WA Grower Magazine Autumn 2021

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VOL. 56 NO 1. AUTUMN 2021 $25.00 (inc GST)

wa

grower WORKING FOR WA GROWERS SINCE 1948

How WA growers got Ni-Vanuatu workers on farm

Are WA vegetable growers getting a fair return?

You be the judge This issue of the WA Grower is brought to you by vegetablesWA together with: • APC — Vegetable Producers Committee • Potato Growers Association • Pomewest • WA Citrus • Stonefruit WA

New conditions for Qfly host produce at the Perth Markets



inside Your vegetablesWA magazine

11 YOUR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

98

84 3

Fresh focus to WA veg production

42

vegetablesWA CEO's report

4

Quality Assurance update

44

From the Chair

80

vegetablesWA President's report

5

Gascoyne water availability

46

In the orchard

81

Ni-Vanuatu workers on farm

48

Colletotrichum affecting citrus

82

COVID-19 Pandemic event visa

51

Labour

84

Employers of foreign nationals

52

National Ag Workforce vision

54

2020 Season Launch

86

VegNET RDO update

56

Fresh Finesse partnership

88

59

Maturity Testing Program

90

YOUR PRODUCTION Reducing food safety risks

7 8

On-farm biosecurity

11

Monitor crops for fall armyworm

14

Serpentine leaf miner

18

Preventing virus outbreaks

21

Early-season mango variety

24

WA POTATOES

WA CITRUS

79

STONEFRUIT WA

85

YOUR BUSINESS

91

Chairperson’s Report

60

New conditions for Qfly host produce 26

Chief Executive Officer’s Report

61

Preparing a budget. How hard is it? 92

Permits 115

Growing seed potatoes

62

Flood recovery checklists

94

29

In-store project launches CRM

65

Dealing with the unpredictable

98

Mandatory contact register

30

10 recipes for under $10

66

Increased Ross River virus risk

100

Duck deterrent laser system

32

Spuds favoured for long shelf-life

68

Our wellbeing

102

A tax storm is brewing

104

TOOL TIME

YOUR INDUSTRY

33

POMEWEST 69

Are growers getting a fair return?

34

Executive Manager's report

70

Production around the state

36

Keep the orchard clean

72

Introducing Stephen Farrell

39

Future Orchards®

74

Federal Governments IR Reforms

40

Kingwood Heights Orchard

76

YOUR MARKET

107

Export Facilitators Project

108

Fostering food safety

110

VIETNAMESE TRANSLATIONS

113

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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VOL. 56 NO 1. AUTUMN 2021

WORKING FOR WA GROWERS SINCE 1948


YOUR CONTACTS

contacts vegetablesWA

Management Committee

702–704 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005 t: (08) 9486 7515 e: office@vegetableswa.com.au

President Dan Kuzmicich m: 0408 910 761

Chief Executive Officer John Shannon m: 0488 111 526 e: john.shannon@vegetableswa.com.au Editor Amber Atkinson t: (08) 9486 7515 e: amber.atkinson@vegetableswa.com.au COVER IMAGE: (L–R) vegetablesWA committee of management member Paul Shain, Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan, Carnarvon Growers Association Operations Manager Nic Cuthbert.

Published by vegetablesWA This issue of the WA Grower is brought to you by: • vegetablesWA • APC — Vegetable Producers Committee • Potato Growers Association • Pomewest • WA Citrus • Stonefruit WA © 2021 All articles and other material published in this magazine is vegetablesWA copyright (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced in part or full without the written permission of the authors and publisher. DISCLAIMER: vegetablesWA make no representations and expressly disclaims all warranties (to the extent permitted by law) about the accuracy, completeness, or currency of information in WA Grower. Reliance on any information provided by vegetablesWA is entirely at your own risk. vegetablesWA is not responsible for, and will not be liable for, any loss, damage, claim, expense, cost (including legal costs) or other liability arising in any way, including from any vegetablesWA or other person’s negligence or otherwise from your use or non-use of WA Grower, or from reliance on information contained in the material or that vegetablesWA provide to you by any other means.

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Operations Manager Karen Raybould t: (08) 9486 7515 e: karen.raybould@vegetableswa.com.au Admin, Marketing & Sales Benjamin Hamilton t: (08) 9486 7515 e. ben.hamilton@vegetableswa.com.au Regional Development Officer Truyen Vo m: 0457 457 559 e: truyen.vo@vegetableswa.com.au Regional Development Officer Sam Grubiša m: 0427 373 037 e: sam.grubisa@vegetableswa.com.au Benchmark Lead Bryn Edwards m: 0417 409 821 e: bryn.edwards@vegetableswa.com.au Quality Assurance Coordinator Joel Dinsdale m: 0417 857 675 e: joel.dinsdale@vegetableswa.com.au Export Development Project Lead Manus Stockdale m: 0448 897 652 e: manus.stockdale@vegetableswa.com.au Labour Scheme Facilitator Melissa Denning m: 0477 477 044 e: melissa.denning@vegetableswa.com.au

Life Members

A.J. Anderson*, D.J. Arbuckle, J. Arbuckle Snr*, J.H. Arbuckle* (M.B.E.J.P), H.R. Ashby*, S. Calameri, M. Dobra, A. Harris*, A. Ingrilli, G. Kiriros*, R.G. Leach*, F. Natoli, S. Sawle*, R.M. Schultz, C.P. Stevens, W.R. Stevens* (M.B.E.J.P) and J. Turley. * Deceased

Carnarvon

Vice President Maurice Grubiša m: 0413 050 182 Metro North Committee Lauren East

m: 0419 047 371

Paul Glavocich

m: 0413 922 287 Metro South

Peter Ivankovich m: 0428 919 211

Manjimup Myalup

Michael Le

m: 0417 962 427 Metro North

Anthony Lieu

m: 0401 558 886 Metro North

Paul Shain

m: 0419 041 045

Carnarvon

Agricultural Produce Commission APC Manager Ingrid Behr t: (08) 9368 3127 e: APCManager@dpird.wa.gov.au

Advertising For information on WA Grower advertising rates and sizing, please email: comms@vegetableswa.com.au


YOUR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

your

industry association

Your industry association

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vegetablesWA

CEO’s Report A

BY JOHN SHANNON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, VEGETABLESWA

s we have gone through the latest state election, I have continued to work to ensure that any government will best look after the interests of the Western Australian (WA) vegetable industry. In addition to support for our financial analysis and benchmarking program, and our labour scheme facilitator, we have also discussed important reforms to the water and biosecurity acts.

I have been pleased that the Labor party has agreed to support many of the initiatives that vegetablesWA believes will progress the industry. We have also had good support from the Liberal and National parties. The February COVID-19 lockdown was soon overshadowed by bushfires, flooding and a new outbreak of Queensland Fruit Fly (Qfly) in Coolbellup, where a female and male were trapped. I’ll start by touching on the COVID-19 incident that impacted most of you in late January and early February.

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3 MINISTER for Agriculture and Food, Alannah MacTiernan, opens the Carnarvon Growers Association Field Day.

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

From my perspective, there is one main takeaway from the recent virus scare and lockdown. Growers need to be prepared, because there is no guarantee this incident won’t be repeated. This means preparing your business, staff and processes. From a practical perspective, you should stock up on face masks and hand sanitiser.

3 CARNARVON Growers Association Field Day.

I encourage you to use the free SafeWA phone app to register your attendance at various businesses and venues. The ‘Tool Time’ section of this magazine goes into greater detail about this free phone app.

Familiarise yourself with the G2G PASS system.

Familiarise yourself with the G2G PASS system and if you are an employer, prepare a letter that employees can use to explain why they need to travel across different regions, if they need to do so. Mandatory contact registers have been expanded in WA and failing to comply with these new requirements could result in penalties of up to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a body corporate, or 12 months' imprisonment.

I also highly recommend you go to the ‘COVID-19 Resources’ page on our website, as we have put together a catalogue of everything you need to safeguard yourself in the event of another outbreak.

At the time of writing this, two of my staff members are in Carnarvon, visiting growers impacted by the flooding in early February and discussing the path forward. Truyen Vo, our Vietnamese extension officer, is trying to encourage water and soil tests to avoid any food safety issues resulting from the flooding.


YOUR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

vegetablesWA Our labour scheme facilitator, Melissa Denning, has visited individual growers and is delivering a workshop on the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme. It’s important for all growers, across Western Australia (WA), to recognise that sourcing labour from overseas is a workable solution, given the unprecedented times we are in.

President’s Report

However, it’s not a fast solution.

In this edition of the magazine, Melissa takes you through the timelines of getting seasonal workers onto the farm. I encourage you to take a look and reach out to us if this is something you’d like to learn more about or actively pursue. The Qfly outbreak in Coolbellup has a lot of growers frustrated and confused. Throughout February and March my team have delivered a series of webinars, including a live panel discussion where growers and industry had the opportunity to ask questions to DPIRD and Perth Markets representatives. If you missed this webinar, head across to the vegetablesWA YouTube page and take a watch. To keep up to date with all vegetablesWA announcements, webinars and workshops, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter from the homepage of our website, www.vegetableswa.com.au. Let’s stay in touch in 2021 and work through these challenges collaboratively. MORE INFORMATION John Shannon, phone 0488 111 526 or email john.shannon@vegetableswa.com.au

I

BY DAN KUZMICICH PRESIDENT, VEGETABLESWA

trust that everyone had an enjoyable and safe Christmas and New Year. The 2020 season was certainly taxing on the mind and body, so I decided to take some time out and spent six weeks away from the farm. I really enjoyed the break and spending quality time with my family and loved ones. This time gave me an opportunity to ‘Wander out Yonder’ and explore places like Jurien Bay, Kalbarri, Coral Bay and of course, Perth. We certainly had some hot and windy (easterly) weather in late December and most of January 2021. While enjoying my R&R, I did give some thought to growers in the metro and southern regions, who were just starting up their harvest season. I called up some of my grower friends in Myalup, Carabooda and other Perth Metro regions, to check in over the period. Reports back indicated that the hot weather caused some heat stress and affected the quality of some crops. It’s extremely hard to keep up with the irrigation under those conditions. I was back to work in Carnarvon on February 1. Many growers up here are busy with clean up and preparing the ground for the next season. Our farm welcomed the start of February rain, as it washed down our shade house netting, removing the dust and saline

build-up from the previous season. It also helped freshen up the ground by draining the salt away from the topsoil, which is essential for a good start to the next planting period. However, for others, the heavy rain was not so helpful. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ was a comment on social media, written by a local grower, as the rain came down. There was 254mm recorded in town, which meant that all eyes looked to the catchment area for the Gascoyne River, and how it would be affected. Sure enough, a big river was on its way, the question was — how big would it be? A 7.1m river was predicted and local knowledge told us that flooding was likely, but to what extent? We were all unsure. What we did know was that this situation would certainly test the levy bank system, implemented for the town after the 2010–11 flood. At the time, there were mixed opinions and concerns about whether the levees would be able to protect everyone with another flood. As it turned out, throughout the recent flood, the system helped around 80 per cent of grower’s properties, while 20 per cent flooded. Some farms were worse off than others. This percentage figure could be perceived as a success for the system, but when you look at the damaged properties firsthand, your heart sinks. I can tell you it is a demoralising situation to be in. Our property was severely damaged in the 2010–11 flood. Thankfully, this time we were not WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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affected. I do feel for the growers that have been. It is promising for those that the Gascoyne region has been declared a Category B disaster and some relief is on its way.

DPIRD are working with growers impacted, and there is federally funded disaster relief, to help fast track repairs to damaged areas. I wish those affected a speedy recovery process to get them back on track. As I am writing this report, I have just been informed that another decent size river (5.5m) is heading our way and expected to reach the Nine-Mile Bridge tonight, February 15, 2021. Predictions indicate that very minimal damage is expected from this second river.

established within a 15km radius from the outbreak, which will affect growers in their packing process to ‘fly proof’ produce going to the Perth Markets, adding an extra cost. I’d like to thank DPIRD for their efforts in eradicating Qfly in WA and hope we will return to area freedom in the very near future. The Carnarvon Growers Association held a Field Day at the festival grounds on February 25, which attracted more than 100 industry reps to town. This was the biggest agricultural show to ever be held in Carnarvon. Events like this field day are so helpful to growers, as it presents the opportunity to have a face-to-face chat with industry suppliers, and to have a look at the latest technology coming into farming. I would like to congratulate Carnarvon Growers Association for taking the lead and organising this event, as it provides a great platform for growers, industry suppliers and stakeholders to exchange ideas and connect in a productive manner.

not only for the Gascoyne region, but also collaborating and sharing resources in other production regions in WA. It’s time for me to sign off for now. I have plenty of work ahead, preparing the ground for our planting and season ahead. It’s 44 degrees in the shade today, so looks like I will be working long into the evening to manage the heat. Until we meet again, good luck for the rest of your harvest season and remember to stay safe and healthy. MORE INFORMATION Contact Dan Kuzmicich on 0408 910 761 or damir.kuzmicich@bigpond.com

Quarantine area notice affects all growers sending produce to the markets.

You should all be aware of the quarantine area notice dealing with Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) host produce at the Perth Markets in Canningvale. If you are not sure and want more information on this matter, please contact vegetablesWA urgently, as this affects all growers sending produce to the markets. This situation has apparently been caused by one female Qfly (with eggs) detected in Coolbellup (on a noncommercial growing property). The incident response is being led by DPIRD, who are working in the outbreak area, around the suburbs of Coolbellup and parts of Bibra Lake, Hamilton Hill, Kardinya, Northlake and Samson. A wider quarantine area was also

To assist growers with their labour options, I had a meeting with Damien McMahon from Food Industry People. Damien is a recruitment specialist, based in Queensland. I was happy to see that Damien was working with vegetablesWA. Our growers are very concerned about labour, so it is very good to see that we are being proactive in finding solutions to assist our members. I am committed to work closely with Damien and Melissa Denning, the vegetablesWA labour scheme facilitator, in sourcing labour,

PROVEN PERFORMANCE

K U B OTA S HA PI NG AU ST R A L I A

vegetablesWA would like to welcome Michael Le to its Committee of Management Michael Le is the owner of TLF Export and a fee for service payer. TLF Export is a grower, wholesaler and packer of tomatoes, capsicums and zucchinis, in the Carabooda region.

MORE POWER BUILT TO EXCEL

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KUBOTA.COM.AU


YOUR PRODUCTION

your

production Your production WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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Reducing food safety risks from pre-harvest water 3 THE quality of water that contacts the plant is the most important factor affecting the safety of leafy vegetables.

Human pathogens can potentially survive for extended periods in contaminated water

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re-harvest water vegetables can’t grow without water. In Australia’s often dry and unpredictable climate, irrigation is essential. Water is also used to apply fertilisers, spray pesticides, provide cooling and stabilise soils. Sources of water include dams, rivers, underground bores or town water supplies. Water is also a potential source of microbial contamination. Human pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., Yersinia enterocolitica and others, can readily contaminate water. Certain strains of these bacteria — particularly Salmonella spp. and E. coli — can cause severe illness or death. Human pathogens can potentially survive for extended periods in contaminated water, reaching populations of millions in every litre. Faeces, dead animals and birds are key sources of these microbes. Surface water in dams can be easily contaminated by wild birds, runoff, or animals entering water to drink. Bores usually pose less risk but may still be contaminated by seepage from septic systems or intensive livestock production. Even rainwater tanks can be contaminated by birds or animals entering them, or by faeces from birds or rodents washed into tanks after rain.

The quality of water that contacts the plant is the most important factor affecting the safety of leafy vegetables.

Most of the significant food safety outbreaks associated with salad greens can be traced back to contaminated water. Reducing risk The best way to reduce risk is to prevent water becoming contaminated. Livestock should be kept away, and runoff diverted from dams, watercourses and cropping areas. Water pipes and tanks should be constructed so as to prevent pest entry (e.g. enclosing water tanks) and kept well maintained.

3 IF water may contain human pathogens, then the best way to ensure vegetables are safe is to avoid contact with the harvestable part.

If water does contact the harvestable part, then withholding periods apply. Withholding periods allow any human pathogens on the crop surfaces to die-off before harvest. The current recommendation is that vegetables must not be harvested for at least 48 hours if irrigation water or sprays have contacted the harvestable part.

The best way to reduce risk is to prevent water becoming contaminated.

If water may contain human pathogens, then the best way to ensure vegetables are safe is to avoid contact with the harvestable part. Sub-surface irrigation, drippers and hydroponic systems all avoid irrigation water touching plant leaves and fruit (Figure 1).

The exceptions to this are:

• Water has been tested to show it contains <100 CFU (colony forming units i.e. individual bacteria) of E. coli/100mL OR • Product is always eaten cooked (e.g. rhubarb, potatoes).

FIGURE 1. LIMITING CONTACT BETWEEN WATER AND THE HARVESTABLE PART OF CROPS REDUCES THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION. WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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3 TRIALS examined how long E. coli and Salmonella spp. survive on the surfaces of leafy vegetables after irrigation with contaminated water.

E. COLI 2 DAYS AFTER IRRIGATION E. COLI POPULATION (CFU/G)

1000

Is 48 hours enough? Trials conducted as part of the project Pathogen Persistence from Paddock to Plate (VG16042) examined how long E. coli and Salmonella spp. survive on the surfaces of leafy vegetables after irrigation with contaminated water. Both bacteria fell below or close to detectable levels within 48 hours. Results were similar for different vegetables (lettuce, spinach, parsley, etc.) and for plants grown in the glasshouse as well as in the open field.

However, results were very different if the plants were damaged shortly before irrigation. In this case, bacteria survived for at least six days. Detections were increased even if the injury was minor and the product appeared commercially acceptable. Cos lettuce was particularly susceptible. Lettuce damaged up to four days before irrigation with contaminated water still had high populations of E. coli after the 48-hour withholding period (Figure 2). This suggests that lettuces can remain vulnerable to contamination well after damage occurs. In contrast, baby spinach damaged 24 hours or more before irrigation was no more contaminated than intact plants. Once internalised, human pathogens cannot easily be removed. Even triple washing with sanitisers cannot eliminate bacterial populations if vegetables were contaminated before harvest.

Spinach Lettuce

100 10 LIMIT OF DETECTION

1

No damage

Damaged 4 days Damaged 1 day before irrigation before irrigation

FIGURE 2. E. COLI POPULATIONS ON COS LETTUCE AND BABY SPINACH DAMAGED UP TO FOUR DAYS BEFORE IRRIGATION WITH CONTAMINATED WATER, THEN SAMPLED AFTER A STANDARD 48-HOUR WITHHOLDING PERIOD.

Recommendations • Irrigation systems that avoid water contacting the harvestable part of the vegetable (e.g. subsurface drip, run to waste hydroponics) reduce the risk of contamination • The risk that water contains E. coli >100 CFU /100mL can be reduced by: — Keeping livestock away from dams and other water sources — Diverting runoff from contaminated areas (e.g. feedlots, manure storage or septic systems) away from dams and cropping areas — Discouraging water-birds from lingering on dams used for irrigation — Keeping irrigation and spray equipment clean and well maintained — Cleaning rainwater collection areas and keeping tanks sealed against vermin — Maintaining irrigation and spray equipment

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

• Water containing E. coli >1,000 CFU/100mL should not be used in ways that contact the harvestable part of crops • If water quality is poor, investigate ways to reduce microbial load, such as filters, chemical sanitisers and electrolyzed water systems • If water quality is poor or unknown, a 48-hour withholding period between irrigation and harvest significantly reduces the risk that vegetables will be contaminated at harvest. HOWEVER: — Longer withholding periods are needed if plants have been physically damaged — If spinach crops have been damaged, avoid water contacting the leaves for at least 24 hours. — Avoid contact between lettuce plants and contaminated water at all times.

• Water quality should be verified through regular testing MORE INFORMATION

Visit https://ahr.com.au/

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment visit horticulture.com.au

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Damaged just before irrigation


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3 STAFF require training on crop monitoring for specific signs and symptoms.

On-farm biosecurity Staff training is an important aspect of an on-farm biosecurity plan.

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A focus on staff training, surveillance and record keeping BY TRACEY KERFORD 1 AND MADDY QUIRK 2 1 BIOSECURITY INTERN, AUSVEG 2 BIOSECURITY OFFICER, AUSVEG

O

n-farm biosecurity requires the implementation of efficient farm practices that protect crops from the introduction of pests and disease and support specified market access requirements. Biosecurity practices also facilitate preparedness and early detection of pest or disease incursions. This helps to minimise any crop and economic losses that may occur from the resulting reduction in quality or yield. AUSVEG Biosecurity Intern Tracey Kerford reports.

3 ACCURATE record keeping enables traceability, and acts as a point of reference or evidence.

Having an on-farm biosecurity plan will protect your business from the impact of new and harmful pests and diseases.

Early detection of exotic pests or diseases increases the probability of successful containment, eradication or management before it has time to adapt, establish and spread. An on-farm biosecurity plan should outline all the necessary on-farm practices and procedures to be conducted and the frequency required to minimise the risk of pest and disease introduction or dispersal. For a plan to be effective, it needs to be tailored to your farm and should include staff training, surveillance and record keeping practices.

Staff training Staff may not be aware of potential pests and disease or how easily they can establish and spread if introduced. This makes staff training an important aspect

of an on-farm biosecurity plan. It should be included during the staff induction process and be regularly updated and reviewed. Staff require training on: • Effective hygiene practices • Possible pathways or vectors for introduction of pests and diseases • How pests and disease can spread • Crop monitoring for specific signs and symptoms • Daily checklist and staff record keeping requirements • Required actions and reporting. Staff, contractors, and seasonal workers employed on multiple properties need to understand the possibility of spreading pests or diseases from one farm to another. Clothing, footwear, gloves, tools such as pruning shears, or machinery and vehicles may act as vectors and appropriate hygiene procedures are required each time they enter and exit a property. Posters that outline the steps for correct hygiene or crop monitoring procedures help to remind staff and visitors of the importance of on-farm biosecurity.

Surveillance focus

Records can be used to identify areas of potential biosecurity risk.

On-farm surveillance involves actively looking for the presence and population levels of pests and diseases. Conducted on a regular basis, surveillance enables early detection and response to new incursions and allows for early control of common pests before they get out of hand. Surveillance also helps to determine population levels and movement of endemic pests and diseases as well as beneficial insects. This can include the use of sticky traps, pheromone traps, or light traps. Understanding the pests and diseases that are commonly found in your area will help you distinguish anything that might be new or exotic.

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On-farm surveillance involves actively looking for the presence and population levels of pests and diseases.

Stay up-to-date on fall armyworm: Native to tropical and subtropical Americas, fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a damaging plant pest responsible for widespread crop damage leading to large economic losses.

3 SURVEILLANCE enables early detection and response to new incursions and allows for early control of common pests before they get out of hand.

Recording pest and disease absence data can be just as important. It facilitates the evidence of absence data collection required by some of Australia’s domestic and export markets. Where required, industry and government must provide proof that a specific pest or disease of concern is not present in the crop, plants or plant material being exported. Failure to provide evidence of absence may lead to import restrictions or additional phytosanitary procedures being imposed. Participating in a surveillance network with neighbouring farms and the wider industry will keep you informed on potential biosecurity risks and help determine the most appropriate and effective course of action.

Record keeping Accurate record keeping enables traceability, and acts as a point of reference or evidence. Records can also be used to identify areas of potential biosecurity risk when developing and reviewing on-farm biosecurity practices. Records should include: • Pest and disease monitoring and surveillance activities • Movement and introduction of plants, plant materials and produce

• Vehicle and machinery cleaning • Staff training • Visitor information • Farm inputs/outputs • Chemical usage.

Keeping records of purchases, certifications and sales will help to quickly identify the source and potential spread of any pest and disease incursion on your property. Always request and record certification before introducing new plants or plant materials, including seeds, onto your farm. If you suspect a new pest or disease on your farm:

Growers are urged to stay vigilant and report fall armyworm sightings so that we can understand the extent of its spread. AUSVEG has also developed a number of resources to assist growers with management of fall armyworm. Visit https://ausveg.com.au/ articles/fall-armywormserpentine-leafminer/ for more information or email science@ ausveg.com.au.

• Do not move or transport affected plant material unless advised by your relevant state government department • Report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline.

• Mark the area

MORE INFORMATION

• Take photographs of the suspected pest, disease or affected plant/s

Find out more: Any unusual plant pest should be reported immediately to the relevant state or territory agriculture agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881).

• Collect or contain suspected pests if possible • Stop the movement of people and equipment in or near the affected area • Wash hands and use appropriate sanitary measures on any clothing or footwear that may have been in contact with affected plant material or soil

For further information, please contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or email science@ausveg.com.au. The Farm Biosecurity Program is funded by the Plant Health Levy.

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Fall armyworm has a wide range of host plants, including brassicas, beans, melons and tomatoes.

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3 HORTICULTURE growers in the Gingin area and surrounds have been urged to monitor crops for fall armyworm.


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Gingin growers urged to monitor crops for fall armyworm

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orticulture and turf growers in the Gingin and north Wanneroo production areas have been urged to monitor crops for the plant pest, fall armyworm, after larvae were detected in a local crop. While moths have been found in traps in the area before, as part of Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) surveillance, this is the first time fall armyworm larvae have been confirmed in a horticulture crop near Gingin. DPIRD senior research scientist Dr Helen Spafford said it was important for growers to monitor their crops carefully for larvae or caterpillars to confirm presence of the pest and to make informed management decisions. Dr Spafford said young fall armyworm larvae could be difficult to identify, as they looked similar and caused the same damage as related pests. “As fall armyworm grow their characteristics become much easier to distinguish, as they develop white, lengthwise stripes and dark spots — the pattern of which is important for identification,” she said. “If growers are uncertain, the best way to confirm the pest is to report it to the department for scientific identification, then growers will know what they are dealing with. “The department also has resources online to assist with fall armyworm identification.”

Dr Spafford said controlling fall armyworm could be a challenge, as they were prone to developing resistance. “In Australia, the pest carries the genes that confer resistance to Group 1 insecticides,” she said.

“It is important to apply controls for fall armyworm and other pests judiciously to manage the risk of potential treatment issues with fall armyworm.”

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests concluded it is not technically feasible to eradicate fall armyworm from Australia.

The department has resources online to assist with fall armyworm identification.

Fall armyworm is a moth that is native to the American tropics, which has a wide range of host plants, including corn and grass crops, turf grass, brassicas, beans, melons and tomatoes. The pest was first confirmed in the Torres Strait Islands in January 2020 and has since spread to Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, including detections at Kununurra, Broome, the Pilbara, Carnarvon and Geraldton.

DPIRD maintains a surveillance trapping network and undertakes field scouting for the presence of eggs or larvae to confirm establishment and provide an early warning advice to industry as the pest migrates further south.

MORE INFORMATION Observations and photographs of suspect fall armyworm larvae and crop damage can be sent to the department via its MyPestGuide Reporter app or its Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au. For more monitoring and management information on fall armyworm visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/fallarmyworm-western-australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

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Identifying armyworm larvae Armyworm species are members of the noctuid family and have many similarities during their lifestages. In general: • Moths are grey or brown with a 35–40mm wingspan; wing patterns can vary from mild to very mottled/patterned. • Eggs are laid in masses. Spodoptera spp. cover the mass with a layer of scales, creating a furry appearance. • Newly hatched caterpillars usually have a pale or translucent body and dark head, and develop more distinctive colours/patterns as they grow. • Older larvae (30–40mm long) provide the best chance of visual identification. Even then, individuals can very widely.

Caterpillars with a wide host range (narrow and broadleaf) LESSER ARMYWORM Spodoptera exigua

FALL ARMYWORM Spodoptera frugiperda

CLUSTER CATERPILLAR Spodoptera litura

Also known as African armyworm; body is darker at high population densities.

Also known as beet armyworm; often yellow or pinkish underneath.

Variable colours; short hairs; pale ‘Y’ marking on head; raised dots in a trapeze and square patterns on back.

Variable colours; yellow/ orange lines with dark crescent-shapes along the back and a row of dark dots along each side.

HELICOVERPA H. armigera and H. punctigera (30–35mm)

CUTWORMS Agrotis spp. (50mm)

LOOPERS Multiple species (30–40mm)

Variable colours; hairs along back and sides.

Dark larvae; mostly ground-dwelling.

Variable colours; distinctive ‘looping’ movement.

SIMILAR-LOOKING CATERPILLARS

ARMYWORMS

DAYFEEDING ARMYWORM Spodoptera exempta

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Armyworms that occur in cereals and grasses lifestages. In general:

Common and Northern armyworm Mythimna convecta and M. separata

ery mottled/patterned.

furry appearance.

