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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 (9min listen)

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

Farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests and diseases. Farm biosecurity is your responsibility, and that of every person visiting or working on your property.

Visit this website to access the biosecurity essentials, including the Farm Biosecurity Toolkit.

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.

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

Listen to this podcast, the third in a series, by VegNET Industry Development Officer, Theresa Chapman.

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!

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

Listen to this podcast, the second in a series, by VegNET Industry Development Officer, Theresa Chapman.

The Ripper Mulcher In Tasmania

February 2019
The Ripper Mulcher In Tasmania

Listen to this podcast, the first in a series, by VegNET Industry Development Officer, Theresa Chapman.

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.

Soil Borne Disease Series: Summer Root Rot

September 2018
Soil Borne Disease Series: Summer Root Rot

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

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.

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 ocurring biochemicals, minerals and microbes. They generally have very low toxicity to humans and are sustainable with minimal environmental impacts. Many can be used in organic production.

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

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

Reduced tillage webinar recordings from Cornell Small Farms Program, US

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.

Soil borne disease management in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero

July 2017
Soil borne disease management in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Taking soil samples

July 2016
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.

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.

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.

Guide to Common Diseases and Disorders of Parsley

June 2015
Guide to Common Diseases and Disorders of Parsley

This "Guide to Common Diseases of Parsley" (2006, 46 pages), describes 18 parsley diseases and disorders common across Australia. Symptoms are clearly shown in over 30 colour photos and practical control measures are suggested.

Authors
Elizabeth Minchinton, Len Tesoriero, Desmond Auer, Heidi Martin

Many carrot and celery diseases and disorders also affect parsley and several can occur on plants at the same time. This guide was produced by the R&D levy funded project VG04025.