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.
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.
From 2014 to 2017, 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?
Soil acidification, the drop in soil pH, is due to several factors including leaching of nitrate nitrogen, nutrient uptake by crops and root exudates, build-up of soil organic matter and use of nitrogenous fertilisers containing ammonium and urea.
Choosing the right lime product and applying it at the correct rate is important in managing soil acidification and the subsequent impact on vegetable crops.
Read this useful fact sheet to find out more about the causes and effects of soil acidification, how liming increases soil pH differently depending on your soil type, different products, as well as managing paddock variability.
The Soil Wealth and ICP project is scanning global technologies to bring you some of the most interesting and practical advances in weed management. Most new technology for controlling weeds will be a positive step forward for soil health and the environment, and will play an important role in our fight against herbicide resistant weeds.
This global scan and review provides guidance on non-selective fallow paddock weed control, as well as selective In-crop weed control, and delivery technology.
When is the best time to spray during summer? What will maximise the effectiveness of the chemical and reduce off-target risk? Nufarm have developed this easy to follow poster to guide when to spray in summer and the key considerations around time of day.
And remember - always follow label instructions.
This presentation by Ted Kornecki at the 2014 International Soil and Water Conference in the USA summarises work undertaken on roller crimper termination of cover crops at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, in Alabama, USA.
Both large scale and small scale roller crimpers are tested on cereal rye and crimson clover.
Using water efficiently means applying enough water to meet the needs of the crop - not more, not less.
A soil in good condition consists of around 50% solid matter; this includes organic matter. The remaining space should be half filled with air and half with water. Organic matter is the main driver of soil health.
Read this practical fact sheet for guidance on readily available water (RAW) and soil texture, as well as healthy soil conditions.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) refers to the combination of chemical, cultural and biological options for controlling insect pests in Australian vegetable crops.
Watch this informative and interactive one-hour session to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts, including IPM Technologies, E.E. Muir & Sons and Schreurs & Sons.
Phosphorus is one of the most common elements found in plants, usually ranking 8th after carbon, oxygen, hydrogen (which combined make up around 95% of plant dry matter), nitrogen, potassium, silicon and calcium. Unlike these other 7 elements, phosphorus is almost universally deficient in unfertilised soils in south-eastern parts of Australia.
Read this excellent concise literature review by Glenn Bailey to learn more about how phosphorus behaves in the soil, including fixing reactions, buffer capacity, available phosphorus, soil reserves, plant requirements and leaching.
Since 2016 there have been numerous customer complaints about redback spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) in broccoli. Complaints have mainly come between January and June, and from customers in all Australian states. This suggests that this is not an issue for a single production area, but can occur anywhere that broccoli is grown.
Redback spiders are clearly unacceptable to consumers, and also pose risks to growers, pickers and packers.
Despite their fearsome reputation, redback spiders are generally timid. They are nocturnal, travel only short distances and need protection from wind, rain and extremes of temperatures. Broccoli crops are not their usual habitat.
This fact sheet summarises what we know about the risk of redback spiders contaminating broccoli.
Trialling different management practices, technologies or varieties on-farm is a great way to 'road test' the change before implementing at a larger scale.
Read this fact sheet for further guidance on planning, choosing sites and data collection for designing your on-farm trial. There's also a handy trial protocol checklist provided to make sure you're covering the right information.
Labile carbon is the carbon most readily available as a carbon and energy source to microorganisms.
Read this fact sheet to find out more about labile carbon and its use as a 'leading indicator' of soil health, as well as undertaking your own labile carbon field test to see for yourself.
This Fertigation Manual summarises the basic principles and practices of fertigation systems to ensure accurate and efficient crop nutrition, and was developed by Yara.
The manual focuses on the agronomic value of fertigation practice and provides best practice advice. Through adopting the practices outlined in the manual, growers and their advisors will be better placed to achieve optimum yields of high quality crops.
Organic amendments are mostly applied pre-planting of cash or cover crops, and always contain carbon and all major nutrients (N, P, S and K).
Read this global scan and review, the first in a series, that covers what organic soil amendments are, why and how to use them, the effects on soils and crops, as well as other specific considerations. Further research, development and extension needs are also identified for future guidance.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of summer root rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of club root.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of bottom rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of black rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of big vein.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of basel plate rot.
Fusarium is a genus of common soilborne fungi. Most live as saprophytes on decaying plant matter while a few are also important plant pathogens.
While there are many different pathogenic Fusarium species, some of the most damaging diseases are caused by strains of one species complex, Fusarium oxysporum. They cause vascular wilt diseases by entering the roots and colonising the water-conducting tissue (xylem). This causes older leaves to yellow and plants eventually wilt and die.
For more information read this practical fact sheet on fusarium wilt diseases, factors that favour fusarium diseases, and management strategies.
Clubroot is one of the most potentially devastating soil borne diseases affecting brassica vegetables (e.g. cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts) in Australia. Once plants are infected there are no effective control measures.
Read this fact sheet to find out more about identifying clubroot, clubroot management strategies including integrated approaches, as well as evaluating clubroot risk.