Identifying armyworm larvae

elop more distinctive colours/patterns as they grow.

Armyworms that occur in cereals and grasses

ndividuals can very widely.

a k.

NORTHERN ARMYWORM M. separata

Armyworm species are members of the noctuid family and have many simi

SUGARCANE ARMYWORM FALSE ARMYWORM Leucania stenographa Leucania loreyi Eggs are laid in masses. Spodoptera spp. cover the mass with a layer o

• Moths are grey or brown with a 35-40 mm wingspan; wing patterns can •

• Newly hatched caterpillars usually have a pale or translucent body and

Cluster caterpillar

• Older larvae (30-40 mm long) provide the best chance of visual identifi

Spodoptera litura

Caterpillars with aarmyworm wide host range (narrow a False

Sugarcane armyworm Leucania stenographa

Leucania loreyi

Dayfeeding armyworm

Lesser armyworm

Fall a

Spodoptera exempta

Spodoptera exigua

Spod

Armyworms

f)

COMMON ARMYWORM Mythimna convecta

Only found in sugarcane and pastures.

LAWN ARMYWORM Spodoptera mauritia

Medium-sized larvae

Variable colours; yellow/orange lines with dark crescent-shapes along the back and a row of dark dots along each side.

Only found in sugarcane and pastures.

opers

ultiple species (30-40 mm)

Head marking is dark; lacks the obvious raised dots of fall armyworm.

Also known as African armyworm; body is darker at high population densities. Lawn armyworm

Fall armyworm

Similar-looking caterpillars

Similar crescent markings to cluster caterpillar but without the rows of dark circles along the sides.

Helicoverpa

Also known as beet armyworm; often yellow or pinkish underneath.

Variab ‘Y’ ma trapez

Spodoptera mauritia

Medium-sized larvae

iable colours; distinctive ‘looping’ vement.

Head marking is dark; lacks the obvious raised dots of fall armyworm.

Helicoverpa

Cutworms

H. armigera and H. punctigera (30-35 mm)

Agrotis spp. (50 mm)

HELICOVERPA

FALL ARMYWORM CLUSTER CATERPILLAR Similar crescent markings to cluster caterpillar but without the rows of dark circles along the sides.

Cluster caterpillar

Produced with support from: Variable colours; hairs along back and sides.

Dark larvae; mostly ground Last updated May 2020

www.thebeatsheet.com.au WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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PEST PROFILE:

serpentine leaf miner detected in NSW and QLD BY MADELEINE QUIRK PROJECT OFFICER, AUSVEG

PHOTO © SHANNON MULHOLLAND, NSW DPI

3 SERPENTINE leaf miner damage to squash seedlings.

18

The eggs, larvae and pupae of SLM can be spread through the movement of plant material and soil.

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021


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PHOT O

SLM has an egg, larval, pupal, and adult stage. Female flies lay eggs directly into the leaf, and larvae begin to tunnel through the leaf tissue as they feed. After a number of days, the larvae exit the leaf and pupate in the soil before becoming an adult fly. Under the right conditions, the lifecycle can be completed in as little as two weeks, meaning several generations may be produced within a single crop.

WOO D.O RG

Lifecycle

ENDEN, BRITISH CROWN, BUG

Adult SLM range from 1.3–2.3mm in length, with black and yellow markings. This pest is difficult to identify with the naked eye, and it is also difficult to distinguish from native leaf miner species. Typically, specialist diagnostics is required to confirm whether an exotic leaf miner is present.

I

HARP

Identification

SC

Y, TOR OR A L AB

3 SERPENTINE leaf miner adult.

PHOTO © SHANNON MULHOLLAND, NSW DPI

In late 2020, there were several confirmed detections of serpentine leaf miner (Liriomyza huidobrensis) on field-grown vegetables in western Sydney, and in celery and beans in the Fassifern Valley region of Queensland. Following extensive surveillance and assessments on where the pest was found and commodities affected, it was deemed that SLM was not technically feasible to eradicate. This has seen a transition to management for affected industries.

RA L

CE

he serpentine leaf miner (SLM; Liriomyza huidobrensis) is a plant pest from the family Agromyzidae that has a wide host range of plant species including broccoli, beet, spinach, peas, beans, chilli, cucumber, potatoes, cut flowers, melons, and a number of weeds. The pest can only fly short distances; however, the eggs, larvae and pupae of SLM can be spread through the movement of plant material and soil or potting mix. AUSVEG Project Officer Madeleine Quirk reports.

E NT

EN

T

©C

3 SERPENTINE leaf miner stippling damage to choy sum.

Damage Damage is primarily caused by larvae feeding inside the leaves. Typically, this feeding causes long, narrow, spiralling ‘mines’ which appear as white or grey lines on leaves.

High levels of infestation affect the plant’s ability to photosynthesise, potentially reducing plant growth and crop yields.

At time of writing, SLM had been detected on a total of 35 properties across five NSW regions. Detections in rural NSW were linked to the main outbreak in the Sydney Basin, and affected properties including vegetable farms, nurseries (both vegetable and ornamental), flower importers, home gardens and weeds on roadside verges.

Damage is primarily caused by larvae feeding inside the leaves.

Adult females can also create damage known as stippling when feeding and laying eggs. These are small pale green to white circular spots scattered over the leaf surface. Stippling can increase secondary leaf infections, and can affect marketability of produce, especially for leafy vegetables.

SLM detected in Australia SLM was detected in western Sydney in late October 2020. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), in conjunction with Greater Sydney Local Land Services, launched an emergency response to deal with the outbreak.

Vegetable growers were the largest affected group. Thirty-eight plants species from 10 plant families were recorded as hosts, with bean, lettuce, spinach, chillies, and cucurbits particularly affected.

On November 13, 2020, SLM was detected in Kalbar in the Fassifern Valley after an agronomist reported unusual leaf miner signs and symptoms. Samples were delivered to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland (DAF QLD) for identification. Those samples were confirmed as SLM on November 18. Surveillance and tracing investigations indicate it is likely that the pest is already established outside the Fassifern Valley. DAF QLD is undertaking WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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tracing work to determine where plant material has been distributed across south-east Queensland. As of January 2021, there had been no further detections of SLM in Queensland. Monitoring is continuing in the Fassifern Valley to detect this pest, and to look at what parasitoids are present in the immediate area to help growers make appropriate spray management decisions. Three readily identifiable parasitoids have been found, with others yet to be formally identified.

Climate suitability in Western Australia SLM is known to have higher tolerance to cooler climates than some other exotic leaf miners, and predictive forecasting work has suggested that establishment risk may be high in many horticultural production regions across Australia. In southern Western Australia, including Perth and regions further south, it is predicted that the climate would be suitable for SLM for more than

half the year, increasing the risk of pest establishment. However, in vegetable production regions further north — including Geraldton and Carnarvon — SLM activity would be significantly restricted by desiccation and heat stress, making pest establishment less likely. More information on predicted SLM establishment risk can be requested from Cesar Australia: cesaraustralia. com/contact-us.

Integrated pest management crucial Taking an integrated approach to the management of SLM will be crucial for the effective control of this pest.

• Avoiding broad spectrum insecticides — do not target leaf miner flies with inappropriate chemicals. Consider soft chemicals when targeting other pests when leaf miner activity is high, as they will harm your beneficial insect population. • Understanding the role of parasitoids — understand the signs of parasitism to determine if visible leaf mining damage is associated with an active leaf miner population.

Inspect your crops regularly for signs of unusual leaf mining activity.

The foundations of an integrated pest management approach include: • Monitoring pest activity — apply your own economic thresholds to delay and reduce sprays to allow parasitoid populations to build.

In response to the recent detections, industry and government have prepared management options for growers, including IPM and chemical management options. Visit dpi.nsw.gov.au for further information.

What can you do? • I t can be difficult to distinguish SLM from native leaf miner species by looking at the insect itself, so visual surveillance should focus on the damage created by the pest • Inspect your crops regularly for signs of plant pests and diseases, including unusual leaf mining activity • Look for leaf miner damage on a wide range of crops • SLM is still a notifiable pest, so suspect samples of SLM infestation should be reported immediately to the Department of Primary Industries or Agriculture by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (see more information). MORE INFORMATION For more information, visit the following websites:

• dpi.nsw.gov.au • daf.qld.gov.au • planthealthaustralia.com.au

PHOTO © SHANNON MULHOLLAND, NSW DPI

• ausveg.com.au/mt16004.

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Any unusual plant pests should be reported immediately to the relevant state or territory agriculture agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881). For further information, contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or science@ausveg.com.au.

3 SERPENTINE leaf miner damage to cucumber.

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Understanding and preventing virus outbreaks

by insect monitoring in Carnarvon

3 APHIDS (feeding on cucumber) can spread viruses such as ZYMV.

Two significant outbreaks of virus disease spread by insects occurred in 2020.

BY DR CRAIG WEBSTER 1 AND BILL BATEMAN 2 1 DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, DPIRD 2 AGRONOMIST, CGA

F

or two years, the Carnarvon Growers Association (CGA) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have been collecting information on the numbers of key insects, and outbreaks of virus diseases that have occurred across the Carnarvon horticultural area.

This work included counting aphids, thrips, whiteflies and leafhoppers (Figure 1) which spread several important diseases such as Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and phytoplasma diseases. Traps were located adjacent to a variety of crops including capsicum, pumpkin, tomato and melons. Numbers of trapped insects were compared to disease in crops to understand insects’ role in disease outbreaks; at the same time the amount of virus in the crops was checked.

Insects were readily found year-round on the traps and researchers saw large peaks in their numbers in both years, but the timings of these peaks differed between the years. Insect numbers varied from week to week and were higher when suitable crops were growing nearby to the trap. Weather, such as temperature and wind directions, undoubtedly plays a role in insect build up but there were no clear differences between the years. Aphids were often seen as a rapid peak, which decreased rapidly on subsequent traps. WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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35

APHIDS

2019

2020 2021

250

25

INSECT NUMBERS

INSECT NUMBERS

30 20 15 10 5 0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun

100 50

2019

2020 2021

7

LEAFHOPPERS

2019

2020 2021

6

50 40 30 20 10 0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

MONTH

INSECT NUMBERS

INSECT NUMBERS

WHITEFLIES

2020 2021

150

MONTH

60

2019

200

0

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

THRIPS

5 4 3 2 1

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

MONTH

0

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

MONTH

FIGURE 1. INSECT TRAPPING HAS IDENTIFIED KEY PERIODS WHEN NUMBERS CAN RISE.

Virus outbreaks leading to losses in 2020 Two significant outbreaks of virus disease spread by insects occurred in 2020. The first of these was Tomato spotted wilt virus, which was observed in capsicum crops in February and March 2020. This virus is spread by thrips and infected large numbers of plants in several areas around Carnarvon. However, in other areas the virus was not detected (or was only found on a

Volunteer melon infected with ZYMV close to a new watermelon crop.

few plants) despite thrips numbers being high on closest traps. In 2020, this outbreak was enabled by the year-round presence of thrips, compared to early 2019 where very few thrips were seen. Another virus which can cause large losses in capsicum, Cucumber mosaic virus, was not detected at all in 2020 and this was likely due to few sources of the virus being found, and a lack of aphids seen until a large spike in September, by which time the capsicum crops were

3 TRAPS were located adjacent to a variety of crops including capsicum, pumpkin, tomato and melons.

almost finished. TSWV collected during this outbreak did not overcome common resistance genes in tomato or capsicum, which could be used in conjunction with other management options. The second major outbreak was Zucchini yellow mosaic virus in pumpkin, melon and zucchini. This was found infecting many plants in several areas, but was rarely found in others. In early 2020 few aphids were found, but the large numbers which were seen in September 2020 rapidly spread the virus to many crops. Again, this was only in a few

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• Careful removal of infected plants (and nearby weeds and volunteers) can prevent disease spreading even when high levels of insects are present • TSWV collected in 2020 did not overcome common resistance genes in tomato or capsicum, which could be used in conjunction with other management options • In periods of high insect (and disease) pressure, resistant crops can be vital to slowing down spread • Insect control helps to keep numbers low (but not zero) across the area • Insects often breed in other crops in which they aren’t a problem (e.g. thrips in sorghum, aphids in corn) • There is little point in only controlling insects in a few crops and ignoring them in others, as they rapidly spread back when insecticides wear off

3 VOLUNTEER chilli infected with TSWV close to a capsicum crop that became infected.

locations with some crops surveyed having no virus despite there being many aphids caught on the nearby traps.

Understanding disease outbreaks Diseases like TSWV and ZYMV cannot occur on their own. They need to survive in weeds or in volunteers from previous crops. They also need an insect to spread them, which can reproduce on many other crops — even ones that are not infected by the virus. For TSWV, the virus survives on many host plants such as capsicum, chili, tomato or nightshade.

There are several types of thrips which can spread the virus and these can reproduce on many other crops such as cucurbits or sorghum. Other crops may not be affected by the thrips and they may not be noticed or controlled on them, but large numbers of insects can migrate off them. The absence of CMV in 2019 and 2020 was likely because many growers chose to use CMV resistant capsicums, but also because there were probably few weeds infected with the virus. In the future, a shift towards growing TSWV resistant capsicums can increase the risk of CMV returning. Similarly, ZYMV survives in zucchini melon and weeds such as afghan melon or mukia. There are also many aphids

which can spread the virus, which reproduce on cucurbits, sorghum, banana, capsicum and weeds. What was clear from 2020 is that while insects were found on traps and crops in many locations, the viruses they spread only grew to be problematic in some locations. Other plants located close to infected crops would be overcome by the virus and controlling insects by chemicals alone was unable to stop disease spread. This is because this virus can be spread by only seconds of an aphid feeding, so insecticides would not kill the insect before it spreads the virus. Growers can work to control numbers from increasing in a crop, but they cannot prevent aphids spreading disease as they move into the crop from other sources.

• Destroy old crops quickly when finished harvesting — this will reduce the chance for pests and diseases to build up. MORE INFORMATION This project has been funded by Hort. Innovation using vegetable industry levies and contributions from the Australian Government with co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources; the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources; Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; and the University of Tasmania. It is supported by a second smaller project led by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and similarly funded by Hort Innovation using vegetable industry levies and contributions from the Australian Government and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

TSWV survives on many host plants such as capsicum, chili, tomato or nightshade.

Key insights for disease control: • We found key insects across the whole Carnarvon region — the numbers and time of the year varied with weather and which crops were planted close by • Insects on traps did not always cause disease in crops — virus outbreaks were often only in one area, while other areas were unaffected • Viruses like ZYMV and TSWV need living hosts to survive in, such as weeds and volunteers

Craig Webster, phone 0499 997 563 or email craig.webster@dpird.wa.gov.au Bill Bateman, phone 0438 418 438 or email bill@cga.com.au

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

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National Mango Breeding Program

Early-season mango variety shows potential for Carnarvon Participants rated the NMBP-1243 variety the highest for sweetness.

T

BY VALERIA ALMEIDA LIMA FRUIT RESEARCH SCIENTIST, DPIRD

he Australian National Mango Breeding Program (NMBP) has recently selected three new varieties to be released — all hybrids of the standard variety Kensington Pride (KP): NMBP-1243, NMBP-1201 and NMBP-4069.

3 PRONOUNCED blush and internal colour (inset) of the NMBP-1243 ripe fruits produced at Carnarvon Research Facility.

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3 NMBP-1201 trees planted at Carnarvon Research Facility.

Early maturity, good blush colour, and improved fruit size were among the main objectives of the breeding program, which started in 1994. NMBP-1243 and NMBP-1201 are crossings of KP and the Irwin variety, while the NMBP-4069 is a crossing between KP and the Van Dyke variety. While NMBP-1201 and NMBP-4069 have a tendency for biennial bearing, NMBP-1243 has consistent year-to-year yields, with all three varieties producing medium to heavy yields. The NMBP varieties have been planted at Carnarvon Research Facility, and the trees are being assessed for yield performance under Carnarvon climatic conditions.

NMBP-1201 has a tendency for biennial bearing.

In this season, selective picking started at the beginning of December 2020, with the NMBP-1243 maturing first, followed by the NMBP-1201, and finishing at the end of January 2021 with the NMBP-4069.

Picking commenced when the fruit reached a minimum of 15 per cent dry matter. In 2020–21 the total fruit yield (including reject fruit) averaged at 82kg/tree for the NMBP-1201, 42kg/tree for the NMBP-4069, and 49kg/tree for the NMBP-1243, producing an average fruit weight of 253g, 246g, and 298g, respectively. Yield and fruit quality of trees are expected to improve in the coming seasons as the trees increase in size and tree health improves. NMBP-1243 appears to be the variety with the most potential for Carnarvon.

This season, growers had the opportunity to visit the NMBP trial block and to taste the different varieties, with comments indicating good acceptance of NMBP-1243 for flavour and fruit size. The variety NMBP-1243 also received positive feedback from participants of the NMBP Survey and Auction Experiment, which included the three NMBP varieties and the R2E2 variety. Participants rated the NMBP-1243 variety the highest for sweetness. A local consumer assessment in Carnarvon is planned for the next harvest season.

Its early picking time, good fruit size, high Brix and a pronounced red skin blush gives this variety many suitable characteristics.

As much as 20 per cent of Carnarvon mango production can be rejected due to sunburn.

The cultivation of early-season varieties, such as the NMBP-1243, could benefit local growers by reducing the fruit exposure to hot and dry climatic conditions into summer months and the likelihood of sunburn to occur, contributing to an increase in the industry’s pack out. MORE INFORMATION Neil Lantzke, Project Leader, 0429 990 439 or email neil.lantzke@agric.wa.gov.au Valeria Almeida Lima, Fruit Research Scientist, phone 0416 641 200 or email valeria.almeidalima@agric.wa.gov.au nastasia Van Blommestein, Development A Officer, phone 0429 967 925 or email anastasia.vanblommestein@agric.wa.gov.au

TABLE 1. 2020–21 HARVEST INFORMATION FOR THE NATIONAL MANGO BREEDING PROGRAM VARIETIES AT CARNARVON RESEARCH FACILITY.

Harvest window

1201

Early to late-Dec

82.0

17.1

34.2

253

15.9

11.5

12432

Early to mid-Dec

48.8

10.2

20.3

298

17.0

12.6

4069

Late-Dec to late-Jan

41.9

8.7

17.4

246

15.8

8.9

1

Trial 6x4m1 (t/ha)

Average fruit weight (g)

Average ºBrix at harvest

Variety

2

Trial 8x6m (t/ha)

Average dry matter at harvest (%)

Average tree yield (kg)

Estimated value. 2 Yield and fruit quality of trees are expected to improve comparable to previous years in the coming seasons as the trees increase in size after intense pruning and tree health improves.

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New conditions for Qfly host produce

at the Perth Markets

I

n January 2021 the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) announced it was responding to an outbreak of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) in Coolbellup and surrounds, after the pest was trapped in the area. Everyone dealing with Qfly host produce at the Perth Markets in Canning Vale was asked to comply with conditions of the Quarantine Area Notice and follow one of the simple steps to ensure Qfly host produce was kept free of Qfly and can continue to be traded.

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1. Use fly-proof packaging — ensure all Qfly host produce is covered in flyproof packaging. This means there are no gaps greater than 1.6mm in the packaging. Examples of fly-proof packaging include fly-proof bags/ mesh cardboard boxes sealed with tape (no holes) or plastic bags (tied or sealed). 2. Keep host produce inside — remove all host produce from an open-air environment and keep it enclosed in screened buildings, cold rooms, vehicles or other facilities free from gaps or other entry points greater than 1.6mm. Host fruit to be securely packaged, stored and transported relates to commercial host produce grown outside of the quarantine area, and moved from the wider quarantine area (the quarantine area that is not within the outbreak area) to other areas within Western Australia (WA). Movements outside of WA are subject to import requirements of the destination country or Australian State or Territory.

Host produce needs to be securely packaged, stored and transported while being transported through the quarantine area by meeting one of the following measures: • Unvented packages • Vented packages with the vents secured with mesh with a maximum aperture of 1.6mm • Vented packages enclosing a liner bag or liner sheet that obscure vent holes • Packages, bins or palletised units fully enclosed under plastic wrap, tarpaulins, hessian, mesh or other coverings, which provide a maximum aperture of 1.6mm • Fully enclosed or screened buildings, cold-rooms, vehicles or other facilities free from gaps or other entry points greater than 1.6mm.

DPIRD responds to an outbreak of Queensland fruit fly in Coolbellup.


YOUR PRODUCTION

DPIRD has released an informative list of Frequently Asked Questions that assist with understanding the new measures. DISCLAIMER: These restrictions were in place at the time of print (March 2021) and are subject to change. For the latest information on Qfly visit agric.wa.gov.au/qflyupdate

Secure conditions Q What does secure conditions mean? Secure conditions mean ensuring that fruit fly host produce is kept free of Qfly should it be present in the Quarantine Area. Details of approved secure conditions can be found on the DPIRD website and include fly-proof packaging or coverings or keeping host produce inside enclosed spaces.

Q Why does fruit need to be kept under secure conditions? For host produce grown outside the Quarantine Area, and moved through the markets, market operators need to implement new measures in order to ensure produce is kept free of Qfly and can continue to be traded. If host produce is not maintained in secure condition while at, or transiting through, it will require a treatment in order to comply with the QAN. The approved treatment measures include fumigation or cold treatment (website link www.agric.wa.gov.au/qflymovement-measures).

Q Are there any host fruit that do not need to be kept under secure conditions? Yes, under the approved measures, bananas, pawpaw, babaco Tahitian lime, black sapotes and hass avocado, pomegranate, jackfruit, longan, rambutan may be moved from the wider quarantine area, where harvested at a specific stage of maturity or condition.

Does transport of produce to markets on enclosed trucks meet secure requirement? As described in the requirements for secure storage/packing/transportation. Transport in enclosed trucks free from gaps greater than 1.6mm are considered secure.

Q If you place produce from a secure truck directly into a cold store, will secure conditions be maintained?

covered in mesh or liner, plastic wrap, or tarpaulins, hessian, mesh or other coverings.

Yes.

Q Can produce be displayed at the markets?

Q Is there an allowable length of time acceptable for secure conditions to be maintained without the need to wrap product? No, if the host produce is not in unvented packages, or vented packages with vents covered in mesh or liner, then it should be secured with plastic wrap, or tarpaulins, hessian, mesh or other coverings, or moved to an enclosed space.

Q If produce is unpacked from a truck and not put directly in a cold store or secure facility, how can these by protected? If the host produce is not in unvented packages, or vented packages with vents covered in mesh or liner, then the use of plastic wrap, tarpaulins, hessian, mesh or other coverings which provide a maximum aperture of 1.6mm will maintain secure conditions if produce needs to be left out of a coldstore or truck.

Q For produce that needs to be re-packed in a warehouse can it be out in the open air of warehouse while re-packing, or does it need to be covered at all times? Any repackaging of host product inside a warehouse, where it is kept enclosed behind closed doors are considered secure. If host produce remains in an open-air environment, it needs to be covered by secure fly-proof packaging. This means there are no gaps >1.6mm in the packaging.

Yes. However, host produce displayed will need to be covered in fly-proof packaging. This means there are no gaps >1.6mm in the packaging. If fruit is not maintained in a secure condition it cannot leave the Quarantine area without treatment as per an approved manner the Quarantine Area Notice. Under the approved measures, specified fruit only, harvested at a specific stage of maturity and or skin condition would not need to be kept under secure conditions.

Q Can produce be repacked at the markets? Yes. However once repackaged in an open-air environment, the fruit needs to be covered in fly-proof packaging. This means there are no gaps >1.6mm in the packaging. Fly-proof packaging includes unvented packages, or vented packages with vents covered in mesh or liner, or plastic wrap, or vented packages placed under tarpaulins, hessian, mesh or other coverings.

Q Can produce be moved from cold storage to buyer’s bays? Any host produce removed from secure conditions such as cold-rooms to buyer’s bays will also need to be covered in fly-proof packaging.

Q Are there traps located at the Perth Markets at Canning Vale? Yes, traps are installed around the markets.

This includes unvented packages, or vented packages with vents WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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Q If a buyer opens a box, inspects the produce and closes it again, would this no longer be considered secure?

covered with plastic wrap, mesh or other coverings which provide a maximum aperture of 1.6mm immediately.

Q What happens to fruit that arrives at the markets in unsecure condition?

No, if the box is opened, fruit inspected then immediately secured again, this fruit would still be considered to be secure.

Q If produce is unloaded from a truck at several destinations are secure conditions maintained?

Any produce arriving at the markets must comply with conditions of the QAN if it is to leave the quarantine area. This will not be required for some fruits, if harvested at a specific state of maturity (see approved measures).

Yes, any host produce remaining in an

enclosed truck whilst unloading Q When moving fruit from a cold occurs in a reasonable manner, store to a buyer or transport would be considered to company, is there an have remained in secure acceptable length of time conditions while moving Host produce needs to be without needing to cover several destinations securely packaged, stored to the fruit? through and out of the Any host produce removed from secure conditions such as trucks, and not directly moved to secure conditions of another truck in a reasonable time will also need to be covered in fly-proof packaging.

and transported.

Q If full pallets are split into smaller lots at the markets, how must this be done? Any splitting of pallets at the market should preferably be done in enclosed areas. If this is not possible, then produce during the splitting should be

UNTREATED

quarantine area.

Q Is a host fruit considered secure if pulp temperature is below 16 degrees? A specific pulp temperature is not an agreed method to keep fruit in secure conditions. The cold-room option provided in the secure measures is related to it being a secure, controlled environment. It is not related to any cold storage treatment options accepted by WA for host produce from areas where Qfly is established.

Transfer of responsibility Q Who has responsibility for the condition of fruit leaving the quarantine area, the grower, the market agent or the buyer? It is ultimately the party moving the produce outside the quarantine area that has legal responsible. However, there is a shared benefit to all parties helping measuring secure conditions are met. MORE INFORMATION Visit agric.wa.gov.au/qflyupdate Enquiries can also be directed to DPIRD, Industry Liaison — David Windsor at david.windsor@agric.wa.gov.au or phone 0429 530 378.

TREATED

FUMIGATING

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WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

5426B

HEALTHY FIELDS. HEALTHY YIELDS.

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Mandatory contact registers expanded to keep WA safe BY AMBER ATKINSON | COMMUNICATIONS & POLICY OFFICER, VEGETABLESWA

FROM FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021 mandatory contact registers were expanded in Western Australia (WA). TOOL

SAFEWA PHONE APP

WHAT DOES IT DO

ONLINE CONTACT REGISTER APP

WHO WOULD USE IT

RESIDENTS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

THE COST

FREE

MORE INFORMATION

www.wa.gov.au/organisation/ covid-communications/covid-19coronavirus-safewa

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WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

It is mandatory for most businesses and venues to maintain a contact register by collecting contact details of patrons attending their premises, including customers, staff, contractors, and visitors. Having a contact register supports public health efforts to reduce the risk of an uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreak in WA.

If a person tests positive to COVID-19, contact registers will help the Department of Health to quickly and easily contact people who may have been in the same location, at the same time. Failing to comply with these new requirements could result in penalties of up to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a body corporate, or 12 months' imprisonment.

To assist businesses, the WA Government has developed a free phone app, SafeWA, which is a digital contact register system. SafeWA is an efficient and safe way to record patron and visitor contact details where they can check-in using the app. The use of this app is not mandatory, but it is encouraged.

SafeWA — easy to use, safe and contactless.


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Checking in To check in at a venue or location, open the SafeWA app and you will be ready to scan.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

or

When you open the app your camera scanner will appear. Position it over the QR code

You will be presented with the option to add the details of anyone with you who does not have the app. Simply tap Check in to skip this step

You’re all checked in. Tap Done to return to the home screen

If you have registered a business tap Switch to business account to switch between your personal and business accounts

You will see an error message if you scan a QR code from a different system or do not have a network connection

S a f e WA U S E R G U I D E

PAG E 1 8

Setting up your personal account on SafeWA

How to use SafeWA for Businesses

4. Print out your posters

1. Download the SafeWA app to your phone

1. Download SafeWA

You can download SafeWA from:

You can download SafeWA from:

• Apple's App Store

• Apple's App Store

• Google Play.

• Google Play.

• A SafeWA pack with your QR code posters will be sent to your email account. Print the posters on plain white paper and display them in your business.

