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Guide to Brassica Biofumigant Cover Crops: Managing soilborne diseases in vegetable production systems

October 2020
Guide to Brassica Biofumigant Cover Crops: Managing soilborne diseases in vegetable production systems

This publication contains information to assist growers in understanding how biofumigants work and managing them for optimum efficacy against soilborne diseases.

Biofumigants are a unique type of cover crop that produce compounds with suppression effects on soilborne pathogens, pests and weeds.

This guide also discusses and presents data on a range of agronomic management practices of biofumigant cover crops including pest and diseases, nutrient uptake requirements, irrigation and incorporation methods.

Plant Analysis for Vegetable Crops - A Practical Guide to Sampling, Analysis and Interpretation

February 2020
Plant Analysis for Vegetable Crops - A Practical Guide to Sampling, Analysis and Interpretation

Plant analysis is used as a tool to fine tune the nutrition of crops. The nutrient status of plants or parts of plants can be determined directly via laboratory analysis or estimated via in-field testing, while the overall health and nutrient status of a crop can be assessed via non-destructive sensing technologies, e.g. using colourimeters, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) or other remote sensing technologies.

This guide only deals with laboratory based plant nutrient analyses, specifically dry matter analysis and sap analysis. These are analyses of specific plant parts sampled from an entire crop or distinct area(s) in a crop using standardised sampling and sample handling methods. The analyses can be used for leaves, petioles, fruit, tubers/rhizomes/bulbs or entire plants.

Integrated weed management – a practical approach for vegetable growers

November 2020
Integrated weed management – a practical approach for vegetable growers

Integrated weed management (IWM) is vital for getting on top of weed problems in vegetable production. It involves combining all appropriate weed control options in a coordinated, supportive and flexible way. A key outcome of effective IWM in vegetable production is the reduction of the weed seed bank (the number of viable weed seeds present in the soil) to ensure that the weed burden is minimised.

Long-awaited 2020 Precision Ag Expo delights Tassie farmers

November 2020
Long-awaited 2020 Precision Ag Expo delights Tassie farmers

Patience was indeed a virtue for Tasmania’s agriculture industry after the 2020 Precision Ag Expo successfully went ahead on Monday 2 November at Hagley Farm School, following a six-month delay.

Doris Blaesing from the Soil Wealth ICP team was also on hand to share information on the project’s activities, resources and outputs with attendees.

Bulletin November 2020

November 2020
Bulletin November 2020

In this edition: 2020 Precision Ag Expo wrap-up, demonstration site findings from Katherine, Northern Territory and Koo Wee Rup, Victoria, and new resources including a soil microbiology fact sheet and advantages of Sunn hemp in veg production video.

Sustainable vegetable production in Australia: What’s next?

November 2020

An increased awareness of the impact of some long-standing farming practices and community expectations, combined with a greater interest and understanding of alternative systems and products has contributed to the evolution of sustainable vegetable production in Australia.

According to Soil Wealth ICP Partnership Network member and Sustainable Farming Solutions General Manager Steven David, while progress has been made in Australian organic production in particular, there is still room for expansion.

Inter-row ryegrass cover crop - a winner in snow pea production

November 2020
Inter-row ryegrass cover crop - a winner in snow pea production

Read how snow pea grower Kim Ngov found a solution for his weed management challenges using ryegrass as an inter-row cover crop.

Uniformity of nutrient availability continues to improve in 2020

October 2020
Uniformity of nutrient availability continues to improve in 2020

Now in the third year of trials, the benefit of variable rate lime and fertiliser application is starting to pay big dividends at our Koo Wee Rup demonstration site in Victoria.

TIA Honours students share key project findings

October 2020
TIA Honours students share key project findings

The 2020 class of Agriculture Science Honours students at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture recently presented the findings from their final projects, many of which were relevant to growers in the vegetable industry.

What you need to know about soil microbiology

October 2020
What you need to know about soil microbiology

Soil health is closely linked to soil microbiology. This fact sheet outlines information on a broad group of soil microbes including fungi, bacteria and pseudomonas, and explains how different levels, numbers and ratios of these microbes can impact the overall health of your soil and crops.

Project aims to unlock the true value of organic soil amendments

October 2020
Project aims to unlock the true value of organic soil amendments

A project led by the Queensland University of Technology is focusing on providing farmers, agronomists and suppliers of manures and composts with a decision support tool for integrating organic amendments into farm nutrient budgets.

Cover crop demonstration trial results – Tasmania

October 2020
Cover crop demonstration trial results – Tasmania

In February 2020, six cover crop demonstration sites were planted in the lead-up to the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group's Precision Ag Expo. Take a look at the summary of results from the trial which focused on nematode suppression, feed production, weed suppression, soil conditioning, pathogen control and nitrogen fixation.

