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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transplant shock is a check in growth that can occur when seedlings are transplanted from the seedling tray into the field. Stresses due to root damage, changed environment or water stress can all contribute to transplant shock. Significant transplant shock can result in poor plant stands and a lower percentage cut of good quality lettuce.
This fact sheet provides guidance on the ideal age of transplants and tips for avoiding transplant shock.
Blindness occurs when the main apical shoot or growing tip of the lettuce is lost during the seedling’s early growth. It is also sometimes called multiple heading or apical meristem decline.
This fact sheet covers key information, such as:
- How much of a problem is this disorder?
- What does a blind lettuce look like?
- What causes blindness?
- How to control blindness.
One of the key issues with babyleaf spinach is how to deliver this popular leafy vegetable to consumers in good condition. For this to happen, growers must first produce high quality spinach, and this quality must be maintained throughout the supply chain until it’s used by the consumer.
This fact sheet explores the three most significant pre-harvest factors that affect spinach post-harvest quality and shelf-life. These are growth rate of crop, variety, and minimum night temperature during the growing period.
Lettuce is an important horticultural crop in Australia, with an annual production over 160 million tonnes and a total gross value of $140 million. Lettuce is regularly purchased by 80% of consumers in Australia.
The key quality attributes for whole and fresh-cut lettuce are moisture loss, shrivelling, colour (browning, bleaching of the green colour), off-odours, and off-flavour formation, breakdown and microbiological contamination.
This fact sheet will assist you to address these key quality attributes through important pre-harvest crop management such as developing a crop planting schedule, mineral nutrition, tip burn management, deficit irrigation, floating row covers and light.
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.
Internal rot in capsicum is an infection on the seeds, placenta or internal wall(s) of capsicum red fruit. Normally, symptoms are only seen once the fruit is cut open. The external appearance of the fruit is completely normal.
The disease leads to downgrades and rejections of fruit on the market, and affected fruit often progress right through the supply chain, to consumers.
The purpose of this factsheet is to bring together the most up to date information on the cause(s), control and prevention of internal rot in capsicums.
A well-planned and managed on-farm trial is a great way to test new ideas, products, and equipment. But, to provide meaningful information, even a simple on-farm trial takes time to plan and carry-out.
To find out how to get the most out of your on-farm trial please refer to this fact sheet developed by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.