2. Create an account

2. Create an account

• Tap the individual icon

• Tap the business icon

• Enter your information

• Enter your information

• Create a password

• Create a password

• Enter the security PIN sent via SMS to verify your account.

• Enter the security PIN sent via SMS to verify your account

3. Check in • Open the SafeWA app • Scan the venue or business's QR code to check in. You can also add other people who are with you and do not have the app. Read more: www.wa.gov.au/government/ announcements/mandatory-contactregisters-expanded-keep-wa-safe

• Add your business name and type of business.

Read more: www.wa.gov. au/organisation/covidcommunications/ covid-19-coronavirussafewa-guidebusinesses#setting-upyour-business-accounton-safewa

SafeWA is a digital contact register system developed by the Government.

3. Set up your business venue • Add your business address • Set up your venue • If required, you can set up other business venues. You can also set up multiple locations for each venue.

MORE INFORMATION If you have any questions, please visit the WA government website and head to the COVID-19 Coronavirus: Contact registers and SafeWA — frequently asked questions page: www.wa.gov. au/government/publications/covid-19coronavirus-contact-registers-and-safewafrequently-asked-questions

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Laser system deployed as duck deterrent helps Australian farmers repel wood ducks TOOL

WHAT DOES IT DO

WHO WOULD USE IT

THE COST

MORE INFORMATION

AVIX AUTONOMIC MARK II

LASER BIRD DETERRENT SYSTEM DESIGNED TO HELP FARMERS RID THEMSELVES OF MANY BIRD SPECIES

VEGETABLE GROWERS CONCERNED ABOUT BIRD RELATED CROP LOSSES

CONTACT E.E. MUIR & SONS

www.birdcontrolgroup.com/ automated-laser-as-effectiveduck-deterrent

AS THE GROSS value of vegetable production increases every year, all threats to production become more of a risk to a grower’s supply and revenue. Wood ducks are one of the threats that have caused severe damage to vegetable crops, targeting lettuce, sweet corn and tomatoes, which hold a high gross value. As a result of this damage, local growers have to protect their crops in a cost and time-effective manner.

Alternative VS traditional bird control methods There are many bird control methods available to Australian horticulture growers, but each has its limitations. Scare guns or sound-based methods create noise disturbance for neighbours. Visual methods such as a scarecrow or netting do not work as a permanent solution, as birds become habituated to them. This leads farmers to search for alternative bird control methods that will decrease their crop loss and increase their revenue.

Gazzola Farms Gazzola Farms is an Australian family-owned and operated company, since 1932. MELBOURNE

Application context Vegetable farm (Agriculture)

Dean and Alex Gazzola manage 500 acres of vegetable crops in Boneo, Victoria, where celery is grown all year round and iceberg lettuce from October to April.

Problem definition Bird damage to celery crops (All year) and iceberg lettuce (October to April)

There is a heightened risk of damage by wood ducks, with crops being harvested all year round.

Location Melbourne, Australia

Bird species Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata) and Crows (Corvidae) Bird behavior Foraging Time of the year with All year round bird problems Time of the day with From dusk till dawn bird problems Number of systems 5 x AVIX Autonomic Mark II In use since 2018 Laser projection area 283 hectares (700 acres) Bird reduction after 90% the laser deployment

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

Effective results A few months after Gazzola Farm installed the laser as a duck deterrent, Dean Gazzola said they were thrilled with the results.

“Since the laser has been installed, we’ve had almost no bird activity on the crops or the areas the laser system covers,” Mr Gazzola said.

Gazzola Farms often spotted 20–30 ducks in each field, causing significant damage to both lettuce and celery crops. The problem was so detrimental, it was common to be losing a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of lettuce, as a result of ducks foraging overnight. Gazzola Farms attempted to scare the ducks away with a scare gun and sound devices. After exhausting almost every method in the book, they began searching for an alternative solution.

“The crops not covered by lasers seem to be where the birds congregate and we are hoping once the last laser is installed we will have no bird life near the crops at all.”

Laser system deployed as an effective duck deterrent

22 Hoskins Road, Landsdale WA, Australia Phone: (08) 9408 4800 Email: perth@eemuir.com.au

In 2018 through E.E. Muir & Sons (an Australian partner of Bird Control Group), Gazzola Farms found the AVIX Autonomic Mark II manufactured by Bird Control Group.

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The AVIX Autonomic Mark II is a laser bird deterrent system designed to help farmers rid themselves of many bird species, including ducks. The laser emits a strong beam of green light that spooks ducks as it crosses their path without causing any physical harm. As an automated duck deterrent, the system can function effectively 24/7 to keep ducks away. The bird deterrent has a wide projection range and can be programmed to accommodate a variety of applications. If the laser is deployed before the harvest season, farmers can begin to disperse ducks and within a few months reduce their presence by more than 70 per cent.

MORE INFORMATION E.E. Muir & Sons is an Australian owned company since 1927, they provide superior services to help farmers protect their farms in an environmentally friendly manner and increase farmers’ profitability.


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Are growers getting a fair return? What imbalance?

A

BY BRYN EDWARDS BUILDING BUSINESS CAPABILITY PROJECT LEAD, VEGETABLESWA

re you getting a fair return? This is a question so often raised by growers and discussed at length, with many differing views and perspectives. In this article, vegetablesWA building business capability project lead, Bryn Edwards, looked at this oftencontentious question and using publicly available data, provides a data-driven analysis and commentary on the return on investment to vegetable growers. The driver behind this analysis is to increase the understanding of the market dynamics that growers operate in and, most importantly, taking steps towards addressing the perceived imbalance that exists in this environment.

The analysis is specific to WA and covers 15 vegetable lines.

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When observing the environment of the vegetable industry, it is generally marked with increasing complexity, competition and a rapid pace of execution and change. Over time, suppliers, supermarket chains, market agents and financial institutions have all advanced their business management practices, adopted supportive technologies, and have access to increasing levels of detailed information and data that is too often not matched by the grower. This places the majority of individual horticulture business owners at a significant disadvantage. This analysis and commentary were undertaken to introduce growers, across the vegetable industry, to sources of data and metrics that can begin to support them to make better quality, data-driven profitability decisions.

Understanding the sources and analysis The analysis draws on three data sources: 1 The Harvest To Home website, funded by Hort Innovation, that features the Neilsen Homescan data that provides consumer purchasing behaviour. 2 The Market West pricing reports that are available on their website. 3 The three-year averages produced from the 2017–20 Vegetables Financial and Production Benchmarking Project. The analysis is specific to Western Australia (WA) and covers 15 vegetable lines (representing 68 per cent of WA production) during FY2019–20. The Homescan data provides the total annual spend, and the total annual volume purchased per WA household, from supermarket chains.


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Retained by market agent and supermarket Returned to grower Investable surplus

RETURNS FROM A EVERY DOLLAR SPENT BY CONSUMERS 1.00

$

0.80 0.60 0.40 0.20

Annual household purchases ($)

Pumpkin Sweet potato

Zucchini

Zucchini

Sweet potato

Onions

Pumpkin

Lettuce

Onions

Leeks

10.61 38.60 12.12 38.82 19.11 23.33 17.13 35.75 10.12

8.55 24.62 25.26 20.74 26.70 16.64

Annual household purchases (kg)

1.7

6.5

3.6

5.4

2.9

2.9

8.7

3.5

1.2

3.2

Average consumer ($/kg)

6.24

5.94

3.37

7.19

1.36

8.04

5.91

4.11

2.89

7.13

7.69

1.91

2.63

2.28

5.04

Average market ($/kg)

1.87

1.38

0.84

3.14

0.85

1.86

1.03

2.49

2.49

2.00

1.03

1.18

1.18

2.13

1.67

Returned to grower

0.30

0.23

0.25

0.44

0.63

0.23

0.17

0.61

0.86

0.28

0.13

0.62

0.45

0.93

0.33

Operating costs

0.22

0.17

0.18

0.31

0.45

0.17

0.13

0.44

0.62

0.20

0.10

0.44

0.32

0.67

0.24

Operating profit

0.08

0.07

0.07

0.12

0.18

0.06

0.05

0.17

0.24

0.08

0.04

0.17

0.13

0.26

0.09

Investable surplus

0.04

0.03

0.03

0.05

0.08

0.03

0.02

0.07

0.10

0.03

0.02

0.07

0.05

0.11

0.04

Return from $1 consumer spend to grower ($)

14.1

Leeks

Lettuce

Eggfruit

Eggfruit

Cucumbers

Cabbage

Celery Cucumbers

Celery

Broccoli

Carrots Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cabbage Capsicums

Carrots

Broccoli

Capsicums

Beetroot

Beetroot

0

13.2

7.9

11.7

3.3

FIGURE 1. PRICE ANALYSIS SUMMARY FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2019–20. From this, the average price per kilogram for each vegetable line, paid by the consumer for the FY2019–20, can easily be calculated and is presented in Figure 1. The Market West website provides the average market price per vegetable, for each unit of sale, during each month of FY2019–20 (it should be noted that this data is more reliable since the automation of data collection). It takes some sorting and calculating but, with focused analysis, the average market price per kilogram (kg) across FY2019–20 can be calculated and is present in Figure 1. Taking the two average prices per kg (consumer and market) for each vegetable line — what quickly emerges is the level of return that the grower gets from every $1 spent by the consumer and the level that is retained elsewhere (e.g. market agents, supermarkets). Taking a step further and applying the vegetablesWA financial benchmarked three-year averages — particularly in relation to Operating Efficiency1 — the analysis revealed the amount retained by the grower from the $1 consumer spend, how much typically is spent on operating costs, the level of operating profit and investible surplus.

The useful way to take this information on board is to look at the trends and the bigger picture, in relation to the overall question of fair returns, rather than hanging on the specific detail of potential profitability of one specific vegetable line over another.

Key observations • For 10 of the 15 vegetable lines, less than 50c spent by the consumer is returned to the grower.

Whether you choose to go that step further (which is recommended) or stay with the analysis in this article, hopefully answering the question ‘Am I getting a fair return?’ is becoming clearer. If the answers is no, the next question is: What can be done, both individually and collectively, to address this?

For 10 of the 15 vegetable lines, <50c spent by the consumer is returned to the grower.

• For 13 of the 15 vegetable lines, the grower retains less than 10c in terms of investable income from every $1 spent by the consumer.

Final reflections

MORE INFORMATION

Contact vegetablesWA building business capability project lead, Bryn Edwards on 0417 409 821 or bryn.edwards@vegetableswa.com.au

For vegetablesWA benchmarking data and information, reports, videos and presentations, visit vegetableswa.com.au/ benchmarking/

Having taken the time to share the sources and the analysis above, it is now a straightforward task for any grower to calculate their own level of return and investible surplus, specific to their own business during FY 2019–20, in relation to the amount spent by the consumer.

1 Operating efficiency = operating costs divided by vegetable income

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Production around the state F

urther your understanding of the scale and location of sold vegetable production, throughout the different regions across Western Australia, during the financial year 2019–20. Perth Metro 48.7% Myalup 14.2% Gingin 13.8% Carnarvon 12.0% Geraldton 3.1% Manjimup 3.0% Albany 0.2%

FIGURE 1. % BREAKDOWN BY REGION OF THE OVERALL DOMESTIC WA SUPPLY OF SOLD PRODUCE.

Gingin 78.4% Myalup 12.0% Perth Metro 7.9% Carnarvon 0.9%

FIGURE 2. % BREAKDOWN BY REGION OF THE OVERALL SUPPLY OF EXPORTED SOLD PRODUCE, BOTH INTERSTATE AND INTERNATIONALLY.

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10,000 8,000

0

Albany 0

20,000

40,000

60,000

80,000

100,000 120,000 140,000

PRODUCTION (t)

VEGETABLE

Domestic

FIGURE 7. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE CARNARVON REGION ACROSS THE TOP 9 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20.

Export

2,500

GINGIN

TONNES

1,500 1,000

VEGETABLE

Eggfruit

Zucchini

Sweet corn

Pumpkin

Leafy

FIGURE 8. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE GERALDTON REGION ACROSS THE TOP 11 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20. 2,000

MANJIMUP

1,600

Cabbage

Leafy

0

Cauliflower

0

Cucumbers

400 Lettuce Tomatoes Carrots Celery Onions Cauliflower Cabbage Broccoli Sweet corn Capsicums Baby leaf Melons Spring Cucumbers Zucchini Brussels Spinach Kale

2,000

Spinach

800

Broccoli

4,000

1,200

Melons

6,000

Pumpkin

TONNES

8,000

Lettuce

PERTH

Tomatoes

10,000

VEGETABLE

VEGETABLE

FIGURE 5. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE PERTH METRO REGION ACROSS THE TOP 18 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20.

FIGURE 9. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE MANJIMUP REGION ACROSS THE TOP 10 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20. 120 100

MYALUP

ALBANY

TONNES

80 60 40

VEGETABLE

FIGURE 6. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE MYALUP REGION ACROSS THE TOP 13 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20.

Chillies

Beetroot

Courgettes

Celeriac

Sweet corn

Lettuce

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Asparagus

0

Capsicums

Brussels

Cabbage

Swedes

Beans

Capsicums

Celery

Pumpkin

Broccolini

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Melons

Onions

20 Carrots

TONNES

Capsicums

VEGETABLE

12,000

18,000 16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0

Lebanese

Leeks

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Kale

Beetroot

Pumpkin

Rocket

Spinach

Broccoli

Celery

Baby leaf

Leafy

Onions

Cauliflower

Cabbage

0

FIGURE 4. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE GINGIN REGION ACROSS THE TOP 14 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20.

TONNES

GERALDTON

2,000

500 Carrots

9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0

Lettuce

TONNES

FIGURE 3. OVERALL VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM EACH REGION INCLUSIVE OF DOMESTIC WA SUPPLY AND EXPORTS, BOTH INTERSTATE AND INTERNATIONALLY, DURING FY2019–20.

Chillies

Manjimup

Eggfruit

2,000 Zucchini

Geraldton

Sweet corn

4,000

Pumpkin

Carnarvon

Capsicums

TONNES

Myalup

Melons

REGION

Perth Metro

CARNARVON

6,000

Melons

Gingin

Cucumbers

Exported (Interstate/Internationally)

Tomatoes

Domestic

VEGETABLE

FIGURE 10. VOLUME OF SOLD PRODUCE (t) FROM THE ALBANY REGION ACROSS THE TOP 10 VEGETABLE LINES DURING FY2019–20. WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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Introducing

Stephen Farrell

vegetablesWA’s IR Consultant BY STEPHEN FARRELL INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CONSULTANT, VEGETABLESWA

V

egetablesWA are excited to introduce a new member of the team, Stephen Farrell. Stephen’s role will be to provide Human Resources (HR) and Industrial Relations (IR) advice and support to members. Stephen is an experienced practitioner with around 20 years in Human Resources and Industrial Relations experience. Stephen commenced his career at the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU/CSA), the union for Western Australian (WA) state public servants. During this time, his role was to assist union members negotiate their terms and conditions, advocate and participate in consultancy committee within their workplace, and represent members in both the state and federal industrial relations commissions. Stephen was the assistant director of HR for Serco Australia at Acacia Prison between 2011 and 2014. In this role he provided advice to the Acacia Prison director, and the rest of the senior management team, in workplace law, management, HR policy, employee relations, workers’ compensation, recruitment, training and development, and best HR practice. After leaving Serco, Stephen joined the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA as a senior workplace relations

consultant. In this role he focussed on the training of clients around their obligations as employers, best management practice in performance management, as well as conducting workplace investigations and representing clients in the Fair Work and WA commissions.

Stephen has extensive experience representing clients in both the Fair Work and WA industrial commissions, before both single commissioners and full benches. Stephen is married to Lu-Han and has two teenage children. In his private life, Stephen is a keen Glasgow Celtic supporter and is passionate about football (the world game). He coaches at Forrestfield United Football club, in their State League Reserves team, where he is also on their board and in charge of developing the female football department of the club.

• S erious misconduct and termination of employment • Other employment issues. These seminars/training sessions will be provided both in person and online. Stephen will also be providing the vegetablesWA management team with advice and advocacy on IR policy matters and issues with both the State and Federal governments, including consultation on changes to awards. Growers can also engage Stephen to: • A udit payroll and provide advice on award and legislative compliance

Training sessions and seminars will be provided in person and online.

As a part of his role, Stephen is responsible for the development and maintenance of HR/IR resources for growers to access, including template contracts of employment, policies and other employee forms. In addition, Stephen will be conducting training sessions and seminars on the following topics: • C ompliance with awards and legislation

• A dvocacy and representation defending employee claims in the Fair Work Commission and WA Industrial Magistrate’s Court

• Provide individual advice on IR issues, such as staff discipline or organisational structure within your workplace • Adapt template contracts, policies and documents to fit the individual circumstances of the grower’s business. Stephen can be contacted directly or through the vegetablesWA website enquiry form. MORE INFORMATION Contact Stephen Farrell on (08) 9460 3878, 0455 833 352 or email stephen.farrell@ vegetableswa.com.au

• Staff management • P erformance management of staff WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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Federal Governments IR Reforms BY STEPHEN FARRELL INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CONSULTANT, VEGETABLESWA

3 THE government intends to target employers who are deliberately underpaying and avoiding their obligations under workplace law.

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Key impact on growers

I

n late 2020, the Morrison Government outlined its industrial relations reform agenda, which identified its legislative agenda for 2021. The vast majority of employers and employees are in the federal industrial relations system, so the government’s success, or otherwise, in achieving legislative change will have an impact on the majority of businesses. The agenda prioritises five key areas of industrial relations reform being: 1 Enterprise bargaining 2 Greenfields agreements 3 Defining casual employment and preventing double dipping 4 Compliance and enforcement 5 Award flexibility and complexity. The last three areas have a direct impact on growers, and their businesses, and I will expand on them in this article. The government intends to further target employers, who are deliberately underpaying and avoiding their obligations under workplace law, by dramatically increasing penalties and criminalising ‘wage theft’ committed by employers who deliberately underpay their employees. This position is very likely to be supported by the Australian Labour Party (ALP) opposition who have been calling for the criminalisation of systematic and deliberate underpayment of employee entitlements. As a result, there will not be a better time for growers to look into their own employment practices and ensure that they are complying with their obligations, under the legislation and Horticultural Award, before this legislation is introduced. A second area of reform, that will make it easier for growers, will be the government’s stated intention to provide a legislative definition of a casual employee. This will address, what was from the business community and

government’s point of view, the excesses of the Skene and Rossato federal court decisions. It will also prevent the double dipping of employees deemed to have been incorrectly defined as casual workers, accessing both the casual loading payments and the payment of leave entitlements. The ALP will likely support having a definition of casual employee but will not be supportive of the government’s proposed definition being the traditional ‘paid and engaged as such’. The ALP and unions have publicly come out opposing the prohibition of employees double dipping. The final area of reform that I will expand upon is the government’s plan to simplify the modern award system. The prevailing view of most employers and business groups, particularly those representing small business, is that the modern awards system is overly complex, inflexible and does not support the everevolving needs of the modern workplace. In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in September 2019, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Christin Porter, said the issue of award complexity in multiple classifications in 121 deferent awards is long standing.

This one area of reform is vehemently opposed by the ALP and unions, to the point where the ACTU has launched an advertising campaign targeting key marginal seats in eastern Australia opposing these reforms. This is an area of reform that growers should embrace and support. Simplifying the inflexibility and complexity of the Horticultural Award, particularly in our industry where the vast majority of employers are small employers without access to internal human resources capability, will allow growers to focus on production within their business. It will also create opportunity for employment that provides workers with economically viable and sustainable wage growth and conditions.

Conclusion It remains to be seen how successful the government will be in pursuing its IR agenda, particularly where much of it is opposed by the ALP and unions. The government will need the support of the minority cross benchers in the Senate to pass its reform, which will involve a significant amount of negotiating and potential dilution of the government’s goals. One thing that is for certain will be the consequences of success and failure. A win for this agenda will enable the government to campaign from a strong position in the next election campaign. Lose and its re-election hopes at the next election will result in a significantly downward impact.

Simplifying the complexity of the Horticultural Award will allow growers to focus on production.

“I am regularly told by employers — particularly small business owners — that fear of making a mistake is a major barrier to employment,” Mr Porter said. “In our modern award system, the various classifications, loadings, breaks, rostering and other entitlements differ markedly across awards and present a complex picture. “For example, there are around 2,000 adult award rates of pay across the hundreds of different classifications and that is the observation of a large business. “Small business will often need greater flexibility and have far less resources to navigate the intricacies of the system, and that was true pre-COVID and its certainly true mid-COVID.”

MORE INFORMATION Contact Stephen Farrell on (08) 9460 3878, 0455 833 352 or email stephen.farrell@ vegetableswa.com.au REFERENCES www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/media/ speeches/future-australian-workplaces29-september-2020 Accessed January 31, 2021.

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Young growers bring a fresh focus to WA veg production BY SOIL WEALTH ICP TEAM AND RACHEL LANCASTER

T

he Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) project works with growers nationally to put soil management and plant health research into practice. The project team is currently working with an innovative grower group in Manjimup, Western Australia (WA), where an influx of young grower members has produced positive results on-farm. Soil Wealth ICP Phase 2 (VG16078) is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. 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. For around 30 years the Warren Improvement Group in WA has contributed grower expertise and funding towards research and development activities to support the commercial production of a range of vegetable crops in the Manjimup region. In recent years, there has been limited research activity as existing members diversified their cropping and became focused on other activities on their properties.

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However, a new generation of vegetable growers — most of whom are younger than 30 years — has recently formed and joined the Warren Improvement Group. They are keen to apply their knowledge learnt from current and previous generations of vegetable growers and from their university studies in agriculture, to implement new vegetable production methods on their farms.

3 WARREN Improvement Group committee members (L–R): Ryan East, Sangeetha Ravindran, Jake Ryan, Mitchell East, Jennifer Riseley and Ewan Eatts.

“We’ve all returned to farming and our hometown after working in different areas, and want to show that primary production is an important career choice,” Ms Riseley said. “The young growers are also actively engaging with the Soil Wealth ICP project and have conducted cover crop trials and tried strip tillage with support from the project.

Warren Improvement Group — a new generation of vegetable growers.

All members acknowledge the need to showcase vegetable growers’ innovative and strategically improved farming methods to inspire others into the industry.

Warren Improvement Group Executive Officer Jennifer Riseley said there were several generations of experience in farming to draw on, as well as off-farm experience and education.

“The loan of a strip tillage implements and advice on how to get it to work were especially valuable.”

A case study from the project’s Manjimup demonstration site provides more information on this trial: soilwealth.com.au/resources/casestudies/benefits-of-a-cover-crop-striptill-combination


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Focus topics announced for Soil Wealth ICP in 2021

Participants are enthusiastic about continuing to build their knowledge around soil management.

With planning completed for year four of the Soil Wealth ICP Phase 2 project, the focus topics have been finalised for 2021. Once again, the project will delve into the world of soil biology, particularly in the areas of measuring and monitoring soil health. Integrated weed management will also be on the agenda, with a focus on priority weed species and integrated management practices.

A new outlook The group of young growers meet on a quarterly basis, including on-farm meetings that allow them to gain an insight into new growing methods being tried on each farm and prompt discussion on alternative growing techniques to improve crop productivity, lower inputs and reduce soil disturbance. Importantly, the growers are open to discussing methods tried on-farm — both those that have been successful for improving crop production and those that were not so successful. Other members of the group learn from these successes and mistakes, helping all members to improve their knowledge in vegetable crop production techniques and land management. It also allows the group to share knowledge so growers are not put off testing new ideas.

Sharing ideas to manage soil health The Warren Improvement Group has been investigating soil health management on their farms, with help from the Soil Wealth ICP project. Members of the group have successfully implemented cover cropping and strip tillage in brassica crops, which has reduced the number of land preparation passes required to produce a crop, with savings in water, machinery costs and labour.

Other group members have investigated growing pumpkins using cover crops to reduce weed and disease incidence and improve overall crop quality. The findings from these on-farm investigations are reported back to members of the wider group. Information and expert advice through the Soil Wealth ICP project has led to the implementation of new production methods on-farm, including cover cropping, strip tillage and managing beneficial insects using in-crop flower insectaries.

The group members are keen to work with other experts and commercial growers who are already gaining benefits from improvements in soil management practices. Warren Improvement Group participants are enthusiastic about continuing to build their knowledge around soil management, whole farm productivity improvement and responsible stewardship of natural on-farm resources. The new generation of vegetable growers are looking to the future to continue building on the foundations laid by other growers in the Southern Forests area.

Stay tuned for new events, resources and demonstration site information as the project continues its sustained and targeted effort in these areas of importance to growers and the industry.

MORE INFORMATION To find out more about the Warren Improvement Group, visit the Soil Wealth/ ICP website: soilwealth.com.au/resources/ case-studies/warren-improvement-groupyoung-growers-with-a-fresh-focus-inwestern-australia For more information, please contact project leaders, Dr Gordon Rogers on (02) 8627 1040 or gordon@ahr.com.au and Dr Anne-Maree Boland on (03) 9882 2670 or anne-mareeb@rmcg.com.au. The Soil Wealth ICP team would like to thank Rachel Lancaster for her help in preparing this column. Project Number: VG16078

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment visit horticulture.com.au

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3 BUSINESSES that provide products and services to the fresh produce and wine industry can now be part of the Freshcare Recognised Suppliers Register,

Quality Assurance

update

G

BY JOEL DINSDALE QUALITY ASSURANCE COORDINATOR, VEGETABLESWA

lobal Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) schemes continue to advance in 2021. Here is a brief update on the recognised schemes in Western Australian (WA) horticulture.

Safe Quality Food

GLOBALG.A.P.

The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a division of the Food Industry Association (FMI), announced the release of SQF Code edition 9, for audits beginning on May 24, 2021.

Feedback recently closed on new version 6 topics, which indicates that this version is in development.

• Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification showcases certified sites’ commitment to a culture of food safety and operational excellence in food safety management. • Edition 9 is designed to help certified sites’ practitioners meet and exceed all industry, customer and regulatory requirements, so they can remain competitive across sectors. For details, please see: www.sqfi.com

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The field trials, which were originally planned for December 2020 through to January 2021, will take place between May and June 2021, alongside an additional public consultation period. Version 6 will be finalised and published in April 2022, with the usual transition period of one year. It will therefore become obligatory in April 2023. For more details and further information, please see: www.globalgap.org/uk_en


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Freshcare Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Edition 4.2 (FSQ4.2) has been released. All audits on or after May 3, 2021, are required to be completed against the FSQ4.2 standard.

Freshcare’s Recognised Suppliers Database Freshcare’s Recognised Suppliers Database has grown since its launch in 2020. Businesses that provide products and services to the fresh produce and wine industry can now be part of the Freshcare Recognised Suppliers Register, not only to promote and disclose the services they offer, but to upload supporting evidence of credentials in the form of certificates of compliance, accreditation or written declarations.

This means that businesses scheduled to go to audit from May 2021 Freshcare’s Recognised and beyond will Suppliers Database has need to transition grown since its launch their system prior to audit, to ensure they in 2020. smoothly attain/reattain certification to the system. Evidence of the new records needs to be sighted at audit to meet the new requirements, so do not leave it until the last minute to update your system. For more details, see: www.freshcare.com.au

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If you’re a business adopting one of Freshcare’s programs, why not check it out? Alternatively, check to see whether any of your current input suppliers have registered and uploaded their supporting documents.

You may find they are utilising the register to meet the supplier compliance criteria outlined in the various Freshcare programs. This is a really useful tool for growers to access and supports the maintenance of their food safety system. Alternatively, if you’re a supplier that wants to get onboard, contact Freshcare for registration details: www.freshcare. com.au/recognised-suppliers MORE INFORMATION The GFSI recognised schemes listed above have submitted their benchmarking application for GFSI Version 2020. You can follow their progress at: https://mygfsi. com/how-to-implement/cpos-undergoingbenchmarking Have you got a question about any of the GFSI recognised schemes? Contact Joel at joel.dinsdale@vegetableswa.com.au

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Report updates irrigation water availability in the Gascoyne 3 THE Gascoyne River Aquifer Status update indicates sufficient water to meet irrigation demands in the year ahead.

PHOTOS © DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

Growers are encouraged to consider their water budgets moving into 2021.

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T

he Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has updated the aquifer status for Gascoyne growers, confirming projected irrigation water availability for 2021. The department’s Gascoyne River aquifer status update indicates sufficient water to meet irrigation demands in the year ahead. However, growers are encouraged to consider their water budgets moving into 2021. DWER mid-west Gascoyne region manager Fleur Coaker said that despite the next few months having the highest probability for a river flow, growers should evaluate their water budgets for the year ahead with the potential of there not being a groundwater recharging river flow even.