Bulletin October 2020

October 2020
Bulletin October 2020

In this edition: New guide to brassica biofumigant cover crops, seasonal outlook for vegetable growing areas, demonstration site findings from Manjimup, Western Australia and Koo Wee Rup, Victoria, and new resources including a poster on the ins and outs of variable rate application.

Recycled organics compost for vegetable growers

October 2020
Recycled organics compost for vegetable growers

Recycled organics are compostable organic materials, including garden organics, food waste, residual wood and timber. Recycled organics compost is derived from shredding and stockpiling these green wastes for up to six months before being screened to remove contaminants and create a compost high in organic matter, essential nutrients and beneficial bacteria.

Recycled organics compost - drought tolerance benefits

October 2020
Recycled organics compost - drought tolerance benefits

Compost made from recycled organics is an effective, long-term soil conditioner against drought. Recycled organics will improve the water use efficiency of a farm by capturing more water and holding it for longer.

Over time, an increase in organic matter will improve water holding capacity, soil structure, soil porosity and hydraulic conductivity. Recycled organics applied to the soil surface will also reduce soil crusting and improve water infiltration.



This project is supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of Waste Less, Recycle More, funded from the waste levy.

Recycled organics compost - economics

October 2020
Recycled organics compost - economics

Recycled organics are compostable organic materials, including garden organics, food waste, residual wood and timber. Compost made from recycled organics is derived from shredding and stockpiling these green materials for up to six months before being screened to remove contaminants and create a compost high in organic matter, essential nutrients and beneficial bacteria.

Benefits of a cover crop + strip till combination

October 2020
Benefits of a cover crop + strip till combination

With assistance from the Soil Wealth project team, the Three Ryans, located at Manjimup, WA, decided to try the cover crop + strip till combo to see what benefits there are for their vegetable farm. So, an on-farm strip till demonstration plot was established in a broccoli crop. This has seen cost savings and soil benefits, compared to their conventionally grown broccoli crop.

Wet end to 2020 - Seasonal climate outlook for vegetable growing regions (October - December 2020)

September 2020
Wet end to 2020 - Seasonal climate outlook for vegetable growing regions (October - December 2020)

The peculiar year 2020 will end wetter than average for most regions. Some regions might face warmer days. Key is to get on top of your irrigation in the following months.

At the cutting edge: Advancements in biopesticides for profitable vegetable production

September 2020
At the cutting edge: Advancements in biopesticides for profitable vegetable production

Biopesticides are a diverse group of pest control products based on naturally occurring 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.

Watch this interactive webinar recording to hear from leading international researchers from Lincoln University (NZ) and The University of Queensland (AU).

Drone applications make light work of tough jobs in Bundaberg

September 2020
Drone applications make light work of tough jobs in Bundaberg

Drones are becoming a useful tool in the fight against weeds, insect pests and diseases. This aricle highlights some of the benefits from using drones to spray herbicides quickly and efficiently on a farm in Bundaberg, Queensland.

Bulletin September 2020

September 2020
Bulletin September 2020

In this edition: Have your say on Soil Wealth ICP, demonstration site news from Gingin, Western Australia and a new guide to useful project resources.

Variable rate application: Is it right for your farm?

September 2020
Variable rate application: Is it right for your farm?

This poster provides a snapshot of variable rate application, the options available, why and how to do it, key questions to keep in mind and more information on the practical tips and tools available.

Get prepared: Irrigation scheduling tips for summer

September 2020
Get prepared: Irrigation scheduling tips for summer

As the weather begins to warm up and we look towards the summer growing season, it’s a good time to prepare for your upcoming irrigation requirements. In this article, SWAN Systems shares some key considerations to get the best results from irrigation scheduling software over summer, as well as insights from a trial at Harvest Farms in Richmond, Tasmania.

Winter cover cropping for weed management

August 2020
Winter cover cropping for weed management

In 2018 and 2019, the University of New England worked with Ivankovich Farms in Myalup and David Grays Aglink in Perth, Western Australia, on a two-season trial to explore the effects of different winter cover crop varieties in suppressing weeds in vegetable production.

Integrated Weed Management case study: The Loose Leaf Lettuce Company

August 2020
Integrated Weed Management case study: The Loose Leaf Lettuce Company

The Loose Leaf Lettuce Company in Gingin, Western Australia, has been successful in reducing their weed burden to a minimal level after several years of diligently using a simple but very effective integrated approach.

Summary of Resources: Handy hints and where to find useful information (Phase 2)

August 2020
Summary of Resources: Handy hints and where to find useful information (Phase 2)

This guide summarises and provides easy access to useful resources developed by the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection project from December 2017 to July 2020.

New guides: Pesticide effects on beneficials in vegetable crops

August 2020
New guides: Pesticide effects on beneficials in vegetable crops

A series of guides are now available to vegetable growers and agronomists to provide a better understanding of the best ways to use pesticides in an Integrated Pest Management Program to maximise the impact of beneficial species.