Future focus – robotics and intelligent systems in Australian vegetable production systems (webinar recording)
Robotics and intelligent systems are used throughout various agricultural industries to control, monitor and improve farming systems. The development of various systems to aid in increasing the economic performance of farms is prevalent in both Australia and internationally.
Watch this informative and interactive one-hour session to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts, including leaders from the University of Sydney, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and DataFarming.
Read this update from the VG16009 project team being led by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Highlights include findings and next steps from the demonstration sites in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
The role of soil DNA testing in managing the risk of soilborne diseases – how is it being used and what can it do? (webinar recording)
Soilborne diseases pose a significant threat to vegetable crop health and losses. Disease pressure and prevalence is influenced by a number of factors including block selection, crop rotation, varieties, nutrition, irrigation and fumigation.
Watch this informative and practical session to get the latest updates from Dr Michael Rettke, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Dr Doris Blaesing, RMCG.
Sclerotinia rot, also known as white mould, is one of the major diseases of green beans in Australia. Sclerotinia rot can cause significant yield losses during the cropping season as well as post-harvest damage.
Read this fact sheet to discover more about identyfing slerotinia, management options, important irrigation timings and further reading.
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.
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.
Hort Innovation supports research in sensing and digital technologies to improve irrigation decision-making for vegetable producers.
Identifying new ways to optimise irrigation is key to the ongoing success and sustainability of irrigated farming in Australia.
The rise of agricultural technology is seeing tailored farming solutions that marry microclimate sensors with data intelligence to provide accurate insight into the crop and soil water balance. By providing real-time information about what is happening in each crop, these emerging technologies can help growers make faster, more accurate irrigation decisions by backing up gut feel with hard evidence.
This levy-funded project aims to assist vegetable growers to implement precision technologies (VG16009). A key element is demonstrating what precision technologies are commercially available to assist in horticulture with identifying and understanding crop variability.
The Precision Agriculture Research Group from the University of New England and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries recently published a number of articles in the WA Grower magazine.
Read these articles to get an update on mapping variation at harvest and yield prediction of vegetable crops.
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.
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.
Created through the Horticulture Innovation Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney's internationally-recognised Australian Centre for Field Robotics, RIPPA aims to benefit the vegetable industry by automating a number of existing farm management tasks.
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.
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.
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.
The CRC for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) is bringing together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions for Australia’s underperforming soils.
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.
Extended surveillance for incursions of the Tomato Potato psyllid in eastern Australia by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia, is coordinating a national surveillance program for the Tomato Potato psyllid (TPP) which was discovered in Western Australia in February 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Growers, Scott and Kent Samwell, have always been using cover crops to rest the soil between brassica plantings and prevent erosion on the hilly land. They mainly planted rye grass and oats, and have been trying new types over the past 4-5 years, including rye grass mixed with legumes. They continue to be interested in investigating further options. This includes rye grass, faba beans, vetch and triticale, and potentially lucerne and rye corn.
This case study presents insights and lessons from trialling different cover crops and IPM at the Eastbrook Vegetable Farms demonstration site in Mt Barker in South Australia.
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).
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.
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.
This presentation provides a great overview of the role of phosphorus in soil biology by Dr Cassandra Schefe, from Monash University and Schefe Consulting.
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, 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.
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.
Nematodes in vegetable soils - managing the bad and good ones with Dr Sarah Collins (webinar recording)
This webinar with Nematode specialist Dr Sarah Collins from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA focused on the pest nematode, outlining the life cycles of the root-knot and root-lesion nematodes and how this can be used to target control measures.
The webinar also covered beneficial free living nematodes and how these can be managed and used as soil health indicators.
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.
Members of the Soil Wealth and ICP team were recently interviewed for the Potatoes Australia magazine. The key message? Many of the soil health and plant protection practices relevant to vegetables, also apply to potatoes.
Click through to read the article.
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.
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.
Issues with damping off in spinach? This useful fact sheet provides an overview of the symptoms and conditions that favour different pathogens causing damping off such as Pythium spp, Phytophthora spp, Fusarium spp and Rhizoctonia spp. Knowing the causal pathogen can aid selection of effective management and control strategies.
There's also handy information on how the fungi spread, susceptibility and severity, diagnosis, and how to manage damping off, including practices to keep in your 'toolbox'.
Soil borne diseases are a serious concern for the vegetable industry, but can be managed, according to NSW Department of Primary Industries Senior Plant Pathologist, Dr Len Tesoriero. Dr Tesoriero has given a number of interesting and practical presentations at recent industry events on managing soil borne diseases in vegetable crops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This fact sheet outlines key factors and the management options for the successful transition from cover crop to cash crop in vegetable production systems.
Two Pythium species are mostly responsible for forking and cavity spot of carrots in Australia. In most cases, P. sulcatum cause the symptoms.
While some general rules apply, especially the need for managing soil moisture, pH, soil calcium and crop maturity; carrot producers should find their own optimum combination of additional management strategies that fit their production systems and growing conditions.
Read this useful fact sheet to find out more about what causes cavity spot and forking in carrots, as well factors affecting cavity spot development and management approaches.
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.
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.