“Projections indicate that without a recharge event, the borefield supply would meet irrigation demand but the Subarea A supplies would likely become limited towards the end of the year,” Ms Coaker said. Average groundwater salinity of Subarea A bores over the last quarter of 2020 was 615mg/L TDS. Information from the Gascoyne Water Cooperative indicates average salinity of scheme water over the same period was 569mg/L TDS. Water use tracking by DWER revealed that the volume of water taken from Subarea A was above average over the last three months of 2020. “We are expecting that the demand from this area will be slightly above average for the first quarter of 2021,” Ms Coaker said. Last year 5.4GL of water was used from Subarea A (see Table 1), 5.7GL from the Subarea B southern borefield, and 2.4GL of water from the Subarea B northern borefield.

3 THE flow at Nine Mile Bridge Saturday 6 February.

TABLE 1. GASCOYNE IRRIGATION WATER USE 2020. Available irrigation water (GL)

2020 production water use Jan–Dec (GL)

Sub area A

6.1

5.4

BL-southern borefield

6.0

5.7

BL-northern borefield

7.1

2.4

Water resource sub area

Source: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

This does not count the water taken during unrestricted pumping from the Riverbed Sands for two months in early 2020. “In the coming year we expect for water use to be roughly the same but anticipate greater volumes to be taken from the northern borefield and reduced volumes taken from Subarea A,” Ms Coaker said.

The declaration applies to all bores and spears screened in the Riverbed Sands in Subarea A, in line with the Lower Gascoyne water allocation plan 2011.

Nine Mile Bridge reached 7.2m during February.

Unrestricted pumping declared for February A river flow reached Nine Mile Bridge on Friday February 5, 2021. Unrestricted pumping was declared on February 8 for Carnarvon Sub Area A Licensees.

Water abstracted during this month will continue to be metered but will not count towards a licensee’s annual water entitlement. MORE INFORMATION

For further information please contact DWER on (08) 9965 7400. To receive Gascoyne river flow advice email midwestgascoyne@dwer.wa.gov.au. Current river levels across WA are available from the DWER website, https://dwer.wa.gov.au/

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How WA growers got Ni-Vanuatu workers

on farm BY MELISSA DENNING LABOUR SCHEME FACILITATOR

S

ecuring labour was one of the key challenges during 2020, and it appears that 2021 is going to prove just as challenging. When the international borders closed in March 2020, we knew there was going to be an impact on the horticulture industry, but it is unlikely anyone could have realised the extent of the impact.

PHOTO © PERTH AIRPORT

3 154 workers from Vanuatu arrived in Perth during December.

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The Work and Wander Out Yonder campaign and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Regional Travel Allowance scheme promoted the industry to residents of Western Australia (WA). While there were some great success stories, unfortunately there were not as many as the industry had hoped for.

Key decisions, including from which country to source workers and where they would be located, needed to be determined very early in the process. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and health advice, it was decided to recruit workers from Vanuatu. Initially Timor-Leste was the preferred country for most growers, however Vanuatu was deemed the most appropriate option, as the wellbeing of the WA community was the most significant consideration.

Securing labour was one of the key challenges during 2020.

After some intense lobbying from vegetablesWA and other industry bodies, the WA State Government announced on October 15, 2020, that Pacific Islanders were once again able to return under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme.

The Pacific had more than 20,000 available workers that could have potentially come to Australia, however, it is not just as easy as booking a flight. There were months of work behind-thescenes required to land a planeload of workers into WA.

The next phase included arranging the logistics of the arrivals into Perth. There were many things to consider, such as: where would they quarantine? Who would pay for the quarantine? Who would arrange the quarantine? Which airline would bring them to Perth? These decisions needed to be worked through by government and industry collaboratively and required a high level of cooperation between all involved parties.


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Timeline Mar

03 Sep

21 Oct

26 Nov

04 Jan

21 Jan

02 Apr

International borders closed

First plane of workers arrived into the Northern Territory to assist with the mango season

Initial consultations with employers about restart of SWP/PLS

WA Chief Health Officer signed off on worker plane arriving into WA

Workers exited quarantine with 0 cases of COVID detected

Workers exited quarantine with 0 cases of COVID detected

Fourth plane scheduled to arrive from Vanuatu

2020

2021 26 Aug

15 Oct

23 Nov

21 Dec

07 Jan

16 Mar

20 Apr

Commonwealth approved restart of SWP/PLS

WA opted back into the SWP/PLS

WA agreed to quarantine workers in Perth

First plane arrived from Vanuatu carrying 154 workers

Second plane arrived from Vanuatu carrying 160 workers

Third plane scheduled to arrive from Fiji

Fifth plane scheduled to arrive from Tonga

PHOTO © TIA WEBB

3 NI-VANS after quarantine.

Approved employers were required to complete all their necessary checks and balances to ensure that the workers would be looked after during their stay.

Each role was advertised first to the local WA workforce and only if there were insufficient candidates could the workers be recruited from overseas. The next phase involved the selection of workers and visa and medical processing. The workers completed a two-day pre-departure briefing that included information about their quarantine facility and the expectations about being confined to a room for 14 days, for the safety of all parties. Throughout the entire process the WA Chief Health Officer and his department were also included in correspondence to ensure the safety of the WA community.

LANCELIN 5

5

Apples Brocolli/cauliflower Broccollini

WHERE THE NI-VANS WILL BE BASED IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

GINGIN

Almonds 24

BROOME 11

PERTH

Carrots Hospitality Meat Processing Onions

WAROONA 101

Strawberries Table grapes Vegetables

HARVEY 4

MYALUP 12

34

NARROGIN 35

KATANNING 29 KOJONUP 5 PEMBERTON 14

2

MT BARKER 18 ALBANY 15

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3 NI-VANS on farm.

After nine weeks of negotiations, Zoom calls, emails back and forth, and liaising with government departments, the Air Vanuatu plane landed in Perth.

154 workers would now spend 14 days in quarantine and the following nine months picking, pruning and packing WA crops. A fortnight later, another 160 workers arrived from Vanuatu. In a usual year WA would see up to 1000 workers arrive from the Pacific to help with crops. Due to the lack of Working Holiday Makers available in 2021, this number will probably grow to 2000. The next three flights are planned for mid-March, early April and late April. If there is a demand from industry, additional flights can be proposed to the WA Government.

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The Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme does require advance planning, but it could secure your labour needs for 2021. More planes will be requested if there is sufficient demand from industry.

MORE INFORMATION For more information, please email vegetablesWA Labour Scheme Facilitator Melissa Denning at melissa.denning@ vegetableswa.com.au or call 0477 477 044.


YOUR INDUSTRY

3 TEMPORARY visa holders in Australia working in critical sectors can be granted a visa for up to 12 months.

Factsheet for employers:

COVID-19 Pandemic event visa About the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa • The COVID-19 Pandemic event (subclass 408) visa was established in April 2020 to address critical workforce shortages during COVID-19 • Temporary visa holders in Australia working in critical sectors can be granted a visa for up to 12 months

Visa conditions

Employer obligations

• Workers holding the Pandemic event visa can only work for the employer listed in their visa application

• Employers must take reasonable steps, at reasonable times, to ensure they are employing, referring or contracting non-citizens with work rights

• S easonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) participants with a Pandemic event visa can only work for SWP or PLS Approved Employers

Employers must check that visa holders do not have work restrictions.

• These workers need to provide evidence of ongoing employment or offer of employment and may be eligible for a second 12 month visa.

For information about this visa, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/ getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporaryactivity-408/australian-governmentendorsed-events-covid-19

• Workers who leave their employer without permission or informing the Department of Home Affairs may be in breach of their conditions, which can affect their ability to be granted another visa. For information about visa conditions, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/ visas/already-have-a-visa/check-visadetails-and-conditions/conditions-list

• Employers must check that visa holders do not have work restrictions and may face sanctions if they employ non-citizens without appropriate work rights. For information about employing legal workers, see: https://immi.homeaffairs. gov.au/visas/employing-and-sponsoringsomeone/hire-someone-in-australia MORE INFORMATION If employers wish to become part of Pacific Labour Mobility programs they should contact vegetables labour scheme facilitator, Melissa Denning on 0477 477 044 or melissa. denning@vegetableswa.com.au

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Important information for

employers of foreign nationals A s an employer, you have a range of obligations when employing workers, regardless of their citizenship or visa status. It is your responsibility to ensure workers are paid the right pay rate for all time worked, provide the correct entitlements and a safe working environment.

3 IT is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that you do not hire illegal workers.

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Employers must also comply with Australian laws including tax, migration and workers’ compensation. Australian employers can be penalised, fined and face possible time in jail if caught exploiting workers.

The Australian Government expects employers to take reasonable steps to make sure they are not employing, referring or contracting illegal workers. The Department of Home Affairs works with the Fair Work Ombudsman to support and encourage foreign nationals to come forward with evidence or information about exploitation.

Who has the right to work in Australia? Not all visas allow people to work. Some visas have restrictions that may include not being able to work at all or only being able to work with a certain employer or for a certain number of hours. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand nationals holding Special Category (subclass 444) visas have an unrestricted right to work in Australia. Temporary visas such as Student, Working Holiday Maker, and Temporary work (skilled) 457 and Temporary Skill Shortage visas have limited rights to work.


YOUR INDUSTRY

Hire only foreign nationals who are permitted to work legally in Australia.

For more information about workplace rights for all visa holders in Australia, go to www.homeaffairs.gov.au/workplacerights.

Before you employ a non-citizen Before you employ a foreign national, it is your responsibility to check they have a visa with permission to work in Australia. You can check a person’s visa details by registering for our free, online system — Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/vevo.

Work rights are not negotiable It is your responsibility to pay your workers the correct minimum rate of pay for all time worked and to comply with workplace laws, including the requirement to keep time and wages records for each worker.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website www.fairwork.gov.au to check the pay and entitlements for your workers and to access resources to help you meet your workplace obligations. For tips and resources on hiring foreign nationals, visit the Home Affairs website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/legalworkers.

What happens if you don’t comply? The Fair Work Ombudsman enforces workplace laws and this can result in financial penalties against businesses, directors and accessories who do not follow the law. Individuals can be penalised up to $126,000 and companies up to $630,000 per serious contravention. It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that you do not hire illegal workers. Employers face civil and even criminal penalties of up to $315,000 and/or five years imprisonment per illegal worker. It is an offence to participate in or run a business involving slavery-like offences, such as forced labour and debt bondage. The Australian Border Force is actively targeting businesses and labour hire intermediaries who are exploiting foreign workers.

Dos and don’ts for employers Do

• Hire only foreign nationals who are permitted to work legally in Australia • Take all reasonable steps to ensure a non-citizen is permitted to work in Australia by using the free online system — Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/vevo • Check VEVO before or shortly after an employee commences and within two days of the visa expiry date to ensure a non-citizen still holds a visa with work rights • Look at the tips and resources for hiring foreign nationals at www. homeaffairs.gov.au/legalworkers • Provide the correct pay and workplace entitlements to your workers and comply with all other workplace obligations. For more information check the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website www.fairwork.gov.au • Report any suspected human trafficking, slavery or slavery-like offence to the Australian Federal Police on 131 237 or complete the online form at www.afp.gov.au/contact-us • Register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), if you are employing Working Holiday

Makers, as you must withhold tax at the working holiday maker tax rate before making your first payment to them. Penalties may apply if you fail to register. For more information visit www. ato.gov.au/business/yourworkers/in-detail/employers-ofworking-holiday-makers/.

Don’ts

• Assume that a labour hire company has checked a foreign worker’s right to work in Australia — employers can still be held responsible for hiring illegal workers even if they use a contractor or labour supplier to source their workers • Assume a Medicare card, Tax File Number or driver’s licence is proof to work • Pay with goods. Workers must be paid money for all time worked • Pay below minimum rates of pay, make unlawful deductions from pay or require workers to unreasonably pay cash back • Threaten to cancel a worker’s visa. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas • Ask for money in exchange for a visa sponsorship • Confiscate a worker’s passport.

MORE INFORMATION For information on employing foreign nationals go to www.homeaffairs.gov.au/legalworkers For information on workplace entitlements go to www.fairwork.gov.au

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3 AUSTRALIAN agriculture and its supply chains represent a ‘complex and sophisticated system’ that relies heavily on the quality of its people.

Roadmap to guide National Ag Workforce vision T

he Australian Government appointed the National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee in December 2019 to develop a National Agricultural Workforce Strategy report.

Key points • The National Agricultural Workforce Strategy report has been released • A new Roadmap has also been launched outlining the government’s vision for the sector and next steps • Developing human capital will be key to delivering the Government’s Ag2030 plan over the medium to long-term.

The committee, chaired by Mr John Azarias, included 11 members from academia, the education and training sector and individual agribusinesses. From March to August 2020, the committee consulted more than 300 organisations and received 117 submissions.

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Roadmap addresses the main themes raised in the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy report submitted to the government in late December by the independent National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee.

The strategy report was submitted to the government on December 22, 2020, with 37 recommendations. Roadmap

to attract, retain, upskill and modernise the agricultural workforce.

The committee’s strategy report highlights that Australian agriculture and its supply chains represent a ‘complex and sophisticated system’ that relies heavily on the quality of its people. The 37 recommendations confirm the need to: • Modernise agriculture’s image • Create opportunities to attract, diversify and retain the workforce • Embrace innovation • Build skills for modern agriculture • Ensure agricultural workers are treated ethically and lawfully.

54

The Australian Government has released the National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee’s report — National Agricultural Workforce Strategy: Learning to excel, together with a roadmap to attract, retain, upskill and modernise the agricultural workforce.

“The Roadmap outlines the government’s vision for the sector and broadly outlines the next steps for taking the roadmap themes forward,” Minister Littleproud said. “It also sets out the actions the government has taken over the past 12 months to address the immediate workforce needs of our agricultural sector as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.


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TABLE 1. NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE STRATEGY RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation

Summary

Collaboration and leadership (recommendations 1, 36 and 37)

Importance of coordination by all levels of government Coordination by all levels of government is necessary to deliver a workforce that meets the needs of Australian agriculture. This is a shared responsibility that will require engagement by Australian, state, territory and local governments as well as industry.

Sustainability (recommendation 2)

Build capability in boosting productivity through sustainability A key challenge for agriculture will be to simultaneously increase production to supply enough nutritious food for a growing global population in ways, and using systems, that also enhance ecosystem health.

Supply chains (recommendation 3)

Recognise the role that all supply-chain players have in building workforce capability The pandemic has shown that supply-chain knowledge and collaboration is essential to the survival and success of Australia’s agricultural sector.

Value-adding (recommendations 4 to 5)

Recognise the contribution that value-adding makes to supporting jobs Value-adding in the agricultural sector can add to employment and job creation. The skills and capability to innovate are critical to this.

Agritech (recommendations 6 to 8)

Develop new skills to support technological adoption A technological revolution is underway, driven by advances in information technology, field robotics and artificial intelligence. This will change the workforce and the skills it requires.

Attraction and retention (recommendations 9 to 13)

Understand and address public perceptions and attract new entrants To address poor perceptions of jobs in the sector, it is necessary to improve the attractiveness of jobs and careers on offer and raise community awareness of opportunities in the sector.

Education and training (recommendations 14 to 17)

Better utilise the tertiary sectors to support skills development Education and training are central to boosting productivity, can be engaging for all participants, add value to individual businesses and, importantly, the whole sector.

Improving capability in workforce planning and management, safety and wellbeing (recommendation 18)

Develop the leadership skills of employers and employees Management practices and the work environment affect how attractive a job is and job satisfaction. The committee found significant scope for improvement in workforce leadership and management.

Empowering locally led approaches (recommendation 19)

Showcase successful initiatives and approaches The committee heard of innovative approaches to deliver better workforce outcomes that could be used by the sector.

Securing the seasonal workforce (recommendations 20 to 31)

Recognise an ongoing role for migrant workers and ensure workers are treated ethically and receive their proper entitlements Workforce needs of agriculture fluctuate throughout the year due to the seasonal nature of production and harvest. As is the case in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, attracting domestic workers to these roles is challenging and overseas workers make an important contribution to the workforce. Many agricultural employers do the right thing, but there is evidence of businesses using unethical and unlawful workforce practices. This has negative impacts on individual workers and on producers who are doing the right thing. It contributes to a negative perception of the sector among potential workers.

Workforce data (recommendations 32 to 35)

Improved data collection, analysis and dissemination Agriculture has changed significantly in recent decades, but workforce data and the methods used to collect and classify data have not kept pace with these changes. The challenges and gaps this creates have implications for agriculture to plan for and meet its workforce needs and access some services

Fast facts • The National Agricultural Workforce Strategy report was developed by the independent National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee. • The strategy report was informed by comprehensive consultation with more than 300 stakeholders including industry bodies, agricultural experts, businesses, unions and education organisations. • The 2019–20 Budget committed $1.9 million over four years for the development of the strategy report. • The strategy report aims to ensure farmers have access to a fit-for-purpose workforce into the future and recommends steps for improving the attraction, retention and skill development of the agricultural workforce.

“With the strategy report and the Roadmap released, the government will undertake targeted consultation with industry and state and territory governments, to ensure all parties are just as committed as the Australian Government to a highly skilled agricultural workforce.

“The development of a fit-forpurpose workforce for our farming sector is part of the Australian Government’s Ag2030 plan in support of industry’s $100 billion target by 2030. “The Government will respond to the Strategy report in the coming months and the meantime we will continue to address the immediate needs of our farmers for workers.” MORE INFORMATION Copies of the strategy report and Roadmap are available at www.agriculture.gov.au/ ag-farm-food/agricultural-workforce

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1 2 0 2 n m u t Au

VegNET RDO update BY SAM GRUBIŠA REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, VEGETABLESWA

W

ell, well, well… would you looky here? It appears the ‘stage five clinger’ that was 2020, just can’t let go. 2021’s Year of the Ox or Water Buffalo (depending on your ethnic legacy), kicked off with the flagrant volatility you’d expect from a PBR (Pro Bull Riding) bovine. As a symbol associated with hard work, patient strength and agriculture, you could have easily mistaken this as a sign that this year would be our year!

While the uncontrolled fires that tore through bushland and agricultural properties; a flood to our north causing a 20 per cent loss of early crops; another Queensland fruit fly incursion and a quarantine-acquired case of COVID-19 may have forced us to drop it down a few gears, our innate resilience will force the wheel of fortune to turn in our favour. Eventually! With the world around us becoming madder by the minute, a meeting with the recently convened Grower/Industry Regional Extension Advisory Group (REAG) confirmed my faith in the people of horticulture.

Between checking in on fire affected growers, as water bombers pinch water from their dam, and watching Facebook videos in disbelief as people I know, who can do nothing but stare as their life’s work is devoured by flood water… I couldn’t tell you if I was Arthur or Martha.

Here’s hoping the Ox is right and this year WILL be our year!

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We met to discuss and finalise their included feedback recommendations for our five-year Regional Development Strategic Plan.

Their approval and support of the strategic plan, that Truyen and I created from nothing, was our final hurdle. And like a PBR bull at a gate, we absolutely smashed it! Now, as a self-proclaimed ‘Horticulture Unicorn’, my views on the matters that affect our industry are often divergent.


YOUR INDUSTRY

And I know I can’t ‘go rogue’ on government legislation or industry regulation, nor can I fix every busted main pipe or sprayer calibration.

I can, however, take a page out of the mighty Ox’s book and with patient strength and steady progress, work to develop a clarified, yet pragmatic perspective of industry.

My job, for taxation purposes, is as WA’s Vegetable Industry Regional Development Officer. I am here to support, inform, encourage and propagate procedural skills and organisational awareness throughout WA’s vegetable production businesses. My life, however, is generationally grounded in Primary Productions pre-dawn starts, dirty hands and seasonal clashes with Mother Nature.

Being able to sit in my role as an industry representative, with the grower representatives who are facing the fires and the floods, and truly comprehend their concerns about future pest incursions and their ideas for the future, well, it made me contradict my own in divergence.

A quote from this year’s zodiac horoscope: ‘If you are prudent in your decision making this year, your efforts will pay off in time’. Here’s hoping the Ox is right and this year WILL be our year! MORE INFORMATION Contact Sam Grubiša, phone (08) 9486 7515 or email sam.grubisa@vegetableswa.com.au

It made me realise that no matter where you sit in this industry, whether you’re a grower, a sales rep or a truck driver, we all have the same basic, yet ambitious initiative: a prosperous, consolidated and stable Industry.

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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Seasol Trilogy 631 - For priming the photosynthesis carbon pathway

✓ Root growth ✓ Ro

Plant photosynthesis for plant growth

✓ Stress protectio ✓ Str

1000LPowerfishPo

Seaweed Extract for plant growth

200L 20L

✓ Proteins, ✓ amino Pro soil & plant soi

✓ Natural source ✓ Na

Liquid Orga Liq

Above ground processes Below ground processes

Plant N uptake

Carbon Rhizodepoition

Fish Extract for available nitrogen

Acceleration of soil N cycling by Rhizosphere priming of SOM decomposition

SWE for root growth

Alan Corke Sales Manager West Australia and Northern Territory 0488 006 993 alancorke@seasol.com.au

Se

SWE & Fish Extract and Humic Acids for microbe growth

✓ Microbial✓activ Mi AVAILABLE IN 3 SIZES ✓ Water & ✓ nutrien Wa Whatever your requirements, we now have sizes to suit your needs. Seasol Trilogy 631 is available in 20L, 200L & 1000L quantities.

COMMERCIAL

For more information, please go to www.seasol. com.au or call your local area sales manager on 1800 335 508 a better way to grow MADE & For more information, For more information, For more information, AUSTRALIAN OWNED please go to www.seasol.com.au please go to www.seasol.com.au please go to www.seasol.com.au


WA POTATOES

ogy

nt al ralbeneficial compounds. soil & plant compounds. beneficial compounds.

3Drum! in 1 Drum! 3 in 1 Drum!

easol

Seasol

ot growth✓ Root growth

ress on protection ✓ Stress protection

owerfish Powerfish

ooteins, acids amino for✓ Proteins, acids for amino acids for il & plant soil & plant

atural of nutrition source ✓ of Natural nutrition source of nutrition

anic quidHumate Organic Liquid Humate Organic Humate

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ity crobial activity ✓ Microbial activity

update

ater nt holding & nutrient ✓ Water holding & nutrient holding

WA Potatoes a better way to grow a better way to growa better way to grow

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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WA POTATOES

contacts Horticulture House 103 Outram Street, WEST PERTH WA 6005 p: (08) 9481 0834 e: admin@wapotatoes.com.au w: todatoes.com.au Simon Moltoni, Chief Executive Officer m: 0447 141 752 e: simon@wapotatoes.com.au Morena Perdec, Finance & Admin Manager e: morena@wapotatoes.com.au Georgia Thomas, Project Manager e: georgia@wapotatoes.com.au PHOTO © JULIAN ACKLEY

Committee 2019–20 Vaughan Carter Chairperson

Busselton

Albany Colin Ayres Deputy Chairperson

m: 0417 092 505 m: 0428 451 014

Glen Ryan Secretary

Pemberton

m: 0428 827 126

Gary Bendotti Treasurer

Pemberton

m: 0427 569 903

Patrick Fox

Scott River

m: 0499 887 202

Bronwyn Fox

Dandaragan

m: 0427 447 412

Christian deHaan

Manjimup

m: 0429 436 361

Elected Members Representing the Ware Fresh sector: Vaughan Carter, Christian de Haan, Glen Ryan and Bronwyn Fox Representing the Seed sector: Colin Aryes Representing the Export sector: Patrick Fox Representing the Processing sector: Gary Bendotti

Fee-for-service charge 2020–21 Processing potatoes — local and export

$6.00/t

Seed potatoes — local and export

$150/ha

Ware (fresh) potatoes — local

$8.00/t

Ware (fresh) potatoes — export

$6.00/t

Ware (fresh) potatoes — marketing

$2.50/t

Projects approved 2020–21 Part funding for PGA Delivery of Registered Seed Potato Certification Schemes & Virus Testing

$310,500 $96,000

Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTVd) surveillance of the Seed Scheme Part Funding for Export Development Project $100,000 SmartSpud™ System

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WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

$16,000

WA Potatoes

Chairperson’s Report

I

BY VAUGHAN CARTER CHAIRPERSON, POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION

really thought things could not get any crazier since COVID-19 hit our shores, but how wrong could one be. Early February saw fires in the north, COVID lockdown through the city and regional areas, as well as flooding in Carnarvon. Our thoughts are with those who have been adversely affected by the Wooroloo fires and also through the north with severe flooding. A big shout out to the men and women who dedicated their time to help those who have lost everything. Coming from the rural sector, I know how important it is for communities to have volunteers. These unsung heroes can make a huge difference during critical situations. Let’s hope the State Government provides the relief needed to rebuild, not only imminently, but further down the road. On the Potato Growers Association front, growers have recently been made aware of current developments within the industry via email notifications. The most critical matter facing our industry right now is the seed scheme. This

is not new news, the Committee of Management (CoM) has been looking at the continual degradation of DPIRD and its ability to manage the necessary requirements for national, international and local seed certifications. The WA potato industry and local businesses have pushed hard to create opportunity in the seed export market space.

The key selling point being, Western Australia’s (WA) unique isolation and disease-free environment. Ausfarm Connect has also identified these geographic benefits which in turn have been voiced to prospective businesses that see our region as a good proposition to provide clean and desirable seed stock.


WA POTATOES

WA Potatoes Along with this, WA has strong biosecurity protocols in place. WA Seed Potato Producers (WASPP) Chair Colin Ayres and PGA chief executive officer Simon Moltoni have been in discussions with DPIRD to highlight our concerns and look at ways to rectify problems. From our side of the fence there are certainly things we can put in place to improve streamlining. One factor that will be immediately significant is early notification on seed crops to be planted. If DPIRD has early indications of hectares, hopefully the correct workforce can be assigned to cover the areas needed for inspection. Just a small thing but fairly vital for proper management.

In other developments, Morena and Georgia are continuing to fine tune the Smart Spud. Both have completed training and have put it to the test at Beta Spud. Thanks to Matt and his involvement to trial the Smart Spud through his establishment. Continued work will be looking into the ability to collate data for future referencing. In due course hopefully it will be available to growers to fine tune harvesting equipment, to eliminate damage and provide better bottom-line income. Busselton and Margaret River districts have all but completed harvest and Manjimup and Pemberton have begun deliveries. Aldwich Holdings commented that quality is fairly good and varieties readily available. Thank you to our dedicated front-line team at Horticulture House for their continued dedication to the potato producers of WA. MORE INFORMATION Contact Vaughan on 0417 092 505.

Chief Executive Officer’s Report SIMON MOLTONI CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION

G

ood news. 2020 is over! We all experienced a one in a hundred-year pandemic and while there is still a way to go, there is definitely a more optimistic outlook for 2021. The recent hotel quarantine outbreak, and subsequent lockdown, reminds us that things are still volatile and overseas travel is still severely impacted. AUSVEG are hopeful that Hort Connections (cancelled in 2020) will go ahead this year in Brisbane. Alternatives to attending in person are being considered if border closures and/or isolation periods are in place at the time. Growers will be informed as this progresses.

introduction. In recent years, this capacity has been stretched due to retirements and other internal changes at DPIRD. This has led to concerns from industry that the ability to maintain the integrity of the scheme could be under threat. To address these concerns, the PGA and WASPP have met with DPIRD to find solutions.

The start to the year has seen fires in the north and heavy rain in all growing regions. Thankfully, there have been no reports from members of any damage to property due to the fires. The rainfall, following on from a wet spring, has ensured irrigators have water security for summer production.

DPIRD have responded positively by immediately increasing staffing levels in both field and admin to ensure the delivery of the service at the highest possible standard.

The supply shortage that occurred during the winter/spring period has evened out as summer production comes into full swing. Unfortunately, this has led to a softening in price. Generally, yields and quality are reported to be ‘good’ with crops moving from the paddocks. Some exceptions to this have occurred, particularly with coloured varieties. Ground storage is not ideal, and this can at times be seen on the shelf and in the pantry, with poor skin finish and early sprouting. This is a significant issue for industry during summer as there is less margin for error due to the hot conditions. The Certified Seed Scheme underpins the profitability of all industry sectors. DPIRD have administered the scheme at a high level for many decades since its

Further to this, a task group of DPIRD and Industry reps has been formed to address medium- and long-term issues to maintain the integrity of the scheme into the future. Horticulture House is getting a (long overdue) facelift. The CoM have approved an upgrade to the kitchen facilities and a paint job inside and out. Funds to achieve this have been preserved from COVID-19 relief subsidies. A small positive outcome from a bad situation. Thank you to Morena and Georgia for their ongoing efforts and to our COM for their continued commitment to our Industry.

