctant to adopt IPM based on only one experience. One of the biggest challenges to adopting IPM was regular monitoring, including looking for beneficial species. Now, Houston’s Farm have developed their own IPM manual to train new staff, including photos of pest and beneficial species, and other information such as appropriate pesticides.

To find out more read this practical case study.

Managing Fruit Fly in Vegetable Crops with Dr Jenny Ekman (webinar recording)

Managing Fruit Fly in Vegetable Crops with Dr Jenny Ekman (webinar recording)
19 May 2017

A webinar presented by Dr Jenny Ekman on 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.

Soil Testing and Interpretation for Vegetable Crops: A guide

Soil Testing and Interpretation for Vegetable Crops: A guide
8 May 2017

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, 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.

Using compost in commercial vegetable production with Dr Doris Blaesing (webinar recording)

Using compost in commercial vegetable production with Dr Doris Blaesing (webinar recording)
22 Mar 2017

Watch this webinar recording from 21 March 2017 to find out more about the good, the bad and the ugly of compost use in vegetable production with Dr Doris Blaesing from RMCG.

Nutrition management and plant disease with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)

Nutrition management and plant disease with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)
28 Feb 2017

A webinar on nutrition management and plant disease presented by Dr Len Tesoriero as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects.

Tomato potato psyllid

Tomato potato psyllid
20 Feb 2017

The psyllid is a tiny sap-sucking insect. Tomato potato psyllids go through three stages of development – adult, egg and nymph.

The tomato potato psyllid can cause capsicums and chili plants to die back. Foliage symptoms include leaves becoming misshapen, pale green or yellow with spiky tips and leaf stalks appear stunted.

It's importnat to practice sound crop hygiene/biosecurity practices to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Read this fact sheet from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA for more information.

MyAgCHEMuse: Best practice reference guide for spray drift management

MyAgCHEMuse: Best practice reference guide for spray drift management
20 Feb 2017

Modern crop protection chemistry such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, is crucial to farming in Australia and around the world. These essential products and tools are a core foundation to food production and their safe and sustainable use is of critical importance.

Find out more by reading this useful best practice guide developed by CropLife Australia.

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Jerome Thompson, Werribee South Farm Supplies, Werribee South VIC

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Jerome Thompson, Werribee South Farm Supplies, Werribee South VIC
9 Feb 2017

Jerome Thompson, Werribee South Farm Supplies CRT Store branch manager, supplies agricultural products to about 110 vegetable farmers in the Werribee South region.

Over the past 20 years Jerome has observed a progressive change in grower adoption of integrated pest management (IPM). Jerome notes opportunities for greater adoption of IPM through growers improving their skills in monitoring pests, timing sprays and identification of beneficial species.

Read this practical case study to learn more from leading growers.

Biofumigation cover crops in vegetable production with Julie Finnigan (webinar recording)

Biofumigation cover crops in vegetable production with Julie Finnigan (webinar recording)
31 Jan 2017

A webinar on biofumigation cover crops presented by Julie Finnigan and Dr Kelvin Montagu as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects.

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Daniel Fragapane, Werribee South VIC

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Daniel Fragapane, Werribee South VIC
19 Jan 2017

Werribee South vegetable grower, Daniel Fragapane, runs a 42 hectare farm growing cauliflowers and broccoli for supermarket chain ALDI. He adopted IPM on his Werribee South farm following a recommendation from his cousins.

Daniel has been impressed with the results he’s seen in this crop, following the use of IPM. The biggest challenge for him has been time scheduling of control options, such as avoiding peak UV periods for caterpillar control with products such as Dipel in summer.

Daniel has managed these challenges through a combination of targeted control, including strategic location spraying rather than whole of farm, and using alternative products when required.

Read this practical case study to learn more from leading growers.

Anhydrous ammonia for vegetable crops: Could it be a viable proposition?