A webinar on nutrition management and plant disease presented by Dr Len Tesoriero as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Read this great summary of carrot disorders to better understand what may be affecting your carrot packout. This includes corky brown rot, cavity spot, sclerotinia rot and violet root.
This poster was prepared by By Dr. Hoong Pung & Pam Cox, Serve-Ag Research in Tasmania.
In this webinar Andy Ryland, talks about the ways to manage pests when growing vegetables in greenhouses.
Developing a fertilizer program for vegetable crops with Bruce Scott & Doris Blaesing (webinar recording)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
Integrated Weed Management for the Australian Vegetable Industry with Dr Paul Kristiansen, Dr Kelvin Montagu and Marc Hinderager (webinar recording)
A webinar on weed management presented by Dr Paul Kristiansen, Dr Kelvin Montagu and Marc Hinderager as part of the Integrated Crop Protection project.
Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian summer cover crops.
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.
Brassica whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella) is a pest of crops in the brassica family. This insect is not restricted to brassicas, although it prefers them. Its host range includes cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, kale and Asian vegetables, especially wombok (Chinese cabbage).
In NSW, the brassica whitefly has only become a pest of significance in the last 2-3 seasons but were first reported in Australia in 1997 in South Australia.
This fact sheet provides you with important information on damage, ecology, and management options including monitoring, cultural practices, biological control and chemical control.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian winter cover crops.
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.
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.
Transplant shock is a check in growth that can occur when seedlings are transplanted from the seedling tray into the field. Stresses due to root damage, changed environment or water stress can all contribute to transplant shock. Significant transplant shock can result in poor plant stands and a lower percentage cut of good quality lettuce.
This fact sheet provides guidance on the ideal age of transplants and tips for avoiding transplant shock.
Blindness occurs when the main apical shoot or growing tip of the lettuce is lost during the seedling’s early growth. It is also sometimes called multiple heading or apical meristem decline.
This fact sheet covers key information, such as:
- How much of a problem is this disorder?
- What does a blind lettuce look like?
- What causes blindness?
- How to control blindness.
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. Video of a Webinar run on the 31st March 2016 with DR Len Tesoriero (NSW DPI) and Dr Kelvin Montagu from AHR.
One of the key issues with babyleaf spinach is how to deliver this popular leafy vegetable to consumers in good condition. For this to happen, growers must first produce high quality spinach, and this quality must be maintained throughout the supply chain until it’s used by the consumer.
This fact sheet explores the three most significant pre-harvest factors that affect spinach post-harvest quality and shelf-life. These are growth rate of crop, variety, and minimum night temperature during the growing period.
Lettuce is an important horticultural crop in Australia, with an annual production over 160 million tonnes and a total gross value of $140 million. Lettuce is regularly purchased by 80% of consumers in Australia.
The key quality attributes for whole and fresh-cut lettuce are moisture loss, shrivelling, colour (browning, bleaching of the green colour), off-odours, and off-flavour formation, breakdown and microbiological contamination.
This fact sheet will assist you to address these key quality attributes through important pre-harvest crop management such as developing a crop planting schedule, mineral nutrition, tip burn management, deficit irrigation, floating row covers and light.
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.
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.
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.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in capsicums and chillies. This fact sheet is the last in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in lettuce. This fact sheet is the sixth in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in cucumbers. This fact sheet is the fifth in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in celery. This fact sheet is the fourth in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in carrots. This fact sheet is the third in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
Soil-borne diseases are a major threat to vegetable production and now a new project is tackling the problem.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in brassica vegetable crops. This fact sheet is the second in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
This easy to read fact sheet provides information on control options (both chemical and non-chemical) for high priority pests in brassica leafy vegetable crops. This fact sheet is the first in a series of seven publications that provide details on the currently registered and permitted pesticides for key diseases, insects and weeds in your crop.
Vegetable growers and advisors discuss how attending a master class has changed the way they manage soilborne diseases and influenced their business.
A two minute summary of Dr Doris Blaesing's presentation "Understanding Manures & Composts".
Part 2 of 5 of a Green Crops and Biofumigation seminar presented by Dale Gies from High Performance Seeds Inc, Washington, USA. Seminar hosted by Serve-Ag Tasmania, February 2015 and broadcast by Soil Wealth.
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.
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.
Internal rot in capsicum is an infection on the seeds, placenta or internal wall(s) of capsicum red fruit. Normally, symptoms are only seen once the fruit is cut open. The external appearance of the fruit is completely normal.
The disease leads to downgrades and rejections of fruit on the market, and affected fruit often progress right through the supply chain, to consumers.
The purpose of this factsheet is to bring together the most up to date information on the cause(s), control and prevention of internal rot in capsicums.
Insects are potential contaminants of processed leafy vegetables. Pest and beneficial species, in both the juvenile and adult stages of their life cycles can become unwanted contaminants if they make their way from the field into the final packaged product and to the end consumer.
Powdery mildew has been found on a carrot crops in three states of Australia. The first finding of the disease was in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) of New South Wales in 2007. It has subsequently been found in Tasmania and South Australia in 2008. While the organism causing the disease is commonly found in parsnip crops, powdery mildew has not previously been recorded on carrots in Australia.