MORE INFORMATION Contact Simon Moltoni on 0447 141 752 or email simon@wapotatoes.com.au

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WA POTATOES

Creating export opportunities for increased seed potato production in WA.

PHOTOS © JULIAN ACKLEY

Growing seed potatoes

3 IF your seed crop is flowering and you have not yet submitted a application, then it is too late and you should make other plans for your crop.

BY JULIAN ACKLEY POTATO SEED GROWER

I

n the past five years the potato industry has weathered many setbacks and has forced many growers to either leave the industry or restructure their business. For those wishing to continue to utilise their equity in potato equipment, many are looking more closely at seed potato production. The new initiative of Ausfarm Connect is leading the way to potentially creating export opportunities for increased seed potato production in Western Australia (WA). For those of you thinking about giving it a go, this article intends to give you the basics in the hope it will prevent simple but costly mistakes in your first seed potato crop.

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WA Seed Scheme The WA Seed Scheme is unique across the world as it includes two variants, both the Certified Seed Scheme and the Registered Seed Scheme. For most intensive purposes they are essentially identical in terms of allowable disease levels and almost every other rule. The only exception of the Registered Seed Scheme is that it allows certification approved swamps to omit from rotational requirements. However, without an approved swamp you will still be required to rotate your growing areas identically to the certified scheme. If the intention is to export overseas then it may create less confusion if your crop is under the certified scheme; for exporting to the eastern states of Australia then certified or registered seed are equally suitable.

Seed labels Before you can start growing seed you will need to obtain suitable seed stocks, which will include a label that provides the traceability of the seed line.

3 OF the four labels available in WA, you will need either Black Label Certified or Blue Label Registered if you wish to multiply the seed another generation.


WA POTATOES

PHOTOS © WWW.SOLAN.COM.AU

In WA there are four different labels, two for Certified and two for Registered. To be able to grow a seed line you will require either a Certified Black (printed on white) label or a Registered Blue label. Both of these labels signify that the seed has passed inspection or testing to the highest level and is suitable for multiplication as seed. Certified Red (printed on white) or the Registered Yellow label are intended only to be grown out for consumption. These tickets are usually issued at the seed growers request, but in exceedingly rare cases these labels may be issued if critical faults (such as virus) are more than 0.1 per cent but less than 1 per cent. You cannot grow a seed crop from Certified Red or Registered Yellow labelled tubers.

3 TOP: Solan is the only mini producer with a nursery facility structured in this way in Australia therefore these images are unique to Solan’s production system only and not representative of other mini suppliers to the Australian industry. 3 LEFT: Generation 0 AKA Mini Tubers are grown from a tissue sample in a laboratory and bulked out in a greenhouse.

Generations A generation of a seed line refers to how many times it has been multiplied in a field setting. Within the Certified Scheme, generations 0 to 4 are suitable to be grown as seed, generation 5 (G5) is only suitable to be grown for consumption. When talking generations, the seed grower will often refer to the generation of the crop growing as the generation that was planted, however the buyer or market grower will refer to the generation of the harvested seed they are buying. As an example, the seed grower will plant a patch of G2 seed, the plants and patch are constantly referred to as G2, however the harvested tubers of that crop to be sold are in fact G3. When that G3 is be multiplied again, it’s resulting tubers will be G4. So, if your market requires G5 seed product, then you will need to purchase G4 seed to achieve that.

Obtaining your seed Professional seed growers will purchase G0 or Mini Tuber Unit (MTU) seedstock from certified laboratories. In Australia, Toolangi Elite in Victoria and Solan Nurseries in South Australia are the main suppliers. G0 MTU stock is grown from tissue samples in the laboratory and then eventually the small plants are moved to controlled greenhouses where the crop is grown out. This process takes 12–18 months of planning and as such all MTU Stock is only grown to order and there is rarely any excess stock. Orders must be

placed at least 18 months in advance of expected delivery. In addition, it is not possible to directly order any varieties that have a royalty on them. In order to obtain a variety with Plant Breeders Rights you will need a contract with the Australian representative of said variety. A simpler way to get started is to simply purchase a higher generation seed stock from a professional seed grower closer to your client’s requirements and do the final bulk out. Growing low generation seed is exceedingly expensive, and it is incredibly unlikely you will be able to purchase G1, G2 or even G3 seed without some kind of prior contract. However, when you get your seed, make sure you don’t lose the labels, as you cannot grow the seed again without them, and you may be required to produce the labels before certification is granted.

currently growing them on your property, your property is not currently eligible to grow seed potatoes. The second thing you need to consider is the isolation gaps. For G0, G1 and G2 sown seed you must have a 50m isolation buffer from any other potato crop; for G3 and G4 that distance is 20m. This means that if you’ve planted your 100-acre pivot with processing potatoes and you want to just certify a small 2-acre plot within that pivot, it will not be possible unless the entire pivot is certified. There is also differing requirements in isolation depending on the generation of seed planted nearby; these requirements can be found in the Certified or Registered Seed Scheme rules. There are also different isolation requirements when growing certified and registered seed within the same field.

G0, G1 and G2 sown seed you must have a 50m isolation buffer from any other potato crop.

Choosing your planting location If you’ve managed to obtain suitable seedstock you’ll now need to decide on a location to plant your seed crop. First of all, certified seed potatoes cannot be grown on any property where there are potatoes planted from non-certified or registered seed. This means if you’ve kept some seed from a non-seed crop and are

The final decision when choosing your site to plant seed is the rotational requirement for planting G0, G1 and G2 seed. It is a requirement that the selected site has not grown solanaceous crops for a minimum of five years. For G3, and G4 planted crops it is a minimum of three years.

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WA POTATOES

Submitting your application for a seed plot At this stage you’ve got some seed, it has a Black Certified or Blue Registered label, and you’ve found a suitable patch to plant your seed crop. In preparation you will need to obtain form 401 Seed Potato Application from the DPIRD website. It is recommended you familiarise yourself with this application before you start planting your seed crop, as it will ensure you have all the appropriate information in advance. Form 401 should be sent directly to DPIRD inspectors within seven days of planting. You may also be required to supply the seed label with the application, so ensure you have that on hand. Additionally, a clear map of all plots is required containing the plot number, variety and generation. A simple way to achieve a good map is to print out an overhead view of your farm from google earth and draw your plan over the top of the paddock, and include information like where the gates are, where to drive and where the plot tags are located.

3 YOUR crops will need to be graded to below 2 per cent total defect before the final tuber inspection is done.

The first inspection First inspection occurs before row closure, when you can still clearly see the base of plants four rows over. This would roughly be four weeks after planting. Ensure you have all your plots clearly labelled as inspectors will be looking for virus infected plants, volunteers, adequate isolations, weeds and excessive virus vectors such as aphids, thrips or psyllids. Generation 2 crops will have leaf samples collected for virus testing in the industry survey and additional leaves will be collected across your property to be tested for Spindle Tuber Viroid surveillance.

Second inspections The second inspection typically takes place four weeks after the first inspection. It is important to ensure you have had your second inspection before burning off your crop, as doing so could cause your crop to fail certification. If you have fast growing varieties this should be discussed with the inspector at the first inspection. The second inspection is typically done around full flowering or just after and will

look more closely for foreign varieties, virus infected plants and excessive vector insects.

Harvest and grading Now that your crop has passed both inspections, you can burn it off to suit the tuber sizes required by your customer. Once you know the quantity of seed you will have, you will need to fill in a Preliminary Seed Works Summary Sheet and submit this to DPIRD so they can issue you the required labels.

Your crop must still pass a tuber inspection, which is carried out by an authorised tuber inspector or DPIRD. Typically, this will occur after you have graded the crop and reduced significant tuber defects to below 2 per cent total. A chart of defects and their associated levels can be found within the Certified Seed Scheme rules.

In summary Growing seed potatoes can initially be a minefield of rules and regulations, the main thing is to be prepared before you think about obtaining your seed. 1. Ensure you purchase the right generation with the right label type up front. 2. Make sure you are not growing any potatoes from uncertified farm saved seed on the property. 3. Double check you are leaving the right isolation gaps and get your applications in as soon as you have planted.

Ensure you purchase the right generation with the right label type up front.

4. Do your own inspections before your scheduled inspection and rogue out anything that doesn’t look right. Make sure you are managing your virus vectors ahead of them arriving and keep track of the paper trail. It’s very easy to fail certification from very simple mistakes, so make sure you understand all the requirements before you start working up the paddock. MORE INFORMATION For more information on the West Australian Seed Scheme please refer to the Certified Seed Scheme rules found online at www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/ potato-seed-certification

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Major supermarket

INDUSTRY

DOES STORE DISPL POTATOES POS

Yes No

In-store project launches CRM

AVERAGE NUMBER OF VARIETIES ON DISPLAY

0

2

4

5

10

10 10

15

3

Industry Not classified Major supermarket Local chain Independent growers/ farmers’ market

18

9

· Which varieties are on display · Price of potatoes

FIGURE 5 TYPES OF RETAILERS

· Whether the store displays WA Potatoes merchandise.

Source: PGA WA

MORE INFORMATION

Starting in November 2020, data from over 50 stores has been entered into the system, and a range of reports are being developed to best assist industry.

Moving forward, the team will continue to add more data and update existing data to maintain reports. For further information please contact Georgia Thomas on georgia@wapotatoes.com.au

15 15

20

20 20

25

25 25

0

00

1

AVERAGE AVERAGE AVERAGE PRICEPRICE PRICE ($) ($) ($)

11

22

2

INDUSTRY

Independent Independent Independent growers/ growers/ growers/ farmers’ farmers’ farmers’ marketmarket market

FIGURE 2 AVERAGE PRICE OF ROYAL BLUE — LOOSE

44

6

66

0

3.0 3.0 3.0 2.8 2.8 2.8

00

1

AVERAGE AVERAGE AVERAGE PRICEPRICE PRICE ($) ($) ($)

11

2

22

Major Major supermarket Major supermarket supermarket

5.3 5.3 5.3

INDUSTRY

INDUSTRY

Independent Independent Independent growers/ growers/ growers/ farmers’ farmers’ farmers’ marketmarket market

4

INDUSTRY

22

Local chain Local Local chain chain

Independent Independent Independent growers/ growers/ growers/ farmers’ farmers’ farmers’ marketmarket market

4

44

2.90 2.90 2.90

Source: PGA

2

44

3.50 3.50 3.50

Local chain Local Local chain chain

FIGURE 1 STORES WITH WA POTATOES POINT OF SALE AVERAGE AVERAGE AVERAGE NUMBER NUMBER NUMBER OF VARIETIES OF OF VARIETIES VARIETIES ON DISPLAY ON ON DISPLAY DISPLAY

4

3.30 3.30 3.30

Source: PGA

00

33

3

Major Major supermarket Major supermarket supermarket

Major Major supermarket Major supermarket supermarket

INDUSTRY

RECORD COUNT: 50

· How many varieties of potatoes are on display

No No

Local chain Local Local chain chain

2.7

· Store contacts

Yes Yes Yes

0

2.40

20

--

No

2

Independent growers/ farmers’ market

· Store type

RECORD RECORD RECORD COUNTCOUNT COUNT

55

AVERAGE PRICE

Local chain

Information being gathered includes:

INDUSTRY

DOES STORE DISPLAY WA POTATOES POS? DOES STORE DISPLAY WA POTATOES POS? -

00

2.8

The tool allows the WA Potatoes team to enter a range of information about local retailers into a database and provide up-to-date reports to industry (see Figures 1–5).

he WA Potatoes generic marketing program has invested in the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) tool to gather important information about the market in Western Australia (WA).

0

1

Major supermarket

3.0

Independent growers/ farmers’ market

BY GEORGIA THOMAS SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION OF WA

T

0

5.3

Local chain

WA POTATOES

Independent growers/ farmers’ market

6

INDUSTRY

INDUSTRY

Major supermarket

Local chain

3

33

3.30 3.30 3.30 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.70 2.70 2.70

FIGURE 3 POTATOES DISPLAYED IN STORES

FIGURE 4 AVERAGE PRICE OF WHITE POTATOES — LOOSE

Source: PGA

Source: PGA

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Introducing...

Besan, potato, roasted garlic and rosemary flatbread

IN GR ED

Serves 2 main 4 for snacks

Cost: $5.05

10 RECIPES

ME TH OD

1.

Place the sliced pota toes in a for about large bow 1 hour. l and cov Preheat er with cold oven to water and 200°C. Slice off let sit the top of the garl and a driz ic head zle of olive and plac e inside oil. Enclose for 30 min a piece the foil and utes unti of foil. Spri l the garl place dire nkle with with the ic is ctly on the salt soft. Squ back of a fork. Cov eeze garl oven rack 4. In a larg ic cloves er and set and roas e bowl com into a sma t aside. bine the ll bowl and Add the chickpe 2 tbsp olive mash a flour, bak oil and mix ing pow Add the der and with you water and 1 tsp salt r hands mix unti smooth until it is . l the dou ball. Bru well com gh is plia sh with a bine 5. ble, d. Divide dou but not bit of oil, too stick cover and gh into 2 y. Form pieces. Plac rest in the paper and into a bowl for e each ball roll each 8-10 min of dough out into if they crac utes. a 5mm thic on separat k. k rough e pieces 6. rectang Preheat of baking les. Pinc oven to h the edg 200°C with 7. Drain, rins es together two bak e and pat ing trays the pota inside the over eac to slices oven. h of the dry. Spre flatb read ad overlap half the bases and ping the roasted then eve edges of garlic pure 8. nly arrange Drizzle eac slices unti e potato slice h flatbread l the dou gh is cov s, with olive salt flak ered. es and pep oil and spri per. Slid nkle with the hot e the flatb most of baking tray the choppe reads whil 9. s and bak Evenly top e still on d rosemar e for 20 the baking with the y, min utes 10. Driz sliced red paper on . zle with to onion and a little mor wal nuts e olive oil Slice into and bak and cho e for ano random pped rose triangles ther 15 min mary. and serv utes. e. 2.

3.

FOR UNDER $10

T

he idea for this recipe collection is simple, to demonstrate versatile, healthy and flavour-packed options for eating potatoes on a budget. Enter Chef Sophie Zalokar, formerly of Foragers in Pemberton, who created these delicious dishes while travelling around Australia last year. Below is one of the delicious dishes from Sophie's cookbook.

IEN

TS 200 g red or yellow skinned 1 large hea potato, skin d garlic on & thin Pinch salt ly sliced flakes 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra 2 cups (260 g) chickpe a flour (also 1 tsp bak ing pow call ed besan) der 1 tsp salt 120 ml wat er 1 tbsp rose mary, roug hly choppe ½ red onio d n (90 g), thinly slice 60 g (1/2 d cup) wal nuts, cho Salt flak pped es & blac k pepper

10 recipes for under $10 Simple and healthy recipes by Sophie Zalokar featuring WA grown potatoes

Potato, fennel and olive upside down tart Serves | 6 Ingredients 650g baby potatoes 60g unsalted butter 2 large onions, sliced ½ tsp salt 1 tbsp fennel seed, lightly crushed 95g soft brown sugar 2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar 80mL (1/3 cup) lemon juice ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional) 80g pitted Kalamata olives 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry

Method 1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until almost tender. Drain well and set aside. 2. In a large, heavy-based frying pan heat the butter until just starting to brown and cook the onions with the salt and fennel seed on high until starting to brown. Add a little water to loosen the base of the pan as the onions are browning. 3. Stir through 20g of the soft brown sugar and the vinegar and continue to cook until a deep caramel colour and a jamlike consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 4. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 200°C.

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WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

5. Clean the pan well, making sure it’s not greasy, then put it back on the hob and add the remaining sugar. Cook over a very low heat to melt the sugar and then stir through the lemon juice and chilli flakes. Simmer down until a thick syrupy consistency. Pour the caramel evenly over the base of the case tin. Cut a little off each potato to make a flat edge and place cut side down into the caramel. 6. Place the olives in the gaps between the potatoes and then cover with the caramelized onion, smoothing the top until an even flat surface. 7. Cut a round piece of pastry the same diameter as the cake tin and lay on top of the onion; pressing around the edges to tuck down around the edge of the potatoes.

This recipe is one for the adventurous.

8. Bake for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. 9. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before inverting on to a plate. Serve garnished with dill and freshly cracked black pepper. MORE INFORMATION All of these recipes can be found at: www.todatoes.com.au/10-recipes-forunder-10

3 POTATO, fennel and olive upside down tart.


WA POTATOES

fenn Potato, upsid el and o li e do wn t ve art Serv es 6 C

ING RED IEN

TS

650 g baby potatoes 60 g unsalted butter 2 large onion s, sliced ½ tsp salt

1 tbsp fenne l seed, lightly crushed 95 g soft brown sugar 2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar 80 ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional) 80 g pitted Kalamata olives 1 sheet all-bu tter puff pastry

ost: $7.2 5

MET HOD 1.

Boil the potat oes in salted water for 15 and set aside minutes or until . almost tende r. Drain well In a large, heavy -based frying pan heat the cook the onion butter until s with the salt just starting and fennel to brown and little water to seed on high loosen the base until starting to brown. Add of the pan as 3. Stir through the onions are a 20 g of the browning. soft brown sugar and the a deep caram vinegar and el colour and continue to a jam-like consi 4. cook until Line a 20 cm stency. Trans round cake fer to a bowl tin with bakin 5. and set aside Clean the pan g paper and . preheat the well, makin g oven sure to 200°C. it’s not greas add the remai y, then put it ning sugar. back on the Cook over a hob and through the very low heat lemon juice to melt the and chilli flakes sugar and then tency. . Simmer down stir until a thick syrupy consi 6. Pour the caram sel evenly over the base of make a flat the case tin. edge and place Cut a little off cut side down each potato 7. Place the olives into the caram to in the gaps el. between the melized onion potatoes and , smoothing then cover with the top until 8. the caraCut a round an even flat piece of pastry surface. the same diame onion; press ter as the cake ing around tin and lay on the edges to 9. top of the tuck down aroun Bake for 45 minutes until d the edge the pastry is of the potat 10. Leave golden brown oes. to sit for 10 . minutes befor 11. Serve e inverting on garnished with to a plate. dill and freshl y cracked black pepper. 2.

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Spuds favoured for shelf-life during lockdown Consumer research results from the latest lockdown

W

BY GEORGIA THOMAS SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION OF WA

A Potatoes recently participated in a ‘Peoples Voice’ survey of Perth residents. The aim of the survey questions was to find out how potatoes stack up against other supermarket products when COVID-19 restrictions are put into place, and why people might choose to buy them during lockdown.

The questions were asked as part of a survey by Painted Dog Research and used as a means to gauge consumer behaviour in-the-moment. The survey provides cheap and fast customer and community insights. The data was collected from February 5–8, 2021, with the age range weighted as per ABS 2016 population statistics.

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WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

The most common main reason for stocking up on potatoes was their shelf life.

We asked two key questions:

So, what did we find out?

Question 1:

· Of those who stocked up due to the recent COVID-19 lock requirements, potatoes tied second with rice as the most commonly stocked-up good with 14 per cent of respondents saying that they did so. Pasta was the top ranked

During this most recent COVID-19 lockdown in the Perth, Peel and South West regions did you stock up on any of the following items? (select all that apply).

n Potatoes n Cauliflower n Sweet potatoes n Rice n Zucchini n Pasta n Carrots n Pumpkin n None of these Question 2: (asked IF potatoes was selected above).

We noticed you said you stocked up on potatoes. Why did you choose to stock up on them specifically? Please select and rank up to 5 from the reasons below where 1 = your strongest reason for purchase.

n Everyone in the house eats them n Have a good shelf life n Easy to prepare n Nutritious n Quick to prepare n Filling n Value for money n Delicious n Versatile n Healthy n None of these

· The most common age group to stock up were under 30-year-old respondents, with older demographics being less likely to stock up on any of those top three options (potatoes, rice or pasta) · The most common main reason for stocking up on potatoes was their shelf life · When examining the top five reasons for stocking up, the most frequently occurring response was that they are easy to prepare, everyone eats them and that they have a good shelf life. These insights can now be used by the potato industry to ensure that marketing and messaging is appropriately targeted during lockdown and other times of restrictions in Western Australia. MORE INFORMATION For further information please contact Georgia on georgia@wapotatoes.com.au


PHOTOS: Victoria Baker Photographer

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pome

update Pomewest

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From the Pomewest

contacts Pomewest Committee and Officers

Mark Scott, Chair e: markpscott@bigpond.com Mario Casotti e: mario@casottigroup.com Wayne Ghilarducci e: strathspey@modnet.com.au Jason Jarvis e: twinpack@bigpond.com Harvey Giblett e: newtonbros@wn.com.au Sam Licciardello e: sam@orchard1sixty.com.au Susie Murphy White, Project Manager e: susan.murphy-white@dpird.wa.gov.au Nardia Stacy, Executive Manager e: nardia@fruitwest.org.au

Executive Manager Season update

Pomewest budgeted Income 2020/2021 Project General Account Budget including FFS (Project Grant Funding APAL, HIA and DPIRD) Biosecurity Account Budget (FFS)

$

474,210 47,500

Pomewest budgeted expenditure general account for 2020/2021 Project New Technology Project (Susie Murphy White) Maturity Standards Legislation & Compliance Medfly Surveillance Trapping Network (Ashmere Consulting) Systems Approach to Market Access Promotion & Publicity Local Project (Fresh Finesse) including other projects including investment in BWEB Annual Meetings & Communications Industry Sponsorships & Association Memberships Strategic Plan Administration including salary & office costs APC charge @10% of FFS income Total

$

87,000 35,000 61,557 40,000 45,000 15,000 4,500 33,000 187,000 42,000 550,000

Pomewest budgeted expenditure biosecurity account 2020/2021 Project Codling Moth (DPIRD) Biosecurity Liaison Officer APC charge @10% of FFS income Total

$ 35,500 16,520 6,000 58,030

APC fee-for-service charge

POME FRUIT EFFECTIVE FROM 1 JANUARY 2015 Type of fruit Fresh fruit — apples, pears, Nashi, other Processing fruit Biosecurity FFS for fresh fruit Biosecurity FFS for processing fruit

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$/kg 0.015 0.005 0.002 0.001

H

BY NARDIA STACY EXECUTIVE MANAGER, POMEWEST

appy 2021 from our team. While you have all been busy in the orchard harvesting stonefruit and preparing for the upcoming apple and pear harvest, new circumstances have contributed to the realisation that the New Year will continue to be a challenge for most of us. What’s new Early in the new year we were alerted to an additional Queensland Fruit Fly (Qfly) incursion, located in Coolbellup on December 23, which triggered an incident response from DPIRD.

The next challenge was the lockdown introduced on January 31 in Perth, Peel and the South West areas. Questions regarding essential services, travel and mask wearing were raised again.

The main issue for us is that the suspension area includes the Perth Wholesale Markets in Canningvale, which adds a degree of complication in managing the outbreak.

This incident reminds us that we are still living in a world managing the COVID-19 virus, and the importance of being prepared and managing risk to our own individual businesses.

Pomewest have been proactive in attending meetings with DPIRD about the situation and have been sharing communications along the way, so our growers stay well informed of the situation and management via their individual market agents.

The new season also challenges our Maturity Standards program which we are committed to continue.

If no further Qfly’s are trapped, I expect we will revert back to area freedom in early April. We are hoping for that as a best-case scenario. On behalf of the apple and pear industry we take this opportunity to commend DPIRD in their efforts, particularly in the Dalkeith incident, which was particularly challenging. Qfly freedom is essential for market access and will be essential for our export opportunities going forward.

This program holds growers accountable for their part in providing good quality tasting fruit into the market and providing the best start to the season. Early indicators show that the message is still slow getting through. We implore everyone to engage with the project for the sake of our growing reputation of excellence. We encourage you to take full advantage of our offer of support by referring to our testing guide publication and contacting us for pre-harvesting testing and advice.


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The APC Project call process has commenced and we remind everyone that the project selection will be influenced by the key objectives of our newly formulated strategic plan from 2021–25, which aims to improve productivity and profitability for our growers.

We are also trying to re-engage with the breeding program and plan to utilise the expertise of DPIRD to promote cost effective production improvement projects and create shared pathways for future investment, as well as clearer targets for the industry.

The main focus will be improving and increasing Class 1 pack-outs for both apples and pears, increasing household spending trends and building exports.

We are also keen to support various events in March and April, such as the Buy West Eat Best Belmont Forum activation, the Warren District Show and the Donnybrook Easter Apple Festival.

We have prioritised some tactics and will be looking at developing and investing in projects that will assist us to deliver these outcomes.

What’s in store for 2021 At the time of writing this report, we are in the process of working with stakeholders Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL), the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and Hort Innovation to look at holding an export readiness workshop in late March. This will aim to engage with producers who have identified export as a solution to diversify business and manage opportunities for further growth. This will include our support of medfly disinfestation trials for Pink Lady® and Bravo™ apples, in order to negotiate future access more lucrative markets. Details have been shared via our usual newsletter communications.

We are keen to promote the new season and industry’s commitment to quality with our maturity standards program. Our participation will largely depend on the COVID-19 situation at the time.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of our growers to contact me if you need any assistance with industry matters. I am committed to my role to the industry and welcome your calls or emails to discuss issues.

Both Susie and I are working hard to maintain our service to you, via Pomewest, in return for your investment via the APC Fee for Service.

The federal netting program — minimising climatic and environmental risks to cropping.

I am also hopeful now that the federal netting program is underway and some of our producers are able to access assistance to implement protective orcharding, which is definitely the future of growing and minimising climatic and environmental risks to cropping.

This edition We re-cap on the last five years of future orchards, remind you about on-farm biosecurity practises as part of managing risk of incursions, and we do a focus story on Keusch family’s Kingwood Orchard, located in Donnybrook.

We are also actively involved in building external relationships to raise awareness of industry issues, provide an industry perspective and exploring every fund leveraging opportunity based on our own innovative ideas and strategies for the future. Our committee and staff always welcome ideas on how we can improve our services to you, so please contact us with your suggestions. I wish everyone success with the upcoming season. MORE INFORMATION Contact Nardia Stacy, Executive Manager, 0411 138 103 or nardia@pomewest.net.au

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Keep the orchard floor clean and mulch any fallen fruit to speed up decomposition.

Keep the orchard clean

and minimise your risks to unwanted pests and diseases 3 FALLEN fruit poses a problem every year and this year more than ever it is essential that we keep the orchard floor clean.

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3 BIOSECURITY sign to inform visitors of the biosecurity requirements for entering the property.

T

BY SUSIE MURPHY WHITE PROJECT MANAGER, POMEWEST

here will be the temptation to do things a bit differently to get the fruit harvested when the shortage of labour gets too much, but there are some key biosecurity precautions we all need to remember at harvest time.

3 FOOTBATH station used to clean boots.

Biosecurity protection measures The following simple protection measures can slow the spread of pest and disease: • Restricting vehicle and visitor access to the orchard • Ensure borrowed or contracted machinery is cleaned prior to entering the orchard • Clean farm vehicles after visiting infected areas • Keep loading areas in packing sheds free of infected leaves and/or fruits • Keep picking bags, fruit bins and other orchard tools clean and free of trash • At harvest, cover fruit loads from infected areas during transport to the packing shed • Apply an early spray program to any newly-planted trees sourced from Apple Scab infected regions. Good on-farm biosecurity aims to reduce the introduction of foreign soil and plant material into your orchard to the lowest practicable level, and to maintain a good level of vigilance through regular monitoring and accurate record keeping.

Managing people movement People management will be critical this year, ensuring staff, contractors, utility providers and tourists don’t bring contaminants from other regions or states to your orchard.