Anhydrous ammonia for vegetable crops: Could it be a viable proposition?
12 Jan 2017

Anhydrous ammonia has long been used as a preplant and side dressing fertiliser in the cotton and grain industries. It results in a high retention of nitrogen in the soil, reduced leaching of nitrates through the soil and yield increases in various crops. However, it needs to be treated with care as it can cause injury to farm workers.

Anhydrous ammonia has beneficial effects on soil microbes, nitrifying bacteria and worms. It is more suited to row crops rather than babyleaf crops, where even distribution nitrogen in the soil is required.

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Peter Schreurs and Sons, Devon Meadows VIC

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Peter Schreurs and Sons, Devon Meadows VIC
5 Dec 2016

Peter Schreurs and Sons grow a range of vegetable crops on their 180 hectare farm in Devon Meadows near Cranbourne in Victoria. Leeks are the main crop in the business, but they also produce cos lettuce, endive, kohl-rabi, wombok and radicchio.

On the farm, Darren Schreurs is responsible for controlling pest and disease in the crops. Darren first encountered Integrated Pest Management (IPM) when he was trying to deal with mites and thrips in their leek crop.

Read this practical case study to learn more from leading growers.

Adjuvants: A guide to oils, surfactants and other additives 

Adjuvants: A guide to oils, surfactants and other additives 
5 Dec 2016

Adjuvants are additives that enhance or modify the action of a chemical. They are commonly classified into broad categories including oils, surfactants, buffers, acidifiers and fertiliser adjuvants. Adjuvants can modify how a chemical forms, spreads or behaves within the spray solution and/or on the target pest.

This fact sheet provides insights into how adjuvants work, what types are available, and recommendations on what one to choose to make sure it's compatible with your pesticides active ingredients.

Forthside Demonstration Site: Soil amendments on vegetable crops

Forthside Demonstration Site: Soil amendments on vegetable crops
5 Dec 2016

Over the past four years, the effect of pyrethrum marc on vegetable crops has been compared with biochar, oaten chaff and conventional fertilisers at a trial site in Tasmania.

Pyrethrum marc can offer benefits as a soil conditioner and also as a source of nutrients for crops. Amendments can provide benefits for one or more years after application. Therefore, soil testing and monitoring combined with a fertiliser program is important for making the most of the economic benefits. Based on the crops grown and yields achieved in this trial, if pyrethrum marc was $60-65/t delivered, it would provide at least similar returns to conventional fertiliser.

Read this fact sheet to learn more about the trial, crops grown, treatments, and results.

Developing a fertilizer program for vegetable crops with Bruce Scott & Doris Blaesing (webinar recording)

Developing a fertilizer program for vegetable crops with Bruce Scott & Doris Blaesing (webinar recording)
14 Nov 2016

This webinar series aims to provide evidence based knowledge to make good decisions on site-specific nutrient management of vegetable crops using soil and plant testing and the 4R principles (right source, right rate, right time and right place).

The third webinar in the series focuses on developing a fertilizer program and features well-respected specialists Bruce Scott (E.E. Muir & Sons) and Dr Doris Blaesing.

From Health to Wealth: Looking after soils for vegetable production 

From Health to Wealth: Looking after soils for vegetable production 
11 Nov 2016

Soil health refers to the fitness of the soil to achieve its potential, within natural or managed limitations, and be productive under
the intended land use. Healthy soils have physical, chemical and biological properties that sustain biological functioning, maintain environmental quality and promote plant, animal and human health.

This practical fact sheet outlines the importance of healthy soil, its characteristics and how to get there, as well as the main soil health issues and potential solutions.

Rediscovering cover crops with Kelvin Montagu (webinar recording)

Rediscovering cover crops with Kelvin Montagu (webinar recording)
10 Nov 2016

Cover crops are being rediscovered by vegetable growers as practical ways of improving soil productivity and health. While cover cropping is a simple concept, it can be complex to implement in todays intensive production systems.

In this webinar Dr Kelvin Montagu from the Soil Wealth - ICP team, talks about the use of cover crops in vegetable production and the practical issues which need to be considered.