Online information hub for cadmium in agriculture

August 2020
Online information hub for cadmium in agriculture

Looking for information on cadmium in agriculture? Australian scientist Professor Mike McLaughlin has recently refreshed content including reports and best management practice guides produced by the work of the National Cadmium Minimisation Strategy between 2002 and 2006. This information is now maintained and updated by Fertilizer Australia.

2020 Vegetable Crop Nutrition Masterclass an online success

August 2020
2020 Vegetable Crop Nutrition Masterclass an online success

Over two days, 36 vegetable growers and agronomists across Australia took part in an interactive event which built on their existing knowledge and helped to improve their crop nutrition programs on-farm, particularly during difficult growing conditions.

Bulletin August 2020

August 2020
Bulletin August 2020

In this edition: Vegetable Crop Nutrition Masterclass an online success, demonstration site news from Sydney Basin and Cowra, NSW, and new resources on pink rot in potatoes.

Use of remote sensing technology in vegetable weed control and yield prediction

August 2020
Use of remote sensing technology in vegetable weed control and yield prediction

The integration of remote sensing in daily farm management is a hot topic driven by the evolving range of applications through the Internet of Things (IoT). In this article, start-up company Hummingbird Technologies describes how the technologies in the Artificial Intelligence and remote sensing space can help vegetable growers to make the right decisions for weed control and harvest prediction. 

Video series on precision agriculture in vegetable production

July 2020
Video series on precision agriculture in vegetable production

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has produced a series of videos focusing on precision agriculture in vegetable production.

Cover crops for weed suppression in snow peas

July 2020
Cover crops for weed suppression in snow peas

Cambodian Grower Group are exploring the potential of cover crops as part of an integrated weed management strategy.

Summer cover cropping for weed management

July 2020
Summer cover cropping for weed management

In this two part video series, the University of New England presents the results from a recent trial which explored the effects of diferent cover crops in suppressing weeds in vegetable production at Greater Sydney Local Land Services' Demonstration Farm in the Richmond Lowlands, New South Wales.

Soil biology and biological products; an introduction podcast (30 minute listen)

July 2020
Soil biology and biological products; an introduction podcast (30 minute listen)

Soil biology is a complex, dynamic and broad field. This podcast will introduce you to the concept of why biology is important to soil fertility and maximising crop production.

Vegetable grower innovation showcased in South Australian case studies

July 2020
Vegetable grower innovation showcased in South Australian case studies

A new series of ‘Sustainable Success Stories’ from the South Australian vegetable industry showcase how local leaders are engaging with industry-led programs to overcome farm challenges and improve their sustainability. Take a look at the five case studies below.

Bulletin July 2020

July 2020
Bulletin July 2020

In this edition: Get effective R&D support in a remote setting, demonstration site news from Victoria and Bathurst, NSW, and new resources on managing salinity in potato and vegetable production.

Using mycorrhizae to boost vegetable crop quality and yield

July 2020
Using mycorrhizae to boost vegetable crop quality and yield

As the use of biological crop products increases in the Australian vegetable industry, it is essential that growers have a clear understanding of soil biology and how these products can work effectively. This includes the role of mycorrhizae and how it can impact the quality and yield of a crop.

Podcast: Cover crop trial at Cowra, NSW, with Marc Hinderager (6 minutes)

June 2020
Podcast: Cover crop trial at Cowra, NSW, with Marc Hinderager (6 minutes)

Agronomist, Marc Hinderager, has been working with the growers in Cowra and reports on the results of this cover crop trial.

Nutrition management resources

June 2020
Nutrition management resources

Managing plant nutrition is integral to producing a healthy, profitable vegetable crop. The Soil Wealth ICP team has collated a range of informative resources to help growers, advisors and other vegetable industry service providers to better manage crop-specific nutrition.

Bulletin June 2020

June 2020
Bulletin June 2020

In this edition: Have your say on agvet chemicals review, demonstration site news from Bathurst, NSW and Tasmania, and new resources on nutrition management support.

Yuri Wolfert: Tasmanian cover crop trial update

May 2020
Yuri Wolfert: Tasmanian cover crop trial update

Tasmanian vegetable and potato grower Yuri Wolfert provides an update on his cover crop, which was planted five weeks ago to prepare the soil for next season's potato crop.

Importance of beneficial biological organisms in soil for vegetable crops

May 2020
Importance of beneficial biological organisms in soil for vegetable crops

Most good crop management practices begin with the soil. Enhancing natural populations of beneficial soil organisms can aid in the growth and establishment of crops, as well as improve soil health and sustainability.

Bulletin May 2020

May 2020
Bulletin May 2020

In this edition: Soil Wealth ICP broadcasts live from East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days, demonstration site news from Koo Wee Rup, VIC and Cowra, NSW, and new resources on control of post-harvest bacterial soft rots in potatoes.

Managing sodicity in vegetable crops

May 2020
Managing sodicity in vegetable crops

Sodicity is different to salinity, but it can still have a negative impact on soil structure and crop growth.