The procedures below should be practiced at all times and part of the orchard biosecurity plan: • Limit the number of entry points to the property and ensure adequate signage to inform visitors of the biosecurity requirements for entering the property • Implement a visitor register and checklist to ensure all relevant people are made aware of designated parking areas, wash down stations and wash down protocol, permitted areas and any off-limits areas • Footbaths should be installed at the entry to the orchard and used every time the orchard is entered When using footbaths, the sanitising solution should be changed at least daily. Footwear needs to be free of all soil and organic matter before being sanitised • Clothing should also be clean and dirt-free; on-farm or disposable overalls are an option • Use an orchard vehicle, not external vehicle, for the transport of visitors around the property. While ‘pick your own fruit’ and orchard tours play an important role in the industry and the surrounding community, they do pose a biosecurity challenge. Such activities need to be evaluated as part of the overall

biosecurity plan for your orchard and business, and any entrants into the orchard need to observe the farm biosecurity and hygiene protocols. Ideally limit activities to a smaller restricted section of your orchard. As always, follow your COVID-19 safety plan, ensuring staff and visitors follow current physical distancing rules, keeping hands and surfaces sanitised and appropriate personal protective equipment is worn.

Don’t leave it to rot Fallen fruit poses a problem every year and this year more than ever it is essential that we keep the orchard floor clean. With recent incursions of Queensland fruit fly and Apple Scab, we need to keep the orchard floor clean and mulch any fallen fruit to speed up the decomposition. This will protect your orchard and your neighbours too. Farm biosecurity is your responsibility and that of every person visiting or working on your property. MORE INFORMATION Susie Murphy White: (08) 9777 0151 or susan.murphy-white@dpird.wa.gov.au www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/ industries/apples-and-pears

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3 DURING 2020 there were three virtual orchard walks delivered direct to the grower’s computer.

Future ® Orchards the past five years BY SUSIE MURPHY WHITE PROJECT MANAGER, POMEWEST

W

ith Future Orchards® moving into a new phase in July 2021, it’s time to look back at what we have achieved in Future Orchards® 2, 2015–20. Over the past five years, Pomewest have been working with Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) and AgFirst to deliver the highest standard of agronomic information for your orchard, facilitating orchard walks with international and national speakers to growers in Western Australia (WA) and all Australian Pome growing regions.

The project is one-of-a-kind, delivering an internationally renowned technology-transfer program. Future Orchards has been responsible for accelerating and expanding the adoption of innovation and technology

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in apple and pear businesses across Australia leading to an increase in production right here in WA.

• 2017 Michael, Kaye and Mat Fox (Pemberton), T and C Fontanini (Manjimup), Rob Tassone (Kirup)

This project wouldn’t have been the success it has without the support and participation of WA growers.

• 2018 Newtons Brothers (Manjimup), Blue Moon (Mullalyup)

Throughout every part of the project, WA growers have been involved and created a dynamic environment for learning.

Orchard Walks In 2020 there were three virtual orchard walks delivered direct to the grower’s computer. While we couldn’t host the guest speakers due to COVID-19 conditions, we were able to get together in local groups in WA.

• 2019 John Hearman (Donnybrook), T and C Fontanini (Manjimup), Michael, Kaye and Mat Fox (Pemberton) • 2020 three Virtual Orchard Walk presentations at DPIRD and orchard walks at Fontanini’s long-term Apple replant trial (Manjimup) and Rob and Cheryl Omodei (Pemberton).

Since 2015, there have been 13 Future Orchards trials.

Since 2015, when Future Orchards 2 began, there have been 17 Orchard Walks attended by more than 500 growers in WA. I would like to thank the following orchards for hosting walks: • 2015 Vic Grozotis (Manjimup), Ann and Mauri Lyster (Manjimup), Terry, Basil and Mark Martella (Kirup) • 2016 Steve Ghilarducci (Karragullen), T and C Fontanini (Manjimup), Steve Atherton (Donnybrook)

Each orchard walk has been uniquely different and everyone has always had really positive stories about each visit.

Thank you for opening up your orchard so that everyone could see how you were operating, it is really appreciated.

Future Orchards trials I have had a great team behind me, the Community Orchard Group (COG) consisting of: Terry Martella, Mark Scott, Joe Fontanini, Mat Fox and Dave Stewart. These growers, along with AgFirst consultant Steve Spark, were able to provide strategic direction on the trials that would be of benefit to all WA growers.


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Since 2015, there have been 13 Future Orchards trials investigating: leaf defoliation in low chilling environments, snap pruning on a cordon row, apple pre-planting treatments, delayed cuts under netting, eating quality of Pink Lady® apples, pollination under and outside netting, snap vs click pruning, predicting lenticel damage, water use growth rate and taste, bud dissections to determine fruitfulness and precision pruning to bud numbers. These trials have given growers an insight into some of the topics that have been delivered in the orchard walks and are topical in the WA Pome industry.

Focus Orchards We have had two Focus Orchards in the past five years run by Trevor, Carmel, Joe and Lucy Fontanini in Manjimup, and Michael, Kaye and Mat Fox in Pemberton.

Both of these orchards have not only received individual agronomic advice from Steve Spark at AgFirst, but also opened up their orchard practices to everyone on a more intense scale by hosting additional orchard walks and trials. They have been able to make changes to their systems and gain so much more.

Orchard Business Analysis Each year financial data has been collected from 24 orchards nationally, six from each state, to enable all growers to benchmark themselves against other orchards. There are six growers from WA each year contributing to the national benchmarking for Pome Orchards across Australia. WA has participated in the Business Development Group, contributing to the data sets in OrchardNet™ that make the program beneficial to all.

3 ORCHARD Walk 30 July 2015 at Terry Martella’s Kirup — in orchard presentation in the rain!

A group of 6–10 growers have collected fruit size measurements each year of the project to ensure this program was an informative dataset, predicting fruit size at harvest and growth rates during the year.

Thank you to everyone involved with orchard walks, hosting trial sites, providing data for OrchardNet™ and the Orchard Business Analysis. We look forward to visiting more orchards in the future and working with the team at APAL and AgFirst. If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the past five years and want to be involved in the next phase of Future Orchards®, please get in contact. MORE INFORMATION Susie Murphy White: (08) 9777 0151 or susan.murphy-white@dpird.wa.gov.au

Orchard Walk at Steve Atherton Donnybrook — presentations inside the shed.

3 ORCHARD Walk 7 March 2019 at John Hearman Donnybrook — bus trip to John’s nursery.

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Kingwood Heights Orchard Pomewest have been celebrating our WA Food Heroes over the last year. PERTH

DONNYBROOK

Farmers Keusch family Location Donnybrook Enterprises Apples, pears, apricots

3 WILL and son Roger.

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King of the Heart Pink Lady® apple for Mother’s Day

Naomi, Will, baby Roger, Rita and Karl Keusch.

I

BY NARDIA STACY EXECUTIVE MANAGER, POMEWEST

t’s true that the Keusch family are no strangers to growing quality apples on their family orchard in Donnybrook. But it’s the unique story of family that created a special gift from a son to his mother that deserves a special mention in this edition of WA Grower.

It was eight years ago when Will Keusch was inspired to uniquely celebrate his mother Rita on Mother’s Day. Will said his mum was a remarkable lady and worked hard to raise eight kids, while helping his dad on the farm over the years. He said that she, more than anyone he knew, was well deserving of some recognition. So, he decided to trial and create the one-of-a-kind gift by placing a heart shaped sticker on a selection of the Pink Lady® apples while they were growing on the tree. Six weeks later, during harvest, the stickers were removed revealing a green heart shape that contrasted against the pink background on the skin of the apple. A basket full of heart marked apples was presented to Rita — and she was chuffed!

Over the years since, the idea has gained momentum and is now Kingwood Heights Orchard’s very own distinctive and sweet message for all Western Australian (WA) mothers to enjoy and celebrate the day. Unfortunately, due to labour shortages, Will has had to cut back on this speciality activity this year, but finding the point of difference has definitely boosted the promotion and reputation of the orchard.

Pomewest have been celebrating our WA Food Heroes over the last year. This edition, Pomewest formally recognises the Keusch family: Will, his wife Naomi and son, 22-month-old Roger, and parents Rita and Karl. These people are among the rich tapestry of folk who form the foundation of the WA Pome Industry.

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Of course, the success of the business is also due to the hard work of backpackers, local and transport workers who support the family to achieve what they do year in and year out. Will believes the secret to success is resilience.

“We never give up no matter what is thrown at us season after season,” Will said.

“We are worried that we may not have the pickers we need for this year’s harvest and the costs look like they will be significantly increased. “What we can manage is environmental factors such as hail and bird damage — we now net to protect our crop.

These people are among the rich tapestry of folk who form the foundation of the WA Pome Industry.

“Last year presented us with a new set of challenges, this year it continues with labour shortages and pest incursions.

“Our customers are lucky that they can enjoy locallygrown apples year-round, so all we ask is that our WA apple lovers buy local apples and support WA growers in every instance.”

The Keusch family are great supporters of the Donnybrook Apple Festival.

Every year they supply fruit to the fresh produce tent to help to promote fruit grown in the region. MORE INFORMATION Contact Nardia Stacy, Executive Manager, phone 0411 138 103 or email nardia@ pomewest.net.au

Donnybrook Apple Festival Pomewest hopes to support the Donnybrook Apple Festival this year (COVID-19 permitting). If you are planning a break in the area over Easter, April 3–4, we would love you to drop in and meet a few growers, like Will and his family. It’s a great opportunity to sample the great taste of our quality apples and pears this season.

FOLLOW KINGWOOD ORCHARDS @kingwoodheightsorchard @kingwoodheightsorchard

3 PICKING is a family affair.

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WA CITRUS

citrus

update WA Citrus

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3 The upheaval with movement restrictions has continued to impact labour.

contacts WA Citrus Committee Producer Committee Members Joseph Ling, Chair m: 0417 828 238 e: chair@wacitrus.com.au Richard Eckersley Shane Kay Mary Ann O’Connor Andrew Pergoliti Cliff Winfield Daniel Ying

From the

industry

WA Citrus Office Building 16, 3 Baron-Hay Court, SOUTH PERTH WA 6151 Bronwyn Walsh, Industry Development Manager m: 0400 873 875 e: industrymanager@wacitrus.com.au Kate Cox, Administrative Services m: 0439 899 600 e: admin@wacitrus.com.au Helen Newman, Biosecurity Representative e: biosecurity@wacitrus.com.au

about WA Citrus is the industry body representing citrus growers and industry in Western Australia. WA Citrus aims to: • Assist in the development of a profitable and sustainable citrus industry in WA • Provide services, facilities and support to assist WA citrus growers supply premium citrus in the local, national and export markets • Assist with growing the consumption of WA citrus fruit

BY JOSEPH LING CHAIR, WA CITRUS

A

t one point this summer, WA was facing fires, Queensland fruit fly (Qfly), a pandemic and a potential cyclone all in the same week. Looking at it, it doesn’t seem that unusual for a typical Western Australian (WA) summer, but when it hits all at once it can be overwhelming. I’d like to take this opportunity to reach out and remind growers that members of our industry committee are here to connect you to information, assistance or support to help work through any challenges.

In the last WA Grower magazine, we emphasised the importance of planning for our workforce needs for the 2021 citrus season. The upheaval with movement restrictions has continued through the summer.

In early 2021 our biosecurity representative, Helen Newman, was monitoring and providing updates on the Qfly outbreak in Coolbellup via email newsletters.

Some flights have been secured to bring in labour from the seasonal worker program. If businesses haven’t already done so, it is strongly recommended that they advertise outside of normal avenues and/or register with labour hire providers for the 2021 season. International travel isn’t forecast to resume normal flights in 2021. Also, businesses are reminded to maintain their COVID-19 plans. In the event of an outbreak, these pieces of evidence can help to ensure our businesses keep ticking over, and minimise the impact on business continuity, in the event of COVID cases in WA.

This outbreak has more implications for growers because the Perth Markets at Canningvale are in the quarantine zone. This affects the movement of fruit out of the markets. The quarantine zone will remain in place until monitoring meets protocol conditions. If you aren’t already receiving these updates via email, please contact Kate (admin@wacitrus.com.au) to provide your email details.

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WA CITRUS

Congratulations

Some flights have been secured to bring in labour from the seasonal worker program.

Lastly, Mick Mann received the Industry Services Award for his dedication to the industry, in particular on biosecurity. Mick served as chair of the APC citrus producers committee for two years, as well as being a member of the Committee. At one point he was a member of both the APC and WA Citrus committees. On WA Citrus he served as vice president as well as promoting the formation of the WA Citrus Biosecurity Working group. His concerns about the progress of strategic direction in biosecurity lead to a cross-industry project on biosecurity, with other horticulture industries.

For the industry, coming into the 2021 season there is one industry body and committee for the WA citrus industry, known as ‘WA Citrus’. The formal structure of the committee is as the APC producer committee, known as ‘WA Citrus’. WA Citrus now captures the role of ‘producer committee’ for the APC citrus fee-for-service; acts as the regional advisory group for Citrus Australia via an MOU; and is the powerhouse for WA-based activities and plays a key role in WA citrus industry matters.

Committee membership is skillsbased and incorporates business size, citrus category, markets and major production regions. The new streamlined industry structure can continue to deliver focused outcomes for the WA citrus industry strategic plan and better understand and leverage national priorities in a timely manner, benefiting our growers overall. The committee are in the planning phase for committing citrus feefor-service for the 2021–22 financial year. If growers have any ideas for research or other services, they should contact myself or Bronwyn by emailing industrymanager@wacitrus.com.au At the industry day in November, we had a rollercoaster ride of technology, Zooming in presenters from across Australia. Speakers covered agrichemicals, export, varieties, workforce, safe farms, biosecurity. There was also a general industry update from chief executive officer, Nathan Hancock.

In the orchard

I

BY BRONWYN WALSH INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (IDM)

t is always an exciting time to be out in the orchard and away from the desk. Kevin and I visited the protected cropping trial site in January to download the wind data and do an initial assessment of fruit for damage, such as sunburn. Kevin also visited the variety and rootstock evaluation sites to do maintenance. 3 WA citrus grower Mick Mann received an Industry Services Award.

As mentioned previously, please do not hesitate to contact Bronwyn or myself. Look after yourselves and stay connected. All the best for the 2021 season. MORE INFORMATION Contact Joseph Ling on 0417 828 238. • M ore biosecurity information is available on the DPIRD website at, www.agric. wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/biosecurityalerts-queensland-fruit-fly-updates • COVID-19 movement, wa.gov.au • Helen Newman, WA Citrus biosecurity representative, biosecurity@wacitrus.com.au

An update on trials will be at the March industry day event on March 8 and 9. Kevin and DPIRD plant pathologist, Andrew Taylor, have been investigating whether Colletotrichum is becoming more of a problem in citrus. Please see the full article in this edition. Also, on pests, Rachelle Johnstone from DPIRD will be working on a Horticulture Innovation project on integrated pest and disease management in citrus that has been recently approved. MORE INFORMATION Bronwyn Walsh, 0400 873 875 or industrymanager@wacitrus.com.au.

• Bronwyn Walsh, 0400 873 875 or industrymanager@wacitrus.com.au.

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Is Colletotrichum affecting your citrus trees? BY DR ANDREW TAYLOR RESEARCH OFFICER PLANT PATHOLOGY, DPIRD

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n the spring and early summer period of 2020, some twig and shoot death were observed in citrus orchards around the South West region of Western Australia (WA). Although this is not uncommon, the level of damage in some orchards was higher than that seen in previous years. In some orchards, significant twig death and leaf drop were observed. These symptoms can be caused by several factors such as poor nutrition, incorrect irrigation and poor canopy management. However, disease can also be the cause. 3 TREE showing dead twigs at the extremity of the tree.

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The fungus Colletotrichum, which is common throughout Australia, was isolated from samples collected from a limited number of these sites. Colletotrichum species have a broad host range and are known to cause diseases among a range of horticultural crops including stone fruit, avocado and apples. Most commonly, they are associated with the disease anthracnose.

Colletotrichum species can be found in most orchards but may not be causing economic damage. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is interested in hearing from commercial citrus growers who have experienced any symptoms (outlined below) in their orchards. Your reports will be a starting point to help us determine whether Colletotrichum is causing an economic impact within WA orchards.

If you see symptoms in your orchard, please take a photo and send a report via the MyPestGuide Reporter app, which can be downloaded from agric.wa.gov. au/apps/mypestguide-reporter. Make sure location settings are enabled when you create your report and send it to ‘Colletotrichum survey’. Multiple reports can be made per orchard if symptoms are seen in different cultivars or citrus species. Please add the following details to your report in the ‘I found’ section: 1 Variety 2 Severity of damage (e.g. 10 per cent of trees with symptoms) 3 Do you think these symptoms have caused economic loss (e.g. 5 per cent economic loss)?

If you see symptoms in your orchard, report via the MyPestGuide Reporter app.


WA CITRUS

A number of factors can influence the ability of Colletotrichum to cause disease.

3 LESIONS on shoots producing gummosis.

3 LEAF infection with fungal spore bodies (black dots).

3 DEAD or dying shoots can be covered with black spore bodies (black dots).

When the level of infection in an orchard builds up, especially under conditions which are favourable to the development of the disease, management can be more difficult. Management practices that will help reduce infection levels include: • Pruning out dead twigs from trees and removing these from the orchard • Removing leaves and fallen fruit from under trees (using a leaf sweeper followed by mulching) • Keeping weeds in your orchard under control

Background As a number of Colletotrichum species are associated with different diseases and symptoms, the identification of individual species can be complex. With citrus trees, a number of different species of Colletotrichum have been associated with a range of symptoms, these include: • Twig dieback (Wither Tip), • Premature leaf drop, • Post bloom fruit drop (PBFD) and • Dark staining of fruit, which can result in postharvest fruit decay. A number of factors can influence the ability of Colletotrichum to cause disease. It is most common in seasons where prolonged wet periods are experienced in spring and when significant rains occur later in the season than normal.

The Perth region experienced more than twice its average November rainfall in 2020. Symptom expression can also be influenced if trees are stressed due to other factors such as nutritional deficiencies, water stress or other diseases.

• Drip irrigation of trees is preferable to sprinklers in relation to this disease, as sprinklers can continue the infection by wetting lower limbs and twigs on trees. If using sprinklers, keep trees well-skirted to reduce leaf wetting.

In the winter and spring period the fungus can develop on tree shoots, causing twig death.

Chemical control for this disease is limited for citrus in Australia as few chemicals known to control the fungus are currently registered.

Over the blossom period the fungus can also infect flowers, resulting in postbloom fruit drop. Leaves can become infected, causing leaf drop and dead patches on leaves. During wet weather, anthracnose spores can spread to fruit, infecting the rind and leaving dull, reddish-to-green streaks on immature fruit and brown to black streaks on mature fruit (tear stains).

MORE INFORMATION Dr Andrew Taylor, Research Scientist Plant Pathology, andrew.taylor@dpird.wa.gov.au, (08) 9780 6241.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

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Plan your workforce early in the season.

Labour

3 LOOK at incentives you can offer to attract workers in a more competitive environment, as well as the impact of increased costs

are you prepared for 2021? BY BRONWYN WALSH INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (IDM)

T

he challenges seen in 2020 will continue into this season in an increasingly competitive environment for productive workers. Not only has availability been an issue, there is also additional costs to businesses in time, the quality of new workers, and retention of workers.

Looking forward, the need for casual workers will increase from January to June 2021, and higher demand is expected between July and December, compared with the same period last year. An Ernst and Young report said: • Remote or less attractive areas are expected to be more impacted by casual labour shortages • Specific commodities such as citrus, that have very high labour intensity, time-sensitivity and/or had picking conditions, will be more vulnerable • Smaller growers with low-cost business models or lower volume of work will remain under pressure or lower volume of work. Our advice to growers is to plan early and consider the following: • Traditional recruitment methods may not work so look at other options being advertised • Consider orchard practices and their impact on harvest timing and period, and related labour needs • Look at incentives you can offer to attract workers in a more competitive

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environment, as well as the impact of increased costs • Contact relevant experts/information sources to understand your options • Expect to spend more time in recruitment and inductions, as turnover of staff has been shown to be higher than usual • Have a plan B and C. MORE INFORMATION Madec Harvest Trail, 1800 062 332 Rural Enterprises, (08) 6166 9124 Seasonal Worker Program, Melissa Denning Studium www.studium.work/ jobsinfoodandag 2G pass and Primary Industries Workers G Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme DPIRD contact via workforce@dpird.wa.gov.au Highly recommended to visit wa.gov.au to get the most-up-to-date information on travel restrictions as conditions can change at any time Primary industries workers regional travel and accommodation support scheme at DPIRD website.


STONEFRUIT

stonefruit

update Stonefruit WA

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contacts Stonefruit Sub-Committee

2020 Season Launch

Danny Di Marco, Chair e: dimarconson@gmail.com Anthony Fullam

e: afullam@wn.com.au

Bruno Delsimone

e: bdelsimone@mercermooney.com.au

Anthony Caccetta

e: antc83@hotmail.com

Mark Scott

e: markpscott@bigpond.com

Sebastian Fiolo

e: karragullen@bigpond.com

Mick Padula

e: mickpadula@yahoo.com.au

Robert Giumelli

e: juroorchard@live.com.au

Shay Crouch, Value Chain Facilitator

e: shay.crouch@perthnrm.com e: (08) 9374 3306

APC fee for service charge Stone fruit effective from 1 November 2009 Type of fruit

$/kg

All fresh stone fruit (apricots, cherries, loquats, nectarines, peaches and plums)

0.015

Processing fruit

0.006

News We are pleased to announce that Rachel Lancaster has been contracted to do the Horticulture Biosecurity Liason Role for the Stonefruit Industry and this will be taking place in 2021.

what’s on... 2021

Project proposals for 21–22 are now due.

Inaugural industry member event

T

BY SCARLET ROXBY MERCHANDISER, STONEFRUIT WA

his year’s season launch took on an entirely new format, with an industry/influencer event on the rooftop bar at The Shoe Bar in Yagan Square on Friday, December 1, 2020. The event took on a beautiful sundowner vibe, hosted by Perthonality Verity James and celebrity butcher Vince Garreffa, who spruiked a spread of specialty dishes highlighting the tastes and diversity of Western Australian (WA) stonefruit.

The Shoe Bar certainly put its best foot forward with their kitchen partnering with Buy West Eat Best to create a selection of delicious stonefruit canapes and drinks.

Including guests from throughout the supply chain was designed to demonstrate the versatility of our fruit, from farm to plate, so everyone is aware and invested in our produce.

Sipping on a Peach Bellini or enjoying ham glazed with peach and apricot nectar, or the surprising duck and nectarine pancakes, everyone enjoyed the array of stonefruit recipes and left with new ideas on how to utilise our great summer fruits throughout the season.

We were very impressed to see many retailers attend the launch, from major chains (Coles and Woolworths) and independent retail groups (Spud Shed, The Good Grocer, Gilberts and many more).

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The Hon. Darren West MLC attended the event on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture and Food, the Hon Alannah MacTiernan.


STONEFRUIT

3 THE diverse crowd enjoying the new roof top function space at The Shoe Bar.

3 BEEF sliders with Vince Garreffa’s Peach Chutney, the perfect condiment to any meat.

3 VINCE Garreffa and his famous peach-glazed Christmas ham.

This year’s format also saw relationships build between growers, wholesales, and buyers.

Darren delivered a hopeful and inspiring speech — drawing on his upbringing in a farming family, and highlighted the importance of celebrating the good work our farmers do in the production of healthy and safe food.

The industry is continually encouraging people to buy local WA produce, especially when it is in peak season, a message Vince Garreffa reinforced with extraordinary passion.

Chairman of the APC Stonefruit Sub-Committee Danny Di Marco gave special thanks to the growers and supply chain members for the work they put in each year to provide WA consumers with high quality and delicious stonefruit. Danny also noted the support of industry bodies and stakeholders, especially the APC, Pomewest, DPIRD, WA Citrus and Perth NRM. The purpose of the season launch was to create excitement and drive positivity for the season ahead.

The industry is continually encouraging people to buy local WA produce.

We would like to thank all the people who were able to join us at our season launch. It was great to see a diverse range of growers, retailers, and industry stakeholders join us for the special evening. ● MORE INFORMATION For more information contact Shay via email shay.crouch@perthnrm.com or phone (08) 9374 3306.

It was also a pleasure to host an event that allowed our orchardists across the Perth Hills and South West to join us for an evening on the town, with the City of Perth festive lights serving as a backdrop. The positive feedback received since the event has been overwhelmingly positive and we expect this new format to continue as we build relationships across the industry and in doing so, foster a positive, profitable and sustainable WA Stonefruit Industry.

FOLLOW WA STONEFRUIT @wastonefruit @WeLoveWAStonefruit

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Fresh Finesse partnership 3 DISPLAY set up in front of a fantastic display of West Australian summer fruits.

Customers enjoyed tasting the delicious local summer fruits.

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S

BY SCARLET ROXBY MERCHANDISER, STONEFRUIT WA

tonefruit WA has had another successful season collaborating with Fresh Finesse to promote Western Australian (WA) Stonefruit directly to consumers with more than 60 in-store demonstrations throughout December, January and February. Unfortunately, Woolworths and Coles regulations excluded in-stores from their programs this year, so our efforts focussed on a wider range of independent stores including IGA, Farmer Jacks, Spud Shed, Fresh Provisions, Five Seasons Fresh, Gilbert’s Fresh Market and others.

Customers enjoyed tasting the delicious local summer fruits, which is inherently variable in taste from crop to crop. Taste tests give customers all the confidence they need to select and buy stonefruit, which leads to repeat business. Demonstration staff are also able to educate customers on how the taste and texture will ripen from the point of sale until point of eating, recommending ripening times and methods, to suit customers’ eating preferences. Overall, it was noted that peach, nectarine and apricot have all seen an increase in quality since last season, however plums had a long ‘early season’ and were noted to be tarte and firm during the month of December and early January. A small consumer survey was conducted throughout the season to determine the factors influencing purchasing decisions, such as the locality of growing region, price, previous taste and quality experience, as well as varieties of stonefruit.

3 LAURA from Fresh Finesse at Five Season’s Fresh in Harrisdale.

TABLE 1 STONEFRUIT PRICES Peaches ($)

Nectarines ($)

Plum ($)

2012

7.71

6.96

5.84

2013

7.92

7.63

6.60

2018

7.16

4.32

7.39

2019

7.02

6.85

7.99

Dec-20

9.04

8.97

11.99

Jan-21

7.41

6.18

9.25

Source: Fresh Finesse and Stonefruit WA

Eight out of 10 people were happy with the quality of summer fruits bought this season, with flavour being the most important factor in repeat purchases. Tracking the prices throughout the season, it is evident that 2020 saw peach prices on par with previous years, though with a higher average in the pre-Christmas sales.

MORE INFORMATION For more information contact Shay via email shay.crouch@perthnrm.com or phone (08) 9374 3306. FOLLOW WA STONEFRUIT @wastonefruit @WeLoveWAStonefruit

Nectarines have been fluid in price since 2018, with prices tracking for a higher average in 2020. Plums are maintaining a higher average for the 2020–21 season so far, as seen in Table 1. On behalf of Stonefruit WA, we would like to thank Noelene and her team at Fresh Finesse for the fantastic work they do to facilitate such great in-store demonstrations each season. ● WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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The survey saw 360 pieces of fruit tested over a nine-week period, providing some insightful results regarding the brix (Figure 1) (sugar concentration) and pressures (Figure 2) of yellow flesh peaches. Each week 40 yellow peaches were collected from four different retail sources: 10 pieces each from an IGA, Woolworths, Coles and an independent.

Samples taken from Woolworths, IGA and independents indicated there was a spike in pressures in the week before Christmas. This was most likely correlated to the high demand and high-volume turnover in the week leading up to Christmas.

16 14 16 12 14 10 12 108 68 46 24 02 0

3 USING a penetrometer to test the pressures of the peach.

Average

Coles Woolworths IGA Independent

Average

9/12/20

16/12/20 23/12/20 30/12/20

6/01/21

13/01/21 20/01/21 27/01/21

2/12/20

9/12/20

16/12/20 23/12/20 30/12/20 DATE

6/01/21

13/01/21 20/01/21 27/01/21

12 12 10

Coles Woolworths IGA Independent

Average

Coles Woolworths IGA Independent

Average

108 86 64 42 20 0

2/12/20

9/12/20

16/12/20 23/12/20 30/12/20

6/01/21

13/01/21 20/01/21 27/01/21

2/12/20

9/12/20

16/12/20 23/12/20 30/12/20 DATE

6/01/21

13/01/21 20/01/21 27/01/21

DATE

FIGURE 2 AVERAGE PRESSURE RATING OF YELLOW FLESH PEACH Final results will be published in the 2020–21 Season Report for WA Stonefruit. Please contact Shay at shay. crouch@perthnrm.com for the final result publication.