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Schreurs and Sons, Clyde VIC

Implementing IPM on farm - experiences from leading growers: Schreurs and Sons, Clyde VIC
9 Nov 2016

Schreurs and Sons are one of the largest celery producers in Australia. Production of celery by the family business has relied on IPM for well over a decade.

The original drivers for exploring an IPM option were borne out of problems relying on a pesticide- based strategy. After initial trials, where IPM was proven effective, the approach was implemented on all farms and crops.

Read this practical case study to learn more from leading growers.

Nitrous oxide emissions from vegetable soils: What's all the fuss about?

Nitrous oxide emissions from vegetable soils: What's all the fuss about?
7 Nov 2016

Nitrogen is a key input into vegetable production. Applying high levels of nitrogen, either as fertiliser, compost or amendments is necessary to achieve high yields, but it can also result in nitrous oxide gas being released into the atmosphere.

This fact sheet provides useful information on the loss of plant available nitrogen, reducing nitrous oxide emissions, nitrogen management (the 4 R's) and keeping informed through soil testing.

Using compost safely: A guide for the use of recycled organics in horticulture

Using compost safely: A guide for the use of recycled organics in horticulture
27 Oct 2016

Compost is a mixture of recycled organic materials that have been processed by natural organisms, breaking down the original materials into a usable form. Compost has many benefits for soil. It can feed plants, stimulate beneficial microbes, improve soil structure and help the soil retain nutrients, water and warmth.

This guide describes how fresh produce growers can use compost without affecting their food safety assurance program.

Safe compost for fruit and vegetables: A guide for the supply of recycled organics to fresh produce growers

Safe compost for fruit and vegetables: A guide for the supply of recycled organics to fresh produce growers
26 Oct 2016

Compost is a mixture of recycled organic materials that have been processed by natural organisms, breaking down the original materials into a usable form. Compost has many benefits for soil. It can feed plants, stimulate beneficial microbes, improve soil structure and help the soil retain nutrients, water and warmth.

This guide describes how producers of recycled organic products can ensure that the composts they supply meet the requirements of food safety programs such as Freshcare.

Managing Onion Maggot in vegetables

Managing Onion Maggot in vegetables
24 Oct 2016

Onion Maggot (Delia platura), also known as seed corn maggot, is an agricultural pest that damages seeds and seedlings in a wide range of crops including corn, beans, onions, garlic, brassicas, potatoes and spinach.

Reports of damage by this pest are usually following cool wet spring conditions. This fact sheet provides practical advice on the damage caused by Onion Maggot, its life cycle, and the cultural, biological and chemical control options. There are also some tips for great further reading if you want to know more.

Managing pesticide resistance in vegetable crops with Dr Paul Horne (webinar recording)

Managing pesticide resistance in vegetable crops with Dr Paul Horne (webinar recording)
20 Oct 2016

Pesticide resistance is an ongoing concern for the vegetable industry.

If you missed this webinar on 20 October 2016, listen to the recording with expert practitioners Dr Paul Horne and Jessica Page from IPM Technologies and Carl Larsen, RMCG to find out more about how resistance arises, developing a resistance management strategy, and understanding all the control options available - biological, cultural and chemical.

Leaf and sap testing for managing vegetabe crop nutrition with Bruce Scott, Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers (webinar recording)

Leaf and sap testing for managing vegetabe crop nutrition with Bruce Scott, Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers (webinar recording)
28 Sep 2016

View the leaf and sap testing for vegetable crops webinar broadcast on the 27th September 2016 by Bruce Scott, Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers from the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection team and E.E. Muir & Sons.

Variable Rate Technologies in Queensland vegetables

Variable Rate Technologies in Queensland vegetables
14 Sep 2016

Crop sensing is allowing the adoption of variable rate management to address yield variability, improve management of inputs and maximise productivity.

Summer cover crops

Summer cover crops
1 Sep 2016

Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian summer cover crops.