This fact sheet explains what sodicity is and how it differs to salinity; how to identify sodicity in soils and its impact on soil and crops, as well as management options.

Soil Wealth ICP broadcasts live from EGVID 2020

May 2020
Soil Wealth ICP broadcasts live from EGVID 2020

The Soil Wealth ICP team was pleased to support the 2020 East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID), which were held from 5-7 May in Lindenow.

Spanning over two hectares, the EGVID demonstration site offered countless rows of more than 20 vegetable crop types and around 2000 different varieties in total, ranging from lettuce and baby leaf varieties to broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and more – all growing strongly (thanks to some recent rainfall) and ready for data capture and dissemination.

During the week, the Soil Wealth ICP team organised live streams of the agri-chemical and seed trials at the site alongside event organisers and agronomists Stuart Grigg and Noel Jansz.

Cover crop trial discussion: East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days

May 2020
Cover crop trial discussion: East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days

Join Dr Kelvin Montagu (AHR, Soil Wealth ICP team), John Duff (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) and Carl Larsen (RMCG, Soil Wealth ICP team) as they discuss the results of a cover crop trial at the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days.

The team will discuss the different cover crop species used in the trial, their benefits and best options for use, as well as any drawbacks around terminations.

Working with earthworms to boost soil productivity

May 2020
Working with earthworms to boost soil productivity

Earthworms are known to be an indicator of healthy soil function, with the ability to improve soil structure and fertility as well as promote root and plant growth.

What do weeds cost Australian vegetable growers?

April 2020
What do weeds cost Australian vegetable growers?

In 2019, the University of New England completed a case study assessment of the farm-level impacts of weeds in vegetable production, as part of Hort Innovation-funded project VG15070.

This article summarises the key results of its recently published report, Economics of weed management in the Australian vegetable industry. This was the first time a detailed economic analysis of weed impact and management has been completed at the farm-level in Australia’s vegetable industry.

Bulletin April 2020

April 2020
Bulletin April 2020

In this edition: Spotlight on soil biology and integrated weed management, demonstration site news from Tasmania and new resources on nitrate field testing and taking soil samples.

VegNET Bugs and Biosecurity

April 2020
VegNET Bugs and Biosecurity

This is a recording of a VegNET Tasmania webinar in the autumn of 2020.

Effective R&D support when face to face isn’t possible

March 2020
Effective R&D support when face to face isn’t possible

Coronavirus (COVID-19) will change the way we do our work, but as we still have important work to do, it can’t be allowed to stop our work. It is crucial that we continue to support growers, advisors and other industry stakeholders with the best available research and development (R&D) extension services, products and communication on improved soil management and plant health in the Australian vegetable industry.

Click here for your expert contact for each of the technical areas / problems.

VegNET Vegetable Levy R&D Project Updates and Discussion

March 2020
VegNET Vegetable Levy R&D Project Updates and Discussion

Watch this webinar recording to learn from key researchers about the latest findings of several Hort Innovation Vegetable Levy Funded Projects.

Area Wide Management (AWM) of pests: guidelines and resources

February 2020
Area Wide Management (AWM) of pests: guidelines and resources

Controlling pest species can be complex. Insect pests can be particularly hard to control due to their mobility and their ability to use different plants as hosts. They may also act as vectors for disease.

One approach to control a pest is Area Wide Management (AWM).

Taking soil samples

January 2020
Taking soil samples

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.

Nitrate Field Test

January 2020
Nitrate Field Test

Testing for soil nitrate is important to manage nitrogen availability in vegetable crops to ensure optimal yield and quality.

This simple and easy to use guide has been developed to show how a quick nitrate test can be conducted in the field.

Seasonal rainfall outlook for vegetable growing regions (January - March 2020)

January 2020
Seasonal rainfall outlook for vegetable growing regions (January - March 2020)

Irrigation and water management remains of paramount importance, as the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a drier and hotter than average remainder of summer. This comes after the dry year 2019 with some vegetable growing regions receiving less than half of their usual rainfall (see figure below).

Vegetable Industry R&D Updates 2019

December 2019
Vegetable Industry R&D Updates 2019

What are the key projects currently underway that can add value or solve a problem in your vegetable growing business?

Get all the latest updates in this R&D update booklet, with a two-page snapshot across 17 of the most significant projects around Australia that cover everying from soils, weeds, consumer insights and leadership.

Planning for Summer - Irrigation and Water Management

December 2019
Planning for Summer - Irrigation and Water Management

As crop growth and water use increase with the warmer weather, it’s a good time to think about getting on top of irrigation management and reviewing your water availability.

Watch this webinar, hosted by VegNET, for a Victoria specific focus on the summer weather outlook, water availability north of the divide and preparation of irrigation systems.