This can be attributed to the increased periods of warm weather for the January and February crops, allowing sugars to develop for longer and resulting in a sweeter piece of fruit.

Finally, thank you to Chris, Daniel and Frank at TQAS for all their help this season, especially being so flexible with the challenges the Covid pandemic brought about. ●

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

Coles Woolworths IGA Independent

2/12/20

Furthermore, a statistically significant increase in brix can be seen in the sampling from January 6, 2021, and the following two weeks.

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360 pieces of fruit were tested over a nine-week period.

DATE FIGURE 1 AVERAGE BRIX LEVEL OF YELLOW FLESH PEACH

PRESSURE PRESSURE (KG/F) (KG/F)

tonefruit WA has revisited a program from previous years and contracted Total Quality Assurance Services (TQAS) to complete a snapshot maturity survey that ran throughout December and January.

BRIXBRIX

Maturity Testing Program S

MORE INFORMATION For more information contact Shay via email shay.crouch@perthnrm.com or phone (08) 9374 3306.

FOLLOW WA STONEFRUIT @wastonefruit @WeLoveWAStonefruit


YOUR BUSINESS

your

business Your business WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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YOUR BUSINESS

Preparing a budget.

How hard is it? BY CHRIS PUCKRIDGE RURAL AND SMALL BUSINESS FINANCIAL COUNSELLOR, RURAL WEST

M

any growers in the horticultural sector have grown their businesses over time and they have been able to fund their business growth with the money generated by their business.

Preparing a budget for your business enables you to be in real control of the business.

3 BUSINESSES who have not upgraded their financial structures over time often find themselves in difficulty.

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This has often meant that in the initial stages of their business they have not needed funds from banks or other lenders, or if they have, they have often used credit cards or accessed the equity in their home to have cash available. This can only work for so long! As a business grows and becomes more complex there will nearly always be the need to access external capital. This might be for business expansion (such as buying more land or machinery) or for operating costs and funding the business when there is no cash available. Businesses who have not upgraded their financial structures over time often find themselves in difficulty. These businesses are often forced to rely on expensive credit facilities, or their business is so cash starved that it runs down over time which can then mean funds are not available for maintenance or upgrading of infrastructure.

Having a budget in place means that you can then focus on the strategic areas of your business and not get so bogged down in chasing the day-to-day issues of finding payments for unexpected invoices. Preparing and reviewing your budget also gives you a much great insight into the business and helps you to see the strong and weak points of the business.

What does a potential lender require from you to loan you the money you need? In general, a lender will need to see a professionally prepared budget for not only the current financial year, but also a projected budget for the next three or even five years.

• Time-related — the budget needs to specify when the results can be achieved and be as accurate as it can be in forecasting monthly expenses and income. This can sound hard if you have not done it before, but once you have a budget in place it becomes easier to manage the ongoing adjustment and forecasting of your budget from year to year. Preparing a budget for your business is a major step in creating longterm strength for the business and expanding your options to attract lending alternatives. It also gives you the ability to deal with a wider range of financial institutions if you need to look at restructuring the financial base of your business.

How do you change your financial structure?

Sometimes you may not want to have the actual funds, but you want to have the peace of mind of knowing that funds are available to the business should they be needed, for example if there is a crop failure or other unforeseen event that impacts on your cashflow.

• Resourced — the budget must reflect the real costs of production and needs to allow for a reasonable margin to consider unforeseen events such as maintenance and replacement of plant and machinery

In summary

So inevitably most people in horticulture, or any farming business for that matter, will at some stage need to upgrade their financial structure so that they can borrow external funds.

This often begins in meeting with your accountant or other professional adviser to identify your financial needs and how you want the business to move forward. This can then lead you to meeting with a bank or other lender and reviewing your existing business performance with the bank and helping the bank understand your future cashflow and need for capital.

• Achievable — the budget needs to be able to be explained to third parties so that they can understand it and see that is both realistic and manageable

Preparing a budget also enables you, as the owner, to have a deeper understanding of the capacity of your business and allows you to focus on the most important aspects of the business.

MORE INFORMATION

This can sound daunting, but once you build the initial budget for year one it is a simple matter of then adjusting the budget for year on year. This means you can build in any plans you have for increased investment and increased income from farm development and production improvements.

So, why is a budget so critical?

The key elements of any budget can be summarised using the acronym SMART:

Preparing a budget for your business enables you to be in real control of the business and stops the business from controlling you. You have peace of mind of knowing what to expect and you can adjust and change the budget as you move forward and adapt to the impact of prices or seasonal fluctuations.

• Measurable — the budget needs to be related to your production capacity and include all aspects of your business relating to costs and income

• Specific — the budget needs to be focused on the actuals of the business and be factual and realistic

moneysmart.gov.au is a fantastic website for anyone looking to increase their financial knowledge and skills. The site is not only useful for business owners but for anyone who wants to understand more about managing their finances. Rural West is supported by the State and Federal governments, Rural West works with a wide range of primary producers and regional small business owners to improve their position and profitability. Call 1800 612 004 or visit ruralwest.com.au for more information.

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Flood recovery checklists for farmsteads

C

BY VO THE TRUYEN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, VEGETABLESWA

arnarvon experienced substantial winds and nearly double its annual rainfall between February 4–5, 2021, which resulted in the worst flooding the region has seen since 2010.

The Gascoyne River peaked at Nine Mile Bridge at 7.2m — its previous highest peak was 7.7m in 2010. Land and farmsteads along North River Road, west of the Bibbawarra intersection, and along Robinson Road were significantly inundated.

Although the visual assessment revealed up to 80 per cent of plantations had little to no flooding from the river, all farms in the region were waterlogged. Here are a few considerations for fruit and vegetable growers during this challenging time.

1. Living space and packing sheds Recommendations: • Wild animals First, check all living spaces for wild animals. Wild animals tend to move to higher ground to avoid flooding, so carefully check in and around living spaces to make sure there are none present. If you do locate them, it is advised that you do not try to capture or repel them. Instead speak with the local incident/rescue services, for example Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, 344 Robinson Street Carnarvon, (08) 9941 1013.

PHOTO © THE WEST

Carnarvon received nearly double its annual rainfall between February 4–5, 2021.

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• Pooled water Pools of water will often remain around living spaces after flood water has receded and become ideal breeding places for mosquitoes. It is important to drain them out or encourage them to be absorbed by the soil by creating small drenches around them.

3 GROWERS should conduct water and produce testing before making decisions regarding the suitability of produce.

• Packing shed Flooding may have an impact on the foundations of a shed. As running water washes away soil, it may weaken a building’s structural strength and the shed may not be safe to enter. It is important to check the foundation, sill, plate, roof and walls for damage. If severe damage is found, consult professional building services. After water subsides from the packing shed, clean and dry out the building as much as possible. Flooring that is covered with layers of silt and mud should be cleaned as soon as possible, as it is much easier to do before this matter has dried.

2. Electrical equipment Some farmsteads along Robinson Street suffered from topsoil loss and soil erosion. During this process buried wiring and plumbing may have been exposed or damaged.

There are withholding periods and testing requirements that must be met.

Recommendations: • Inspect wiring and plumbing for damage • All breakers, breaker panel boards, fuses, switches, controllers and receptacles should be checked by an electrician. Floodwater can leave deposits in the electric motors of irrigation systems, which may in turn cause electrical faults and create a safety hazard • Do not turn on the power to a flooded structure until it has been inspected and a licensed electrical contractor or inspector has determined it is safe.

3. Drinking water The scheme water system reaches every farmstead in Carnarvon, so it is necessary to do the following: • Check for breaks or leaks in the supply and distribution pipes

• Flush all of your water lines • Follow the local government’s update on drinking water services

4. Food safety Typically, during February, Carnarvon does not have large quantities of harvestable vegetable crops. However, some cash crops like pumpkin and watermelons, as well as home grown vegetables, may still be harvested. These may have come into direct contact with flood waters, which poses two major concerns: rot and food safety.

Recommendations: • Growers should conduct water and produce testing before making decisions regarding the suitability of produce

must be met before produce is sold. Breaches could result in prosecution under the Food Safety code so further advice should be sought.

5. Flooded or spilled oil and agrichemicals Recommendations: • Secure the area or building. • When surveying the flood damage, ensure you are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment • If you suspect a major health hazard and/or you believe containment is not possible, call Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service to prevent further environmental contamination

• There are withholding periods and testing requirements that WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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• If you can manage the spill and/or cleanup, you still are obligated to report it to local government. When cleaning, the following is advised:

For cleanup and disposal details, contact the Waste Management Division, Carnarvon:

• Treat all surfaces, equipment, containers, water and sludge as if they are contaminated

3 Francis Street, Carnarvon, WA 6701 p: (08) 9941 0000 e: shire@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

• Avoid skin, eye and inhalation exposure by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment • More specific information may be obtained from the Auschem course, Risk Management in Pesticide Use. For more information visit: www.dfes. wa.gov.au/recovery/Pages/DRFAWA.aspx Fuel and oil spills: • Report fuel spills to the Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service • Ventilate the area to reduce vapours that are combustible and hazardous to your health • Wear rubber gloves, overshoes and use a proper respirator as exposure to fuel, oil and chemicals can cause health issues • Use absorbent materials to collect the oil or fuel

Flooded soil may facilitate disease outbreaks.

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• Discard porous materials that are impossible to clean.

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

6. Crop fields • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and clothing while clearing debris from fields • Have soil tested because flooding may have affected soil nutrients and been contaminated with human pathogens, as well as heavy metals. Many farms still had plastic mulch on the field at the time of flooding and some growers were under pressure to work the soil to meet the seedling delivery time. Once saturated however, the soil can take a long time to dry out.

between beds to help break up layers of compaction, particularly in row middles that experience heavy traffic, as it may help improve water infiltration into the soil. It is important to keep in mind that deep dripping usually doesn’t result in long-term improvements to the soil structure as it can rapidly deplete organic soil matter, which actually helps improve water infiltration.

7. Eyes out for disease Although flooded soil may kill insect pests, such as thrips, that have life stages developed in the soil, wet conditions facilitate disease outbreaks. Phytophthora and Pythium both thrive in wet soil conditions. Root rot can also become a problem in fields that stay wet for extended periods. We encourage you to consult with your local agronomist about pest and disease management after a flood event.

Recommendations:

MORE INFORMATION

• Avoid operations on wet soil and limit load weights to reduce soil compaction

Contact Truyen Vo, vegetablesWA Regional Development Officer, on 0457 457 559 or truyen.vo@vegetableswa.com.au.

• Water drainage management is very important. It is recommended to use a shank or sub-soiler


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Pictured in the photo, left to right: Brandon Southern (Project Manager), Frank Bonomi (Company Director), Ben Bonomi (Technical Director).

Water

Comprehensive Irrigation System Solutions | Pump Systems and Associated Controls | Filtration Systems and Solutions | Automated Fertigation and Water Control | Maintenance of your entire water supply system Water Measurement Technologies

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Back Up Power Solutions | Packing Floor Custom Design Automation | Horticultural Climate Control General Electrical Maintenance | Programmable Logic Control Systems | Energy Efficient Lighting Solutions Energy Harvesting Solutions | Refrigeration Systems and Solutions

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Automation Assessments | Equipment Monitoring & Automation | Robotics | Conveyer Systems Flow Wrap/Shrink Wrap Systems | Check Weighting | Xray Scanning | Print and Laser Labelling Automated Palletising | Carton Erectors | Labelling Machines | Vibration Tables

“Over the past 20 years BON Electrics have been our electrical contractor of choice. We have worked with them on numerous projects and they continually support our business with ongoing maintenance. We recommend BON Electrics without hesitation, they’re efficient, knowledgeable and consistently deliver the high quality of work required by WA Corn Growers.” - Jim Trandos, Trandos Farms

If you’re looking for a partner with knowledge and experience in the WA horticulture industry, book your free consultation with BON today.

www.bon.com.au


YOUR BUSINESS

Dealing with the

unpredictable BY SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

T

hey say there is nothing as constant as change. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic took effect across the world, it’s clear that the most predictable factor for businesses this year will be unpredictability. The February lockdown of the Perth, Peel and South West regions and local bushfires are some examples of the occurrences that can unexpectedly disrupt businesses.

Even the loss of key staff members or the breakdown of important equipment can cause big challenges.

The most predictable factor for businesses this year will be unpredictability.

You may wonder how you would continue to operate in the face of these unpredictable events. Developing a business continuity plan can help you plan for the unexpected, minimise disruption and be more in control of what happens when things go wrong.

What is a business continuity plan? A business continuity plan is a document that outlines the main steps your business will take to continue operating in the face of disruption. It can be as simple as storing your comprehensive insurance policy, a list of emergency numbers and important documents in a safe place.

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In contrast, it can be a very comprehensive document that details alternative production and supply options, all business contacts and a communications strategy — all ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Whatever form your plan takes, it should be stored in a location that it can be retrieved from, even if your main business premises can’t be accessed.


YOUR BUSINESS

3 WHATEVER form your plan takes, it should be stored in a location that it can be retrieved from.

What should it include? Continuity plans for your business can take different forms, but commonly include sections that: • Identify the risks that could affect your business and what will trigger activation of the plan • Detail your business activities • List emergency numbers • Include your staff and key stakeholders contacts • Identify alternative business locations • Document all your insurance policies and location of important financial and other documents • Outline how you will communicate the disruption to everyone who needs to know. A rule of thumb for what to include is ‘will this information help me operate through an event or disruption that might otherwise temporarily or permanently close my business?’.

Have a plan in place The worst time to develop a business continuity plan is when you need one. Include this type of planning in your regular business activities and don’t

let it go stale. It should be regularly revisited to make sure all the details are still correct and it is ready to use with little notice.

One of the easiest ways to develop your plan is to use the resources on the Small Business Development Corporation website at www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au. It can be found in the business planning templates section of the business templates and tools page. You can download a guide as well as a fillable business continuity plan template, which includes an emergency preparedness checklist.

Let people know when you are back on track Communicating with your customers and suppliers is very important when your business is disrupted. The relief of getting back to normal and the need to catch up may mean that you are tempted to ‘just get on with it’. After the disruption of the past year, both suppliers and customers are well aware of the importance of supporting local business. Keep them updated when you have recovered, so they can get behind you.

Identify the risks that could affect your business.

The emergency preparedness checklist should be completed first to help give you a good idea of how ready your business is for the unexpected. It looks at things you may not have considered, such as whether you have an evacuation plan, emergency kit and critical documents ready should disruption strike. Once you know where you stand, the template can be completed to give you a ready to use continuity plan.

MORE INFORMATION

The Small Business Development Corporation and its Business Local providers in regional WA offer business planning workshops and free guidance and advice to help you run your business. Visit smallbusiness.wa.gov.au for more information.

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Increased Ross River virus risk for Carnarvon growers BY AMBER ATKINSON COMMUNICATIONS & POLICY OFFICER, VEGETABLESWA

3 INCREASED activity is likely to be the result of prevailing ‘La Niña’ weather conditions, coupled with a number of years of below average RRV activity in WA.

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3 HEAVY rainfall in the Gascoyne region, combined with warm weather, is likely to result in a continuation of high mosquito numbers.

C

arnarvon residents are being urged to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites over the coming months, to prevent mosquito-borne disease transmission. The warning follows ongoing Ross River virus (RRV) detections in mosquitoes and a recent increase in the number of human cases of RRV disease notified to the Western Australian (WA) Department of Health, indicating the virus is very active in the environment. Acting Managing Scientist at the Department of Health, Dr Abbey Potter, said that the increased activity is likely to be the result of prevailing ‘La Niña’ weather conditions, coupled with a number of years of below average RRV activity in WA. “RRV naturally cycles in the environment between mosquitoes and animal hosts, such as kangaroos. During an outbreak, infected animals develop immunity to the virus, reducing the potential for transmission in subsequent years,” she said. “We have now experienced a number of years of below-average activity of RRV, so it is reasonable to expect that fewer animal hosts are immune at the moment. When low herd immunity is coupled with large numbers of mosquitoes and sustained virus activity, we can expect to see an increase in the number of cases of RRV disease in people.” Heavy rainfall in the Gascoyne region, combined with warm weather, is likely to result in a continuation of high mosquito numbers. Ms Potter said it wasn’t realistic to rely on mosquito management programs alone to control all mosquitoes and that individuals needed to take their own precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Symptoms of RRV disease can last for weeks to months, and include painful or swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rash, fever, fatigue and headaches. The only way to diagnose the disease is by visiting your doctor and having a specific blood test.

There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for RRV disease, the only way to prevent infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Stop mosquitoes breeding around your home and farm by following these simple steps: • Empty out or discard containers and rubbish that may hold water • Clean out roof gutters to prevent water from pooling • Empty, clean and refill bird baths, stock troughs and pet water bowls at least once a week • Keep swimming pools properly maintained and free of debris

If mosquitoes continue to be a problem around your home, contact: • Your Local Government Environmental Health Officer • The Department of Health (Environmental Health Hazards) on (08) 9285 5500.

What are the symptoms of RRV? The incubation period (the time between being bitten by an infected mosquito and becoming sick) for RRV and Barmah Forest virus (BFV) diseases varies from three to 21 days, but is normally seven to 14 days. During the incubation period, it may be possible for humans to pass the virus back to mosquitoes that bite them. Symptoms vary from person to person, but include: • Painful and/or swollen joints

The incubation period for RRV and BFV diseases is normally seven to 14 days.

• Sore muscles • Aching tendons • Skin rashes • Fever • Tiredness • Headaches • Swollen lymph nodes.

• Empty wading pools at the end of each day

Less common symptoms include:

• Stock backyard ponds with fish to eat mosquito larvae

• Sore throat

• Cover rainwater and septic tank openings, wells or other large water containers with mosquito-proof mesh

• Sore eyes • Nausea • Tingling in the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

• Keep edges of ponds clear of vegetation. WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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OUR WELLBEING in challenging times

When the ball bounces the wrong way

In reality, most people make good choices based on the knowledge they have at the time. However, uncertainty around natural disasters, plus the array of other issues we face (marketing, prices, transport and storage, relationship, health) can cause a lot of us, especially blokes, to struggle, because we think we are failing rather than battling issues beyond our making and/or control.

BY TERRY MELROSE SENIOR COMMUNITY EDUCATOR, THE REGIONAL MEN’S HEALTH INITIATIVE

W

ith the latest challenges facing growers and producers across the state, from flooding in the Gascoyne, fires around Perth, pest outbreaks and water deficiencies in the south, it can be easy to start blaming ourselves for the increasing number of challenges we have to deal with.

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You are ultimately responsible for your own health and wellbeing.

Sometimes, even when we do everything possible to get it right, the ball still bounces the wrong way. When this happens, it is a natural reaction to ask ourselves ‘what did I miss?’ or ‘why me?’. In life we have many experiences that require us to use our best judgment, based on the knowledge we have, to ascertain the best way forward.


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As human beings, when we become aware that we are facing new, serious and unexpected challenges, our response is to either ignore them, hoping they are an apparition, or we go to the other extreme and visualise the worst possible outcomes.

• Don’t panic or over-react. Most challenges take a little time to unfold and hasty decisions can create additional problems.

Primary Care is what we can do to look after ourselves and look out for others:

• Start to consider your options. As you consider your alternatives keep those affected in the loop.

This a normal response to an abnormal event. While both these positions are legitimate, depending on your personality type, the reality of the situation and the solution to the challenge is somewhere in between.

• Consider this as a challenge more than a problem. When things are problems we usually think negatively, when they are challenges we think positively.

• Keep an eye on others — drop into a neighbour and have a chat and a coffee. Take the time to ask someone ‘are you okay?’ or ‘how are you doing?’

I believe there are several things that can be done to help us deal with the difficulties we are facing right now, in a positive way, to protect our mental health and wellbeing. These points can also be used for any contextual issues we may be facing in our lives:

Keep a positive personal attitude.

• Keep a positive personal attitude. Recognise your ability as a good grower who made the right decisions, but the ball has bounced the wrong way. • Talk to whoever needs to be informed about your situation. This includes family, financiers, and advisors.

• Look for realistic solutions, not someone to blame. These problems have caught most people off guard and unprepared.

3 TALK to whoever needs to be informed about your situation. This includes family, financiers, and advisors.

Things that we cannot control are our biggest distresses and it’s important to remember that ‘success has its greatest impact on our ego, challenges are the things that strengthen our character’. Understandably, we acknowledge some people will be feeling lost at this time, and these challenges affect the whole community (not only growers, but everyone in the industry).

If we are living with excessive stress (situational distress) or anxiety, it will alter the chemical balance in the mind, to the point where you can become dysfunctional in decision making. You begin to overlook critical relationship and safety issues that you would normally respect and observe. One thing us blokes often do is socially isolate ourselves or go into our cave, shutting ourselves off from support options and alternative ways of thinking or working through our problems.

• Talk to a mate — realise that we are not alone.

• Slow the pace of your life a little — join a group that fits in with your passions and interests, or get the community together for a social event. It will make a difference. • Most importantly, look after yourself — you are ultimately responsible for your own health and wellbeing. If you are not feeling okay or notice a significant change to your body, mood or behaviour (how you feel, think and act) take action and seek help. Visit your GP, call a helpline or visit a few of the links below are a good starting point. MORE INFORMATION • h ttps://recovery.serviceconnect.gov.au/ (Gov support directory) • www.ruralwest.com.au 1800 612 004 (Free financial counselling for producers/ business) • https://mensline.org.au/ 1300 789 978 (24/7 support and advice for men) If you would like to find out more about any of the community education programs Regional Men’s Health provide, please contact us on the details below: • Terry and the Team The Regional Men’s Health Initiative delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.) p: (08) 9690 2277 e: menshealth@4blokes.com.au www.regionalmenshealth.com.au

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A TAX

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STORM is brewing BY ROGER BLOW PRACTICE DIRECTOR, COVE LEGAL

W

hile Australian businesses currently enjoy the financial comfort blankets provided by both the Government’s COVID-19 financial measures and an ATO approach to tax debts that is both forgiving and non-aggressive, it is inevitable that the financial tap will be turned off and the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) debt teams will be again unshackled. Winter is coming.

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3 COLLECTIBLE debt (owed by individuals, businesses and super funds) has increased to a record $34.1 billion, up from $26.6 billion last year.


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With some irony, the term ‘unprecedented’ has been used in 2020 more than ever before. It is an apt description for the government’s financial support for businesses and the overtly friendly, understanding and collaborative ATO that currently polices our tax liabilities. Bankruptcies in the September 2020 quarter were at their lowest level since records began in 1986. The liquidations figures for WA show 333 for the last three quarters. For the same period last year, it was 585, a 40 per cent reduction. The monthly Administrator appointments are running 30–50 per cent lower than last year.

The coming zombie apocalypse While large numbers, it of course makes sense for the Government to not provide financial support with one hand while removing tax from the back pocket with the other. But this current tax and stimulus nirvana cannot last forever. It was recently declared that Australia had ‘technically’ emerged from recession but accountants, insolvency practitioners and directors across the State are aware that a large and growing new class of corporate entity, ‘the zombie’, will at some stage be unleashed upon the living. Fans of the Waking Dead and post-apocalyptic films know the sole purpose of a zombie is to kill the living. Whilst that will not be the core objective of the ‘zombie corporation’, there is little doubt they will cause many still alive to join their deceased ranks when they stop paying their debts owed to other small businesses when the financial support ends.

The best advice is to keep planning ahead.

But that change in the ATO’s approach has inevitably come at a public cost. The agency has acknowledged it fell around $1.3 billion short of its collection target due to its response to the pandemic, including pausing much of its ‘firmer action’ work. The net effect has been a blow out of the ATO’s total debt book to more than $53 billion. Collectible debt (owed by individuals, businesses and super funds) has increased to a record $34.1 billion, up from $26.6 billion last year.

When the acute financial and commercial problems associated with the pandemic subside and commercial markets return to relative normality (or perhaps even a ‘new norm’), you

can expect the Government to be keen to sit down with Chris Jordan, ATO Commissioner of Taxation, to discuss how Australia’s ravaged financial position is to be repaired.

Expect to see additional resources given to the ATO to allow it to refocus its efforts upon collecting existing (especially historic) tax liabilities. Perhaps large multinational businesses will continue to be a focus given the potentially large recoveries involved, though history suggests that the ATO’s prime target will continue to be small businesses and high wealth individuals, which account for almost half of its $53 billion debt figure.

What will that increased activity look like? Based upon our 10+ years of experience in addressing tax debt action (on both sides of the tax fence) the weapon of choice for the modern ATO debt officer is the Director Penalty Notice. The potential ambit for a director’s personal liability continues to be extended by legislative changes with corporate PAYG, super and even now GST liabilities on the Director debt action menu.

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Add BAS returns filed more than three months out of time and the capacity through Director Penalty Notices (DPN) enforcements to bring a Director’s personal assets to the corporate debt discussion is now very wide.

the new ‘small business restructuring plan’ scheme will not necessarily be embraced by enough struggling corporates to avoid the large scale liquidations that many are predicting in 2021.

It’s worth noting that the ATO Is not above accepting security over the family home to support a payment arrangement agreed for the company — which can be a useful option in the right case, or a disastrous strategic choice where the company is actually doomed to failure. Good advice at such crossroads is vital.

Perhaps we should take solace in the fact that the Government is unlikely to allow countless Australian businesses to go under in the first half of 2021. ‘How much more money is in the kitty to finance further support’ is the magic question, but we can hope that Mr Friedberg and his colleagues are keen to avoid a Lemming-esque group charge over the cliff on their watch.

For corporate debts, the ATO still favours the old-fashioned statutory demand/ liquidation double tap. The COVID legal measures have effectively put that means of execution on hold given the current six-month satisfaction period in place for statutory demands, but again a return to the standard three-week payment deadline cannot be too far away — especially given the Initial reports from the insolvency sector which suggest that the safe harbour provisions (which pre-date the Pandemic) and

Get personal recommendations and find advisors (be they accountants, lawyers, bankers or insolvency practitioners) that you feel confident will provide the best advice for your business and often indirectly your own family and personal finances. Trust people, not brands and good search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing. And remember, it’s truly a global pandemic and therefore you’re not alone. Keep talking, sharing and seeking help where you can. Sharing problems doesn’t genuinely halve them like the old phrase goes, but it does give a voice to something that we might need to acknowledge is causing us stress or upset. Sometimes that acknowledgement alone can be a major step in either addressing, or at least coping with, a pressure point.

For corporate debts, the ATO still favours the old-fashioned statutory demand/liquidation double tap.

The best advice is to keep planning ahead. Always be looking 6–12 months down the line, not just the next wage and rent bills. Make use of your most trusted professional relationships. This is not the time to seek advice based upon a high Google search result.

MORE INFORMATION Contact Roger Blow on 0433 620 640 or roger@covelegal.com.au.

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Export Facilitators Project

p u s p a r w BY MANUS STOCKDALE EXPORT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT LEAD, VEGETABLESWA

T

he current Export Facilitator Project has come to an end after almost three years. The project was a great success, and more than 100 Western Australian (WA) growers directly engaged in the project’s activities.

Over the life of the project, 43 WA growers participated in export training; there were 30 grower attendances at trade shows overseas and in Australia, and 15 growers started exporting for the first time or commenced new export business.

800+

Project activities

• • • •

E-news articles Magazine articles Web content Presentations at forums and events

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• Building collaborative partnerships between growers in WA and throughout Australia to supply export markets.

• Helping them to understand export requirements and what support is available for developing export business

vegetablesWA is still undertaking export development activities in South Australia, as part of the Export Facilitator project, and discussions with Hort Innovation and other funders are ongoing about continuing the project delivery in WA and the rest of Australia.

• Identifying factors that help vegetable growers be more successful at incorporating export into their businesses

IMPROVED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

100+

WA vegetable businesses engaged by Export Facilitator

• • • •

PRACTICE CHANGE

30

43

grower attendances at trade shows

WA vegetable growers attend export training

Grower visits Capability assessment Case studies and fact sheets Tailored export opportunity information • Export training • Introductions to importers • Preparation for trade shows

FIGURE 1. EXPORT FACILITATOR PROJECT ENGAGEMENT & OUTCOMES.

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• Improving grower capability to export vegetables direct from farm

The project assisted growers by:

INCREASED AWARENESS

WA vegetable growers aware of export facilitator project and export as a market opportunity

• Increasing awareness of export opportunities and grower’s confidence in pursuing export opportunities

• • • • •

15+

businesses commence new export sales

Trade show attendance Trade show follow up Specific export market information Support for trial shipments On-going support


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3 SINCE the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Measure commenced on April 1, 2020, it has moved more than 330,000 tonnes of agricultural and aquaculture produce.