Pest management - what are the options? with Dr Paul Horne (webinar recording)

Pest management - what are the options? with Dr Paul Horne (webinar recording)
22 Jul 2016

Watch this video if you missed this webinar on 22 July 2016.

Listen to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) experts Dr Paul Horne and Jessica Page with Carl Larsen discuss the chemical, cultural and biological options for controlling insect pests in Australian vegetable crops.

Soils in Schools initiative by Soil Science Australia

Soils in Schools initiative by Soil Science Australia
21 Jul 2016

The Soils in Schools program started in 2015, the UN declared International Year of Soils. It is an initiative of Soil Science Australia.

This programs vision is to communicate and educate school children on the relevance of soils in everyday life and to encourage a wider interest in our soil resources.

Soil Testing for Vegetable Crops with Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers (webinar recording)

Soil Testing for Vegetable Crops with Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers (webinar recording)
13 Jul 2016

Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers from the Soil Wealth team, presented a webinar on how to get the most from soil testing for vegetable crops.

If you missed this popular webinar, you can view the recording and download the presentation from here.

Nutrient element functions in vegetable crops 

Nutrient element functions in vegetable crops 
7 Jul 2016

Plant nutrients are commonly split into two categories:

• Major elements (macronutrients) that are required in relatively large quantities by plants, and
• Trace elements (micronutrients) that are essential for plant growth, but are only required in small amounts.

All elements must be available in a form that is useable by the plant, and in balanced concentrations that allow optimum plant growth.

Download this great summary of what the plant nutrients do, and how they need to be applied for the plant to make best use of your investment in fertilisers.

Taking soil samples

Taking soil samples
6 Jul 2016

Soil sampling and testing is usually done prior to planting a crop; specific in-crop testing can be useful e.g. testing for available nitrate and ammonium.

A soil test report is only as good as the care taken in sampling. Tools and equipment should be cleaned prior to collecting each sample. Completing labels and writing on bags or containers before going out to the field can save some time and confusion.

Read this fact sheet for guidance on how to take soil samples correctly and obtain reliable information on the nutrient status of your soil.

Review of Current Vegetable Irrigation Technologies

Review of Current Vegetable Irrigation Technologies
5 Jul 2016

This summary provides Australian vegetable growers with an understanding of available and emerging irrigation practices and technologies that could improve profitability and encourage the uptake of more efficient water practices.

Winter cover crops

Winter cover crops
1 Jul 2016

Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian winter cover crops.

Silicon for crop health

Silicon for crop health
28 Jun 2016

Silicon is an available nutrient for all plants grown in soil, with its content in plant tissue ranging from 0.1%-10%. Although it is not currently classified as an essential nutrient for plant growth, recent research suggests that silicon may have a significant role to play in plant health.

Read this fact sheet to learn more about the benefits of silicon on crop health and subsequent production, including improved nutrient availability, plant resistance to pest and disease pressure, and improved resilience to environmental stress. Guidance on how to choose a silicon product is also provided.

Australian Standard for composts, soil conditioners and mulches

Australian Standard for composts, soil conditioners and mulches
21 Jun 2016

The objective of this Standard is to provide manufacturers, suppliers, customers and government bodies with the minimum requirements for the physical, chemical and biological properties of composts, soil conditioners, mulches and vermicast, as well as labelling and marking, in order to facilitate the beneficial recycling and use of compostable organic materials with minimal adverse impact on environmental and public health, by avoiding biosecurity and phytotoxicity risks associated with inappropriate product.

Carbon storage in vegetable soils

Carbon storage in vegetable soils
2 May 2016

Maintaining or increasing soil carbon makes good sense – for the environment and for soil productivity. While climate scientists talk about soil carbon, you will know it better as soil organic matter. And the productivity benefits of soil organic matter are legendary:

• Providing a slow release supply of nutrients
• Improving cation exchange capacity and nutrient- holding ability
• Buffering against soil acidity
• Improving soil structure and aggregate stability
• Improving soil water holding capacity
• Reducing erosion risk.