Biofumigation Cover Crops PART 2 Pest & diseases & impact on soil-borne diseases

December 2019
Biofumigation Cover Crops PART 2 Pest & diseases & impact on soil-borne diseases

There are many brassica species and cultivars that can be grown as biofumigants or cover crops. These brassicas are typically thought of as cool seasons options but work by the cover crop project has looked at how they perform across the year in southern Queensland. And some results will surprise!

Part 2 of the webinar looks at the potential pest and disease issues while growing the cover crops and the potential impact on soil-bourne disesases (Sclerotium rolfsii, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum & Macrophomina phaseolina) following incorporation.

Watch this webinar with Dr John Duff and Kelvin Montagu who summarise the results of trials growing more than 12 different biofumigants at different times of the year in Gatton and Bundaberg. 

Biological Products Database

December 2019
Biological Products Database

This Biological Product Database is a tool for growers that will assist with navigating the array of ‘biological’ products currently available to their farming business. We have compiled the information in response to questions from growers about available products on the Australian market.

Managing salinity in vegetable crops

November 2019
Managing salinity in vegetable crops

Salinity issues can appear in all major vegetable production areas; they can come and go depending on weather and changes in water quality. It can occur naturally or as a result of management practices.

Watch this interactive webinar and hear from industry experts on good salinity management practices on farm, salinity thresholds for vegetables, how salinity can be identified and measured, as well as appropriate EC ranges for soils and water.

Soil phosphorus - The basics

September 2019
Soil phosphorus - The basics

Phosphorus (P) is a major element (macronutrient) that plays a number of important roles in plants, such as productivity, crop quality, increased root growth, and earlier crop maturity. It is necessary for proper cell division and formation of new cells. It's important that soil P is managed correctly for crop nutrition.

This fact sheet covers the common characteristics of soil P and its availability for uptake by plants such as pH, mobility and microbial activity, and provides practical management tips and tools in line with the ‘4Rs’ - right source at the right rate, right time, right place.

Fungicides and Fungicide Resistance

September 2019
Fungicides and Fungicide Resistance

Vegetable crop diseases are often caused by fungi. Examples of foliar diseases caused by fungi include: downy mildew, powdery mildew and white blister. Examples of soilborne fungal diseases include: clubroot and diseases cause by Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia and Sclerotium species.

Fungicide resistance occurs when a fungicide or active-ingredient that was once effective, becomes no longer effective. It can occur when reduced rates of fungicides are used or when fungicides are over-used.

Read this fact sheet to find out more about detection and effective management.

Irrigation water quality for vegetables

September 2019
Irrigation water quality for vegetables

When irrigating vegetable crops, the use of poor water quality can affect both the crop and soil in which the plants are growing.

Water analysis is a valuable tool for determining potential or existing salinity problems, developing irrigation strategies, and verifying toxicities or mineral imbalances.

This fact sheet covers the water quality parameters you should know about, like salinity, sodicity, calcium carbonate and other macronutrients.

The ‘breakdown’ on composts

September 2019
The ‘breakdown’ on composts

The rising cost of fertiliser inputs and a greater understanding of the importance of soil health has prompted interest in the use of composts as a soil ameliorant. What exactly are composts and why would you use them in a vegetable production system?

This fact sheet provides a summary ‘breakdown’ on the current knowledge of the benefits and risks of composts, with links to further information available.

Group A Herbicide Resistance in Tasmanian ryegrass populations

September 2019
Group A Herbicide Resistance in Tasmanian ryegrass populations

Recent surveys of Tasmanian ryegrass (Lolium spp.) populations have shown a significant increase in Group A herbicide resistance. John Broster (Charles Sturt University) found an increase in resistance from 18% in 2010 to 46% in 2015 to diclofop-methyl ‘Fop’ and sethoxydim ‘Dim’ herbicides.

The selection of resistant weeds can occur in just 3-4 years if herbicide groups (Modes of Action) are not rotated. Read this fact sheet for an overview of herbicide resistance and what you can do to avoid and minimise the risk of resistance developing.

Using recycled water for vegetables

September 2019
Using recycled water for vegetables

Recycled water is used in nearly all Australian states for vegetable production. Recycled water irrigation schemes offer a number of benefits.

Need to know more about irrigating with recycled water? Then check out this fact sheet that provides a practical overview on the guidelines for recycled water, potential issues, nutrients and further information.

Area-wide management of insect-vectored viral and bacterial diseases - project update

September 2019
Area-wide management of insect-vectored viral and bacterial diseases - project update

Although, historically, area wide management (AWM) has been mostly applied to management of insect pests, it also has potential for controlling plant diseases, particularly those with aerial dispersal mechanisms such as insect- vectored viruses and bacteria. This type of management is contrasted with traditional management, essentially by scale and co-ordination. In AWM control tactics are applied over a broad area, incorporating multiple premises to maintain pest and pathogen populations below economic impact levels.

