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Environmental stewardship starts in your own backyard

February 2021
Environmental stewardship starts in your own backyard

There are many factors that contribute to strong environmental stewardship in the vegetable industry, and improving soil management and plant health is an important component of business sustainability. But when it comes to finding evidence of the strengths and gaps of your growing operation, it can be difficult to know where to start.

This article from our Partnership Network member EnviroVeg explains how the program can help growers identify these opportunities and take action to ensure their vegetable growing business is environmentally responsible.

Bulletin February 2021

February 2021
Bulletin February 2021

In this edition: The future of integrated weed management technologies, demonstration site news from NSW and Victoria, new resources on healthy soils, blackleg in potato and drone regulations podcast.

Irrigation monitoring in potatoes shows varietal differences in Cowra, NSW

February 2021
Irrigation monitoring in potatoes shows varietal differences in Cowra, NSW

Potato cultivars can have quite different water requirements, and knowing how to best manage water for a particular variety can have large yield benefits for growers.

This case study by the Soil Wealth ICP team used the IrriSAT™ and Wildeye™ tools to monitor crop water use of two different potato chipping varieties, Crop 77 and Snowden, at Cowra, NSW. Snowden is a shallow rooted variety and Crop 77 has a larger root system and is able to exploit larger soil volumes.

Warren Improvement Group: Young growers with a fresh focus in Western Australia

January 2021
Warren Improvement Group: Young growers with a fresh focus in Western Australia

Being part of a grower group has many benefits. It helps to be on the forefront of new developments in vegetable production and talk to other growers to share successes, challenges and support each other with new ideas.

A group of young growers have joined the Warren Improvement Group in Western Australia to provide a fresh focus on improving vegetable production in the Manjimup region. This case study explains more.

Managing soil health in Werribee South

January 2021
Managing soil health in Werribee South

Victoria’s Werribee South vegetable growing region predominately produces brassicas and leafy greens. A relatively high salt concentration in irrigation water, combined with low annual rainfall and naturally sodic soils, presents a range of production challenges for vegetable growers.

A trial at our demonstration site was developed to improve crop resilience and investigate the impact of compost, gypsum and soluble calcium on salinity, sodicity effects on crops and overall soil health in the region. Find out more in this case study.

Bulletin January 2021

January 2021
Bulletin January 2021

In this edition: Good Soils Guide, seasonal outlook for February to April, demonstration site news from Manjimup, Western Australia and Werribee South, Victoria, and new resources on choosing cover crops, organic soil amendments and spray rig calibration.

Seasonal climate outlook for vegetable growing regions – February to April 2021

January 2021
Seasonal climate outlook for vegetable growing regions – February to April 2021

Wet and warm weather continues in 2021. Most vegetable regions are likely to see warmer and wetter than average conditions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reference Guide for IrriSAT

July 2020
Reference Guide for IrriSAT

A quick guide to the use of the cloud-based IrriSAT app

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.

Irrigation monitoring in potatoes Part 1: Practical use of IrriSAT and soil moisture sensors

May 2020
Irrigation monitoring in potatoes Part 1: Practical use of IrriSAT and soil moisture sensors

This case study explains how the irrigation tool, IrriSAT, combined with soil moisture monitoring, provided important information to the grower about crop water requirements and actual soil moisture levels. This enabled him to manage his crop irrigation to maximise yield and quality.

Irrigation monitoring in potatoes Part 2: Practical use of satellite information

May 2020
Irrigation monitoring in potatoes Part 2: Practical use of satellite information

This NSW case study has shown that IrriSAT satellite images, used to monitor irrigation, can also help potato growers identify soil and irrigation problems across the pivot. Fixing the problems identified in this case study would have increased yield and revenue by between $7,600 and $10,800 under this half pivot.

New tools to manage irrigation in potatoes

May 2020
New tools to manage irrigation in potatoes

Practical use of IrriSAT satellite imaging, weather data, and soil moisture sensors.

Irrigation decision making is one of the most significant factors affecting potato yield and quality. Join Dr. Kelvin Montagu and Marc Hinderager from the Soil Wealth / ICP project team discuss the new approaches to managing potato irrigation.

Learn about using the IrriSAT technology which combines evapotranspiration (ETo) and satellite imaging, and how to link this with data from direct soil moisture sensors, to help you schedule irrigation.

Marc and Kelvin discuss a recent case study conducted near Cowra, NSW to illustrate how the methods can work for potatoes.

Article: Harvest Farms analyses irrigation

April 2020
Article: Harvest Farms analyses irrigation

Tasmanian leafy salad growing operation Harvest Farms is taking part in a trial with SWAN systems, an irrigation and crop nutrition management software platform, to achieve greater efficiency across the farm's 85 irrigation zones. The company grows a variety of salad crops on 65 hectares under fixed sprinkler irrigation.

This article from Good Fruit and Vegetables provides an overview of the trial and initial results.

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).

Improving irrigation efficiency for potatoes

December 2019
Improving irrigation efficiency for potatoes

The Soil Wealth/ICP team have set up a new demonstration site at Cowra to demonstrate the benefits of new tools to improve water use efficiency in potatoes.

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.

Greenhouse Cucumber Production Manual; 2019 Edition

December 2019
Greenhouse Cucumber Production Manual; 2019 Edition

Greenhouse cucumbers can be one of the most productive of all crops. However, this productivity relies on accurate control of irrigation, plant nutrition and the growing environment, as well as effective management of pests and diseases. Only healthy plants can produce a high quality, marketable and profitable crop.

This manual provides basic guidance on growing greenhouse cucumbers. The focus is on modern, controlled environment production. However, much of the included information is relevant to all cucumber growers and, indeed, greenhouse producers more generally.

Check your subsoil moisture

September 2019
Check your subsoil moisture

Knowing how wet or dry your subsoil moisture will help make decisions around when to start or increase irrigation, when to terminate cover crops, and how much "insurance water" you have in your soil.

Don't get caught out by rapid increases in crop water use in spring-early summer

September 2019
Don't get caught out by rapid increases in crop water use in spring-early summer

Crop water use can increase by more than 400% in spring - early summer due to rapid crop growth combined with increases in seasonal water demand (ETo). Be prepared for the increase in irrigation demand.

Check your crop monitoring and soil moisture tools

September 2019
Check your crop monitoring and soil moisture tools

Make sure your crop monitoring and soil moisture tools are working before it really warms up and crops really get going.

Understanding Irrigation Decisions: from enterprise planning to the paddock

September 2019
Understanding Irrigation Decisions: from enterprise planning to the paddock

Understanding Irrigation Decisions has been written to put in content and provide guidance on irrigation decisions ranging from enterprise planning to the paddock. To understand the breadth of irrigation decisions requires consideration of the social, financial, agronomic and engineering aspects – a challenging task. Understanding Irrigation Decisions has combined this breadth into one document.

Check your irrigation system is ready for the coming season

September 2019
Check your irrigation system is ready for the coming season

A check of your irrigation system will ensure you are ready to start irrigating on time and are set-up well for the season ahead.
This checklist, while developed for K-Line systems, is applicable to most irrigation systems used in vegetable production. Use it as a guide to your irrigation system check.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Irrigation Management in Sweet Corn

July 2018
Irrigation Management in Sweet Corn

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

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