This fact sheet summaries the opportunities and management options for mitigating or sequestering soil carbon in vegetable soils.

How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero

How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero
15 Apr 2016

How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero. Video of a Webinar run on the 31st March 2016 with DR Len Tesoriero (NSW DPI) and Dr Kelvin Montagu from AHR.

Erosion: how to protect your soil

Erosion: how to protect your soil
4 Apr 2016

A healthy topsoil is a great asset to have, as this layer of soil contains the highest concentration of organic matter, micro-organisms, nutrients and biological activity. Lost topsoil can’t be replaced in a human’s lifespan. Therefore erosion, probably the biggest culprit in the loss of topsoil, should be effectively managed.

This fact sheet provides essential information on managing soil erosion, including reducing the impact of wind and water. The easy to read publication also guides decision-making on managing your irrigation system, controlling run-off water, covering exposed soil areas, improving soil structure and increasing cohesion between soil particles.

How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)

How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero (webinar recording)
31 Mar 2016

Vegetable pathologist, Dr Len Tesoriero and AHRs Dr Kelvin Montagu, recently presented a highly successful webinar on how to manage the soil borne disease Pythium in vegetable crops.

The webinar was recorded, and is now available as a YouTube video. You can click on the link below to watch the full Webinar. You can also download the presentation and follow the link to an ICP factsheet on how to manage soil borne disease in vegetable crops.

Blankets for vegetables: Using frost cloth to protect plants from weather

Blankets for vegetables: Using frost cloth to protect plants from weather
21 Mar 2016

This fact sheet explains how floating row covers can be used to protect crops from frost and other weather extremes, while at the same time protecting crops from insect pests.

Precision vegetable cropping on Landline

Precision vegetable cropping on Landline
8 Feb 2016

Check out how precision farming techniques are being adapted to vegetable production.

Grafting Snake Beans to Control Fusarium Wilt

Grafting Snake Beans to Control Fusarium Wilt
1 Feb 2016

This Agnote developed by the Northern Territory Government describes the technique of grafting snake beans to control Fusarium wilt.

Soilborne Disease Master Class for the Vegetable Industry - Experiences from leading growers

Soilborne Disease Master Class for the Vegetable Industry - Experiences from leading growers
31 Jan 2016

Vegetable growers and advisors discuss how attending a master class has changed the way they manage soilborne diseases and influenced their business.

Weed management in vegetables

Weed management in vegetables
15 Dec 2015

Weeds increase the cost of growing vegetables, reduce crop yield and quality, and impact farm management decisions, such as timing of harvest and choice of herbicide options.

The Soil Story

The Soil Story
14 Dec 2015

A summary of the importance of soil, soil science and good soil management from a Victorian perspective.

Slug control using Integrated Pest Management

Slug control using Integrated Pest Management
14 Dec 2015

In the higher rainfall zones, slugs in vegetable production systems can be a problem. As no single control method will provide complete protection, an integrated approach is best. Read this useful fact sheet to find out more, and learn from what other industries are doing.

Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Sweet Corn: A field identification guide

Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Sweet Corn: A field identification guide
15 Oct 2015

This guide enables field identification of the insects, diseases and disorders of Sweet Corn by providing:
- photos
- written description
- damage symptoms
- season when commonly found

Biofumigation

Biofumigation
18 Aug 2015

Biofumigation is the use of specialised cover crops, which are grown, mulched and incorporated into the soil prior to cropping. High biomass, especially roots, can provide the traditional benefits of green manure crops, and if done right, naturally occurring compounds from the biofumigant plants can suppress soil-borne pests, diseases and weeds.

Precision agriculture in vegetable poduction

Precision agriculture in vegetable poduction
17 Jun 2015

Ed Windley and Ben Moore are vegetable growers from Kalbar, Queensland. In conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Ed and Ben are trialling new practices such as controlled traffic and variable rate applications to maximise efficiency on their farms.