National vegetable and potato biosecurity program and handy translated resources

August 2019
National vegetable and potato biosecurity program and handy translated resources

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the vegetable industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to actively determine pests of high priority, analyse the risks they pose and implement procedures to reduce the chance of pests becoming established. AUSVEG delivers a number of extension projects with a core biosecurity focus, in addition to project partners like Plant Health Australia.

Precision agriculture in vegetable production

August 2019
Precision agriculture in vegetable production

Precision agriculture (PA) technologies have been widely adopted throughout various agricultural industries in Australia, but what exactly is PA, and what benefits can it provide the Australian vegetable industry? This fact sheet provides information on the different types of technologies that are available, what they do, and how they have the potential to benefit your farming system.

Precision Agriculture Tasmanian RD&E project

August 2019
Precision Agriculture Tasmanian RD&E project

The Precision Agriculture (PA) Project was an on-farm research, demonstration and extension project funded by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment under the Cultivating Prosperity: A 2050 Vision for Agriculture grant program.

The goal of the project was to boost farm productivity in Tasmania using precision agriculture technologies. This fact sheet provides a great overview of the PA tool used (including yield monitoring, imagery, soil mapping, and digital elevation modelling), results, and key factors for progress.

Technology for controlling weeds in vegetable production

August 2019
Technology for controlling weeds in vegetable production

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.

Watch this interactive session to hear from leading industry experts on some of the most interesting and practical advances in weed management.

Managing salinity in vegetable crops

August 2019
Managing salinity in vegetable crops

Salinity issues can appear in all major vegetable production areas; they can come and go depending on weather and changes in water quality. It can occur naturally or as a result of management practices.

Read this fact sheet to find out more about good salinity management practices on farm, salinity thresholds for vegetables, how salinity can be identified and measured, as well as appropriate EC ranges for soils and water.

Growing Matters - #1 Basics of cover cropping with Dr Kelvin Montagu (9 min listen)

July 2019
Growing Matters - #1 Basics of cover cropping with Dr Kelvin Montagu (9 min listen)

Get inspired by this podcast with Dr Kelvin Montagu who gives a good overview on cover cropping, the key benefits for using it on your farm – for your wallet and for your soil health – as well as some handy tips and methods for doing it successfully.

The 9 minute podcast provides
1. an overview of cover cropping
2. benefits of cover cropping
3. typical types of cover crops
4. how quickly can you see benefits
5. what savings can you expect
6. top tips

the podcast is part of VG16068 Optimising cover cropping for the Australian vegetable industry

Remote sensing

July 2019
Remote sensing

Over the past decade, the agricultural industry has seen a significant increase in publicly available remote sensing imagery and data. This technology is more accessible than ever, where users can access a wide range of information that can be implemented into their farming businesses, with the help of service providers and various commercially available platforms.

In this global scan, we address the types of remote sensing available, and its applications to vegetable production systems. Remote sensing is a type of geospatial technology that sits alongside Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies.

Farm biosecurity

July 2019
Farm biosecurity

Farm biosecurity is an intergral part of crop protection and plant health. Learn more about this set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests and diseases.

Veg and tech: Science fiction or the future of farming?

June 2019
Veg and tech: Science fiction or the future of farming?

As agricultural systems forge toward a large-scale, complex, tech-savvy future, where should you look for new technologies and what questions should you be asking?

The Soil Wealth ICP have scanned the watchlist of 24 emerging technologies detected by Agrifutures in 2018 to determine how tech change will influence your vegetable growing business. This global scan and review covers the newest global innovations in technology, how they are being applied, and what we should be looking for.

Soil borne diseases in vegetable crops - A practical guide to identification and control

June 2019
Soil borne diseases in vegetable crops - A practical guide to identification and control

Soil-borne diseases present an ongoing challenge to the Australian vegetable industry, with an estimated $120 million in losses annually.

Soil-borne diseases may be caused by fungi, bacteria, water moulds, nematodes and viruses living in the soil. These pathogens are able to survive for long periods on plant debris, organic matter or sometimes as free-living organisms, i.e. not requiring a plant host. The ability to survive for long periods in the soil, and often having a wide host range, makes control of soil-borne diseases difficult.

Learn the ins and outs of protected cropping systems

June 2019
Learn the ins and outs of protected cropping systems

The series, produced by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, Applied Horticultural Research and VegNET NSW helps growers explore how to implement protected cropping on their growing operations.

Lyndon Orpwood discusses the benefits of strip-tillage to Simplot Australia

May 2019
Lyndon Orpwood discusses the benefits of strip-tillage to Simplot Australia

Lyndon Orpwood from Simplot Australia (Bathurst, NSW) explains how strip-tillage has improved moisture retention and field productivity. The benefits include stubble retention, greater efficiency and reduced diesel usage.

Cover Crops with Harvest Moon

May 2019
Cover Crops with Harvest Moon

The Soil Wealth ICP team look at how Harvest Moon, a large volume vegetable producer in North West Tasmania, are using cover crops to protect and improve their precious red soil.

Time to rejig your rig? Five simple steps in spray rig calibration (poster)

May 2019
Time to rejig your rig? Five simple steps in spray rig calibration (poster)

When was the last time you checked your spray rig? Correct calibration can save you time, money and increase the effective application of chemicals and reduce risk to the environment and your staff.

This practical and useful poster can be displayed in the chemical storage area and spray rig shed on your farm as an important reminder for you and your employees.

Print off a copy or request one in the post today!

Compost Trial Virginia, SA

April 2019
Compost Trial Virginia, SA

The Soil Wealth ICP project follows the implementation of a compost trial for vegetable growers in Virginia SA.

Strip-tillage for vegetables and potatoes with Steve Peterson (USA) and Ben Pogiolli

March 2019
Strip-tillage for vegetables and potatoes with Steve Peterson (USA) and Ben Pogiolli

Hear from industry experts on how strip-till will save you fuel and time, increase soil organic matter, reduce erosion and compaction, and how fertilisers can be banded at multiple depths.

Erosion control machinery - Harvest Moon, TAS case study demonstration site

March 2019
Erosion control machinery - Harvest Moon, TAS case study demonstration site

The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection case study demo site in north west Tasmania is Harvest Moon. This fact sheet showcases one of the practices employed at Harvest Moon, the ripper mulcher, which is used to manage the risk of soil erosion.

Vegetable cropping can leave topsoil vulnerable to significant erosion, and the ripper mulchers are free for Tasmanian growers to borrow and use.

A guide to estimating wind speed for spraying agricultural chemicals (poster)

February 2019
A guide to estimating wind speed for spraying agricultural chemicals (poster)

Choosing when to spray based on the prevailing wind speed is important for effectively applying chemicals and managing risk. This practical and useful poster can be displayed in the chemical storage area and spray rig shed on your farm as an important reminder for you and your employees.

Print off a copy or request one in the post today!

Controlled Traffic Farming with Harvest Moon

February 2019
Controlled Traffic Farming with Harvest Moon

The Soil Wealth ICP project presents this podcast about controlled traffic farming, featuring the best practice agriculture of Tasmanian vegetable growing operation Harvest Moon.

The Ripper Mulcher In Tasmania

February 2019
The Ripper Mulcher In Tasmania

The ripper mulcher is unique machine invented and built in Tasmania by Bill Cotching to control erosion on sloping ground under cultivation.

Getting soil pH right - Lime quality and application rates

January 2019
Getting soil pH right - Lime quality and application rates

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.

Technology for controlling weeds

January 2019
Technology for controlling weeds

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.

24 Hour risk profile for Summer spraying

January 2019
24 Hour risk profile for Summer spraying

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.

Soil health and water use efficiency

October 2018
Soil health and water use efficiency

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 of vegetable pests - a more sustainable approach

October 2018
Integrated Pest Management of vegetable pests - a more sustainable approach

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.

Am I wasting phosphorus?

October 2018
Am I wasting phosphorus?

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.

Farm trial design: what to consider

September 2018
Farm trial design: what to consider

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

September 2018
Labile carbon

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.

Fertigation Manual

September 2018
Fertigation Manual

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 soil amendments

September 2018
Organic soil amendments

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.

RD&E prioritisation of soilborne diseases affecting Australian vegetable crops

September 2018
RD&E prioritisation of soilborne diseases affecting Australian vegetable crops

Vegetable growers and their advisers have identified soilborne diseases as one of their main challenges. Soilborne diseases cost Australia’s $4 billion vegetable industry an estimated $120 million each year.

This paper outlines the main soilborne diseases affecting major Australian vegetable crops and determine RD&E activities, and was included in the 10th Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium proceedings in 2018.

Soil Borne Disease Series: Basel Plate Rot

September 2018
Soil Borne Disease Series: Basel Plate Rot

A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of basel plate rot.

Future focus – robotics and intelligent systems in Australian vegetable production systems

August 2018
Future focus – robotics and intelligent systems in Australian vegetable production systems

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.

Winter Crane Fly (Trichocera annulata)

July 2018
Winter Crane Fly (Trichocera annulata)

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.

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

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

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

June 2018
A strategic approach to weed management for the Australian Vegetable 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.

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

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

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

June 2018
Fruit fly management for vegetable growers

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

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

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

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

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

May 2018
Spray technology for vegetable growers: a guide to getting it right

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

March 2018
EnviroVeg Pilot Program: Apply Now

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

March 2018
Biosecurity lessons in planning and response for the vegetable industry

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)

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

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

March 2018
Cover crop spotlight on Buckwheat

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.

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

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

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.

Biopesticides in Australia

November 2017
Biopesticides in Australia

Biopesticides are a diverse group of pest control products based on naturally occurring 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

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

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.

Reducing tillage in vegetable crops: Is it worthwhile?

November 2017
Reducing tillage in vegetable crops: Is it worthwhile?

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

November 2017
Getting soil and nutrition management right with the EnviroVeg program

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

October 2017
Soil Health; Biological, Chemical, Physical

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

October 2017
Phosphorus and soil biology - common questions answered

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

October 2017
Pesticides and insect pest control in vegetables with Dr Siobhan de Little

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

October 2017
Calcium Cyanamide Fertiliser; Use in vegetables

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

October 2017
Making the most of your Nitrogen

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

August 2017
Green peach aphid resistance management with Dr Siobhan de Little

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

August 2017
SOILpak for vegetable growers in NSW

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

August 2017
Precision agriculture technology in vegetable production systems

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

July 2017
Soil health toolbox

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.

Damping off in spinach

July 2017
Damping off in spinach

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'.

Controlled traffic in vegetable production: a grower's perspective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 2017
What is compost worth? Using compost in Australian vegetable systems

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

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

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 multi-faceted approach to soil borne disease management

June 2017
A multi-faceted approach to soil borne disease management

Vegetable growers and their advisers have identified soil borne
diseases as one of their main challenges for soil management
and crop protection. Soil borne diseases cost Australia’s $4 billion
vegetable industry an estimated $120 million each year.

Soil Wealth and ICP Achievements Phase 1

May 2017
Soil Wealth and ICP Achievements Phase 1

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?

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

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

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

May 2017
Managing Fruit Fly in Vegetable Crops with Dr Jenny Ekman

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

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

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

March 2017
Using compost in commercial vegetable production with Dr Doris Blaesing

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

February 2017
Nutrition management and plant disease with Dr Len Tesoriero

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

MyAgCHEMuse: Best practice reference guide for spray drift management

February 2017
MyAgCHEMuse: Best practice reference guide for spray drift management

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

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

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

January 2017
Biofumigation cover crops in vegetable production with Julie Finnigan

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

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

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?

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

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

December 2016
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: A guide to oils, surfactants and other additives 

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

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

December 2016
Forthside Demonstration Site: Soil amendments on vegetable crops

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

November 2016
Developing a fertilizer program for vegetable crops with Bruce Scott & Doris Blaesing

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 

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

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

November 2016
Rediscovering cover crops with Kelvin Montagu

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.

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

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

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.

How to manage sclerotinia in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero

November 2016
How to manage sclerotinia in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero

A webinar on sclerotinia management presented by Dr Len Tesoriero.

This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government

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

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

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

October 2016
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.

Managing Onion Maggot in vegetables

October 2016
Managing Onion Maggot in vegetables

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

October 2016
Managing pesticide resistance in vegetable crops with Dr Paul Horne

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 vegetable crop nutrition with Bruce Scott, Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers

September 2016
Leaf and sap testing for managing vegetable crop nutrition with Bruce Scott, Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers

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

September 2016
Variable Rate Technologies in Queensland vegetables

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

Summer cover crops

September 2016
Summer cover crops

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

Pest management - what are the options? with Dr Paul Horne

July 2016
Pest management - what are the options? with Dr Paul Horne

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

July 2016
Soils in Schools initiative by Soil Science Australia

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

July 2016
Soil Testing for Vegetable Crops with Doris Blaesing and Gordon Rogers

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 

July 2016
Nutrient element functions in vegetable crops 

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.

Review of Current Vegetable Irrigation Technologies

July 2016
Review of Current Vegetable Irrigation Technologies

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

July 2016
Winter cover crops

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

Silicon for crop health

June 2016
Silicon for crop health

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

June 2016
Australian Standard for composts, soil conditioners and mulches

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

May 2016
Carbon storage in vegetable soils

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

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

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

April 2016
Erosion: how to protect your soil

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

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

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

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

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.

Grafting Snake Beans to Control Fusarium Wilt

February 2016
Grafting Snake Beans to Control Fusarium Wilt

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

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

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

December 2015
Weed management in vegetables

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

December 2015
The Soil Story

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

Slug control using Integrated Pest Management

December 2015
Slug control using Integrated Pest Management

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 Carrots, Celery and Parsley: A field identification guide

October 2015
Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Carrots, Celery and Parsley: A field identification guide

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

Guide to common diseases and disorders of bunching vegetables in Australia

June 2015
Guide to common diseases and disorders of bunching vegetables in Australia

The guide to common diseases & disorders of bunching vegetables (2003, 58 pages) was produced by the R&D levy funded project VG010045. The diseases and disorders listed in this book often occur on bunching vegetables in Australia and several can occur on plants at the same time.

Identifying Key Pests and Diseases of Asian Vegetables

June 2015
Identifying Key Pests and Diseases of Asian Vegetables

The popularity of Asian vegetables has increased in recent years amongst consumers with a range of uses, including salad and baby leaf mixes. With increased demand has come the need to manage losses caused by pests and disease. Critical to the successful management of pest and diseases in any vegetable crop, is an understanding of the main pests and diseases known to affect each crop