IFAM update Since the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Measure (IFAM) commenced on April 1, 2020, it has moved more than 330,000 tonnes of agricultural and aquaculture produce, valued at AUD$4.5 billion, on over 10,000 flights, to 68 international destinations. Horticulture has been the largest users of the IFAM program, followed by seafood, lamb, beef and dairy. Horticultural exports through IFAM have seen over 135,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables, valued at AUD$1.2 billion, sent to international markets.

Given the outlook for IFAM and airfreight generally, the IFAM team strongly encouraged exporting businesses and industries to:

The Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit and Vegetable Growers training program is suitable for the following National Vegetable Levy paying growers:

• Investigate how to adapt and evolve business models

• Vegetable growers not currently involved in exporting

• Conversion to sea freight where viable

• Vegetable growers who do export but want to improve their export knowledge

• Consider manufacturing or value-adding opportunities to extend shelf-life • Investigate market diversification opportunities.

Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit and Vegetable Growers online training program: ausveg.com.au/export

Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Auckland and Dubai are the main destinations for IFAM flights carrying fresh produce.

IFAM is a temporary and emergency measure that is currently scheduled to cease in June 2021. Currently, there is no certainty that further funding will be provided for it to be extended beyond the middle of the year. Airfreight prices are unlikely to drop to pre-COVID-19 rates in the foreseeable future, as airlines globally are expected to take the opportunity to reset freight rates, as they now know the value and importance of airfreight to exporting industries.

For more information on IFAM and the assistance available, visit www. austrade.gov.au/news/ news/internationalfreight-assistancemechanism

Online export training

AUSVEG and the Export Council of Australia have developed an online, vegetable industry specific, export readiness training program. The course, Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit and Vegetable Growers: From Farmgate to International Markets, is customised to the Australian vegetable industry, to provide foundational training for growers to understand a broad range of topics relating to international trade for fresh produce. This course will provide growers with the information needed to progress to becoming export ready.

• Experienced vegetable exporting businesses who want to develop the practical export skills of staff members. The Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit and Vegetable Growers training program has been developed to increase knowledge about exporting. To register for the Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit and Vegetable Growers online training program, growers should complete the online registration form on the AUSVEG website: ausveg.com.au/export For further information, please contact the AUSVEG Export Department on (03) 9882 0277 or export@ausveg.com.au. MORE INFORMATION For more information on any of the activities in the article or to discuss export opportunities, please contact Manus Stockdale on 0448 897 652 or manus.stockdale@vegetableswa.com.au

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Fostering and enhancing food safety in the vegetable industry

Media reports about foodborne illnesses can be sensationalist and misleading.

3 SMALL scale operations may not have a food safety system, even though legally they should.

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PROJECT VG13020 WAS UNDERTAKEN BY RM CONSULTING GROUP (RMCG)

P

roject VG13020 aimed to analyse the current level of food safety management in the vegetable industry, including the key risks. In their report, the research team emphasised the critical importance of managing food safety, noting that food safety issues affect the public’s perception of safety as much as they affect people’s actual health. They also noted that media reports about foodborne illnesses can be sensationalist and misleading, and this combination of factors could cause significant damage to the vegetable industry, should an incident occur, and communication is not managed well. Following extensive research, the team identified a number of key risk factors for the vegetable industry.

First, they found that although all food businesses that supply food directly to the public must, by law, have a food safety program in place, not all vegetable growers are aware that they fall under this regulation.

Another important finding was that major retailers and processors required growers to be certified under their own food safety systems, meaning that many growers had to comply with up to six different systems.

Lead researcher Dr Doris Blaesing from RMCG confirmed this.

This puts a high demand on growers’ costs and does not necessarily improve food safety outcomes.

“Small scale operations may not have a food safety system, even though legally they should,” she said. Costs and the complexity of food safety systems are often mentioned as reasons.

New guidelines have been developed to better manage the risk from organic soil amendments.

“This can put the entire industry at risk.” Next, the researchers found that the rules and regulations around food safety were inconsistent across the country’s states and systems. This means that vegetable growers who operate across state borders must comply with different interpretations of the Food Standards Code.

The researchers highlighted that vegetables can become contaminated at any stage during the supply chain.

Poor food safety management in any part of the chain may have repercussions for growers if vegetables are implicated in a foodborne illness outbreak. Finally, organic vegetable farming was found to have some potential associated risks. “Organic producers often use organic soil amendments, including manures,” Dr Blaesing said.

3 RESEARCHERS highlighted vegetables can become contaminated at any stage during the supply chain.

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“This may pose a risk to the entire industry if the amendments have not been composted properly and used ahead of growing a high-risk crop that is eaten raw. Especially if the business has no food safety system in place.”

Recommendations Based on the analysis, the project made recommendations on how to minimise the identified risks. The first recommendation was that the different food safety certification systems be streamlined in terms of record keeping and auditing.

conditions, and, if sufficient research does not exist, that it be undertaken. A third recommendation was that the industry foster awareness of food safety risks and legal requirements amongst growers and supply chain members. The team advised extension programs to assist members from different backgrounds who currently do not have suitable measures in place. Additional recommendations were made to support the industry in its pursuit of providing safe food.

These included educating the public, since, according to records, Many producers who supply a range of markets most food related may have to run more than illnesses are due to poor food handling in one food safety system. the home.

Much of this has since been achieved.

“We recommended that these third-party certification schemes use the FAO/ WHO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization) hazard categorisation for fresh produce, to characterise risks and then align the food safety requirements to these risks,” Dr Blaesing explained. Secondly, the team advised that the critical limits used in food safety schemes in Australia be reconsidered to determine which limits should be newly established for Australian conditions. “Not all aspects of food safety quality assurance systems are based on Australian R&D data,” Dr Blaesing said. The team advised that a review be undertaken of scientific research that has been completed under Australian

The team also advised investigating options to gather further information and data on practical and effective food safety quality assurance needs from and for vegetable producers.

Background As a result of this project, the VegPRO project (VG15028) last year produced a food safety training e-learning course for employees, which was well received by vegetable producers. To deal with the issue of growers needing to comply with multiple food safety systems, HARPS has been introduced.

HARPS is a retailer-led scheme designed to assist with compliance to food safety, legal and trade legislation for suppliers to the major grocery retailers in Australia. However, many producers who supply a range of markets still have to run more than one food safety system. Since the project was completed, new guidelines have also been developed to better manage the risk from organic soil amendments. The Australian vegetable industry has also invested in a Crisis Management Plan, overseen by AUSVEG, to manage industry crises and mitigate the reputational damage that a crisis can inflict on the broader industry, including as a result from issues with food safety.

MORE INFORMATION For more information, please contact Dr Doris Blaesing at dorisb@rmcg.com.au. For more information on HARPS, visit harpsonline.com.au The final report for this project is available on InfoVeg. Readers can search ‘VG13020’ on the InfoVeg database: ausveg.com.au/ infoveg/infoveg-database

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment visit horticulture.com.au

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FLOOD RECOVERY CHECKLISTS — VIETNAMESE TRANSLATION

Danh mục kiểm tra sau lủ lục cho nông trang VÕ THẾ TRUYỀN CHUYÊN VIÊN KHUYẾN NÔNG VIỆT NAM, HIỆP HỘI RAU CẢI TÂY ÚC

Trong ngày 4 và 5/2/2021 Carnarvon đã hứng lượng mưa gấp đôi vủ lượng trung bình hàng năm kèm theo gió mạnh và nước sông Gascoyne dâng cao đến 7,11 m gây lủ lụt, ngập úng và bị cô lập. Mặc dù đánh giá sơ bộ cho thấy đến 80% nông trang ít bị hoặc không bị ảnh hưởng của nước sông dâng cao, nhưng toàn bộ 100% đất nông nghiệp địa phương bị úng nước và các nông trang phía tây ngã tư Bibbawarra trên đường North River Road và dọc theo phố Robinson bị nước ngập đáng kể. Dưới đây là một số lưu ý mà các nông trang rau quả nên cân nhắc khi thực hiện các hoạt động khôi phục sau lủ lụt trong khi hy vọng trời sẽ nắng tốt trong các tuần tới. Các thông tin này có thể tới không kịp lúc các nông gia đang gấp rút thực hiện các hoạt động khôi phục sau lủ. Tuy nhiên vẫn có nhiểu điểm thiết thực cho công việc quản lý và hoạch định nông trang lâu dài.

1. Không gian sống và nhà xưởng. • Điều đầu tiên là kiểm tra cẩn thận xem có động vật hoang dã, rắn rít trong và chung quanh nơi ở sau lủ. Do các đông vật này có khuynh hướng di chuyển lên chổ cao khi lủ lụt, chúng có thể vào nơi ở của con người. việc kiểm tra này là rất cần thiết. Nếu phát hiện chúng thì không nên tự bắt hay xua đuổi, nên liên hệ với dịch vụ khẩn cấp: Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service. 344 Robinson Street Carnarvon, WA, Australia 6701, (08) 9941 1013.

• Tháo cạn các vũng nước đọng quanh nhà vì đây là nơi lý tưởng cho muổi sinh sản. • Kiểm tra và vệ sinh nhà xưởng. Tình trạng ngập úng hay nước chảy gây sói lở chân tường có thể gây ảnh ưởng đến nền móng và kế cấu chịu lực công trình. Cẩn thận xem xét móng, ngạch, tường, khung mái…xunh quanh trước khi vào vệ sinh bên trong. Nếu phát hiện bất thường thì cần nên tư vấn các dịch vụ xây dựng chuyên nghiệp. Nền nhà xưởng thường bị phủ bùn sau lủ. Nên tranh thủ tẩy rửa trước khi lớp bùn khô.

2. Các thiết bị điện

• Thường xuyên theo dõi thông báo về khả năng cấp nước và chất lượng nước của địa phương. • An toàn thực phẩm Thời điểm ngập lụt tại Carnarvon xảy ra vào cuối mùa nên không có lượng thu hoạch lớn hàng hóa rau cải thương mại. Tuy nhiên vẫn còn một vài hộ thu hoạch bí rợ và dưa hấu. Ngoài ra, nhiều nông trang có tập quán duy trì vườn rau xanh quanh nhà cho gia đình sử dụng. Các loại này có thể bị nước ngập dẫn đến các quan ngại về nguy cơ an toàn thực phẩm. Với tình trạng một số nơi cống rảnh và hầm vệ sinh bị ngập lụt, nước lụt có nguy cơ bị nhiểm khuẩn.

Một số nông trang bị Ngập lụt có thể ảnh ngập lụt và nằm trên Không nên ăn hay trao đổi hưởng đến nền móng đường nước thoát lủ buôn bán các sản phẩm và làm suy yếu độ bền bị ảnh hưởng sói mòn rau xanh bị tiếp xúc với kết cấu của tòa nhà. và trôi đất có thể làm lộ nước lụt trước khi chúng ra hệ thống dây điện và được xác định an toàn thông ống nước chôn ngầm. qua xét ngiệm nguồn nước và • Nên nhờ dịch vụ chuyên xét nghiệm sản phẩm. nghiệp kiểm tra các thiệt hại và kiểm tra tất cả tủ điện, bảng điện, 4. Nhiên liệu, nông dược phân bón cầu chì, cầu dao, công tắc. bị ngập hay rỏ rỉ • Nước ngập có thể làm cho các Nếu phát hiện tình trạng nhiên liệu, mô-tơ bơm nước phủ bùn gây ra nông dược phân bón bị ngập hay tình trang nối tắt hay rò rỉ điện nguy rỏ rỉ: nhiểm. Nếu mô-tơ bị nghập thì • Cô lập khu vực bị ảnh hưởng. không nên vận hành sử dụng trước khi được thợ điện chuyên nghiệp • Trang bị quần áo, dụng cụ bảo hộ kiểm tra an toàn. khi kiểm tra mức độ ảnh hưởng. • Khi cảm thấy tình hình nghiêm 3. Hệ thống nước sạch trọng: liên hệ dịch vụ khẩn cấp địa Tại Carnarvon hệ thống cấp nước phương để dược hướng dẫn, giúp sinh hoạt được dẫn đến từng nông đở tránh ảnh hưởng lan rộng. trang, tuy nhiên cũng nên lưu ý: • Kể cả khi nông gia có khả năng • Kiểm tra hư hại hệ thống ống nước tự xử lý, dọn dẹp thì cũng phải có sau lủ để kiệp thời khắc phục trách nhiệm thông báo với cơ quan chuyên môn địa phương. • Xúc rửa hệ thống ống nước. WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

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PHOTO © SU TRAN

nhiểm mầm bệnh cho người hay nhiểm kim loại nặng. Nhiều nông trang vẫn còn ni-lon trên luống trồng cần phải được dọn dẹp để chuẩn bị cho mùa vụ mới, tuy nhiên một khi đất bị ngập bảo hòa nước sẽ mất thời gian khá lâu để khô ráo. Vì vậy: • Tránh hoạt động cơ giới trên đất còn ướt và hạn chế tải nặng gây nén dẽ đất.

3 NỀN kho bị ảnh hưởng khi đất bị rửa trôi do lụt

• Khi xử lý, dọn dẹp: cần phải xem như thể là các nơi nầy đã bị ô nhiểm, tránh phơi lộ mắt, da, hô hấp bằng cách trang bị quần áo, dụng cụ bảo hộ phù hợp. Thông tin hướng dẫn chi tiết có trong tài liệu tập huấn quản lý rủi ro trong sử dụng nông dược AusChem. • Trong trường hợp rò rỉ nhiên liệu xăng dầu nghiêm trọng • Thông báo đến dịch vụ khẩn cấp Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service. • Tạo điều kiện thông thoáng để giảm hơi xăng dầu tích tụ dể rủi ro cháy nổ hay gây hại sức khỏe. • Mang bao tay cao su, ủng cổ cao, và mặt nạ lọc không khí vì phơi nhiểm hơi xăng dầu gây hại sức khỏe. • Dùng các loại chất thấm để thu gom xăng dầu rò rỉ. • Loại bỏ các vật liệu xốp rổng bị thấm xăng dầu mà không tẩy rửa được. Liên hệ cơ quan quản lý chất thải Carnarvon để được hướng dẫn chi tiết: Waste Management Division Carnarvon 3 Francis Street, Carnarvon, WA 6701 p: (08) 9941 0000 e: shire@carnarvon.wa.gov.au

5. Đất trồng trọt Những nông trang bị nước lụt nên lưu ý: • Trang bị bảo hộ an toàn khi dọn dẹp rác rưởi, cây cối do nước lủ trôi vào. • Nên xét nghiệm đất vì đất bị ngập lụt có thể bị rửa trôi dinh dưỡng,

114

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

Thông thoáng đất thật nhanh là quan tâm hàng đầu của nông gia sau lủ lụt, có thể ríp nhẹ đất giửa luống để phá vở lớp đất nén dẻ do cơ giới hoạt động thời gian qua nhằm tăng cường thông thoáng và độ thấm cho đất. Lưu ý nếu ríp sâu cũng không cải thiện cấu trúc đất lâu dài và có thể gây suy giảm thành phần hửu cơ trong đất trong khi hửu cơ giúp cải thiện tính thấm của đất.

6. Để ý bệnh hại hoa màu Mặc dù lủ lụt gây ngập nước có thể giúp tiêu diệt phần nào các loại côn trùng gây hại có một phần vòng đời sinh trưởng trong đất như bọ trĩ (bù lạch), đất úng nước lại dể bộc phát bệnh hại hoa màu. Phythothora và Pythium (gây thối rể) phát triển mạnh trong điều kiện đất ướt. Bệnh này có thể trở thành vấn đề trên các nông trang bị úng nước kéo dài. Hảy liên hệ các nhà nông học địa phương để được giúp đở tư vấn về quản lý sâu bệnh hại hoa màu sau lủ lụt. THÊM THÔNG TIN Võ Thế Truyền, Chuyên viên phát triển vùng, (08) 9486 7515, Di động 0457 457 559, truyen.vo@vegetableswa.com.au


YOUR PRODUCTION

Permits

Current Minor Use Permits can also be searched by specific crop or pest types at https://portal.apvma.gov.au/permits Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER10845

AG

Barmac zineb fungicide

Brassica leafy vegetables

Cercospora leaf spot & downy mildew

31-May-25

PER10918

AG

Imidacloprid

Carrot, leafy lettuce, silverbeet & spinach

Greenhouse whitefly and aphids

31-Dec-23

PER10938

AG

Imidacloprid

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

Greenhouse whitefly and green peach aphid

31-Jan-25

PER10976

AG

Bentazone

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

Broadleaf weeds

31-Mar-25

PER10988

AG

Cyanazine

Snow & sugar snap peas

Weeds as per label

31-Mar-25

PER11127

AG

Nufarm filan fungicide

Peppers celery

Sclerotinia rot

30-Jun-23

PER11440

AG

Sumiclex 500 (procymidone)

Peppers

Sclerotinia rot

30-Nov-24

PER11441

AG

Propachlor

Radish, swede, turnip

Grass and broadleaf weeds

31-Oct-24

PER11747

AG

2,2-dichloropropionic acid

Carrot crops (for seed)

Promotion of bolting and grass weed control

2-Dec-22

PER11764

AG

Spiroxamine

Snow peas & sugar snap peas

Powdery mildew

31-Dec-21

PER11768

AG

Chlorpyrifos

Pumpkin

African black beetle

28-Feb-23

PER11949

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Radish & beetroot

Various insects

31-Mar-25

PER11951

AG

Phosphorous acid

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, silverbeet, endive, radicchio, chicory & processing peas

Downy mildew

31-Mar-25

PER11991

AG

Legend fungicide (quinoxyfen)

Silverbeet

Powdery mildew

31-Jan-26

PER12048

AG

Prometryn

Parsnip & carrot

Weeds

31-Jul-25

PER12237

AG

Pendimethalin

Adzuki bean

Broad leaf weeds

30-Nov-25

PER12351

AG

Imidacloprid

Leafy lettuce, okra, green beans

Silverleaf whitefly

30-Apr-25

PER12357

AG

Linuron

Parsnips

Weeds

31-Jul-25

PER12384

AG

S-metolachlor (dual gold herbicide)

Rhubarb

Various weeds

30-Jun-25

PER12489

AG

Imidacloprid

Celery, cucumber, peppers & cape Aphids, whitefly, thrips gooseberry

31-May-25

PER12506

AG

Dimethoate

Eggplant

Queensland fruit fly & Mediterranean fruit fly

31-Aug-23

PER12565

AG

Scala fungicide

Capsicum and lettuce (protected crops only)

Botrytis rots

30-Jun-25

PER12716

AG

Confidor 200 sc insecticide

Asian root vegetables

Greenhouse whitefly and green peach aphid

31-Jul-25

PER13119

AG

Diazinon

Onions

Onion thrips

31-May-23

PER13147

AG

Lontrel

Cauliflower

Capeweed and clover

30-Sep-24

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

115


YOUR PRODUCTION

permits (cont.) Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER13301

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Lettuce

Red-legged earth mite & vegetable weevil

31-May-25

PER13305

AG

Glyphosate (shielded sprayer)

Carrots

Certain broadleaf and grass weeds

30-Jun-22

PER13367

AG

Linuron

Leeks & celeriac

Grass and broadleaf weeds

30-Apr-25

PER13607

AG

Spinnaker herbicide

Adzuki bean

Weeds

30-Sep-23

PER13695

AG

Ecocarb fungicide

Various vegetables

Powdery mildew

31-Jul-25

PER13717

AG

Amistar top (azoxystrobin + difenoconazole)

Tomatoes (protected)

Powdery mildew

31-May-22

PER13752

AG

Tebuconazole

Faba beans & broad beans

Cercospora leaf spot & rust

30-Jun-24

PER13778

AG

Various herbicides, insecticides & fungicides

Carrot, onion & brassica seed crops

PER13795

AG

Agpro propazine 500

Carrot crops

Nightshade, fat hen & wireweed

31-Mar-23

PER13901

AG

Glyphosate (shielded sprayer)

Capsicums, snow peas, sugar snap peas

Annual and perennial grass and broadleaf weeds

30-Jun-24

PER14033

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

Pasture webworm, cutworm, Rutherglen bug and thrips

31-May-23

PER14127

AG

Pendimethalin

Brassica leafy vegetables & rocket Weeds

31-Aug-23

PER14142

AG

Ioxynil

Spring onions, shallots & Welsh onions

Broadleaf and grass weeds

30-Sep-25

PER14186

AG

Success neo (spinetoram)

Eggplant

Melon thrips

30-Sep-21

PER14210

AG

Acramite miticide

Lettuce

Two-spotted (red spider) mite

30-Sep-21

PER14352

AG

Metalaxyl-m (apron xl 350) and fludioxonil (maxim 100)

Broccoli (seed treatment)

Damping-off and rhizoctonia

31-Jan-24

PER14432

AG

Pendimethalin

Brussels sprouts

Grasses and broadleaf weeds

30-Jun-24

PER14457

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Chicory, leeks, spring onions, shallots

Red-legged earth mite, onion thrips

30-Jun-24

PER14471

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Shallots & spring onions

Various pests

31-May-24

PER14473

AG

Dimethomorph & mancozeb

Leeks, spring onions and shallots

Downy mildew, purple blotch & botrytis rots

30-Jun-23

PER14479

AG

Propiconazole

Various vegetable crops

Various pests

30-Nov-24

PER14496

AG

Metolachlor

Adzuki beans & mung beans

Certain annual grasses & broadleaf weeds

31-Mar-24

PER14505

AG

Pyrimethanil

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

Grey mould (botrytis)

30-Jun-24

PER14583

AG

Chlorpyrifos

Various vegetable crops

Various insect pests

31-Oct-21

PER14584

AG

Imidacloprid

Brassica leafy vegetables

Aphids, whitefly and thrips

31-Jan-24

PER14593

AG

Mancozeb

Specified fruiting and legume vegetables

Downy mildew, anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.) & alternaria

30-Apr-25

PER14596

AG

Chlorpyrifos

Brassica vegetables

Vegetable beetle adults

30-Sep-29

PER14602

AG

Boscalid, iprodione & chlorothalonil

Onion (bulb & seed)

Botrytis neck-rot

30-Sep-23

PER14604

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Garlic

Selected insect pests

30-Sep-25

PER14650

AG

Paramite (etoxazole)

Melons

Two-spotted mite

28-Feb-23

PER14695

AG

Ridomil gold 25g (metalaxyl-m)

Parsnips

Pythium spp. and Phytophthora spp.

30-Jun-24

PER14703

AG

Tramat 500 sc selective herbicide (ethofumesate)

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea only) & silverbeet

Various weeds

31-Jul-24

PER14722

AG

Abamectin

Cucumber, zucchini, squash

Tomato red spider mite

31-Jul-25

PER14726

AG

Raptor wg herbicide

Adzuki and faba beans

Grass and broadleaf weed control

30-Sep-24

116

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

30-Jun-23


YOUR PRODUCTION

Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER14765

AG

Hexythiazox (calibre 100 ec miticide)

Cucurbit vegetables, fruiting vegetables, potatoes, snow and sugar snap peas

Tomato spider mite, two-spotted mite, broad mite, tomato russet mite

30-Sep-23

PER14839

AG

Zineb

Eggplant, spinach & silverbeet

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.)

30-Sep-24

PER14842

AG

Copper oxychloride, cuprous oxide or cupric hydroxide

Spring onions and shallots

Downy mildew

30-Sep-24

PER14843

AG

Indoxacarb (avatar insecticide) Celery

Heliothis, lightbrown apple moth, lucerne leaf roller and vegetable weevil

30-Sep-24

PER14858

AG

Pendimethalin

Parsnip

Grasses and broadleaf weeds

31-Mar-25

PER14886

AG

Pendimethalin

Garlic

Grass & broadleaf weeds

31-Jan-25

PER14890

AG

Methomyl (lannate-l)

Spring onions and shallots

Western flower thrips

31-Oct-24

PER14891

AG

Trifloxystrobin

Beetroot

Alternaria leaf spot

30-Sep-29

PER14896

AG

Bentazone (basagran)

Green peas (processing)

Broadleaf weeds

30-Sep-24

PER14906

AG

Triadimenol

Leek, chives, shallot, spring and Chinese onions

White rot (sclerotium)

31-Oct-24

PER14907

AG

Emamectin

Brassica leafy vegetables

Various pests

30-Nov-24

PER14936

AG

Haloxyfop

Adzuki bean

Grass weeds

30-Jun-24

PER14959

AG

Haloxyfop

Leafy (salad) vegetables, mizuina, green elk

Storksbill

30-Nov-24

PER14964

AG

Chlorothalonil

Lettuce seedlings

Antracnose (shot hole)

30-Nov-22

PER80060

AG

Frontier-p

Bulb onions

PER80099

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Fruiting vegetables, except cucurbits

Mediterranean fruit fly and Queensland fruit fly

31-Mar-25

PER80100

AG

Sumitomo samurai systematic Fruiting vegetables, excluding insecticide cucurbits

Mediterranean fruit fly & Queensland fruit fly

30-Sep-23

PER80101

AG

Sumitomo samurai systemic insecticide

Fruiting vegetables, cucurbits

Cucumber fruit fly

30-Sep-23

PER80138

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Cucurbits

Cucumber fruit fly

31-Mar-25

PER80169

AG

Metribuzin

Carrots

Grass and broadleaf weeds

30-Apr-24

PER80219

AG

Apollo miticide (clofentezine)

Tomatoes (protected)

Two-spotted mite

30-Apr-24

PER80282

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Onions

Onion thrips

30-Nov-25

PER80717

AG

Trichlorfon

Eggplant, Thai eggplant, pepino & cape gooseberry

Fruit fly

31-Aug-25

PER80910

AG

Iprodione

Brussels sprouts & eggplant

Grey mould

31-Jul-25

PER80954

AG

Methoxyfenozide

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

Native budworm, tomato grub and cluster caterpillar

31-Jul-25

PER81241

AG

Phenmedipham (betanal)

Lettuce, chicory, endive, radicchio & spinach

Broadleaf weeds

31-May-25

PER81244

AG

Fluazifop-p-butyl

Specified vegetables & herbs

Annual grass weeds

30-Jun-22

PER81260

AG

Imidacloprid

Beetroot

Aphids & thrips

31-Jul-25

PER81271

AG

Various actives

Leeks & garlic

Grass & broadleaf weeds

30-Sep-25

PER81408

AG

Phosphorous acid

Capsicum

Phytophthora soil fungus

31-Jul-25

PER81702

AG

Alpha-cypermethrin

Various vegetables

Various insect pests

28-Feb-24

PER81713

AG

Mainman 500wg insecticide

Tomatoes

Silverleaf whitefly

31-Mar-25

PER81867

AG

Diptex 150 wp

Brassica vegetables, fruiting vegetables

Leaf miner

30-Nov-23

PER81876

AG

Abamectin

Brassica vegetables, bulb vegetables, fruiting vegetables

Leaf miner

30-Apr-24

31-Jul-21

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

117


YOUR PRODUCTION

permits (cont.) Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER82015

AG

Clethodim

Garlic

Winter grass

31-Dec-23

PER82039

AG

Bifenthrin

Cabbage, Chinese cabbage and cauliflower

Symphyla

30-Sep-23

PER82124

AG

Filan

Adzuki beans

Sclerotinia

31-Mar-22

PER82358

AG

Esfenvalerate

Celery

Helicoverpa armigera

31-Jan-26

PER82456

AG

Ridomil gold mz wg systemic & protective fungicide

Field grown capsicum, chillies, paprika

Downy mildew

31-Jul-25

PER82460

AG

Paramite selective miticide

Cucurbits, Asian cucurbits

Two-spotted mites and red spider mite

31-Jul-23

PER82461

AG

Folicur 430 sc fungicide

Beetroot, beetroot leaves, chicory, Sclerotinia rot endive, radish, silverbeet

31-Aug-25

PER82895

AG

Chlorothalonil

Various vegetables and herbs

Fungal diseases

31-Aug-25

PER83765

AG

Maxim xl

Spinach and silverbeet

Damping off

31-Jul-25

PER84261

AG

Admiral insect growth regulator (pyriproxyfen)

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower

Silverleaf whitefly

31-Aug-25

PER84734

AG

Verdict (haloxyfop)

Onions

Storksbill

31-Dec-24

PER84757

AG

Spinetoram

Fruiting vegetables other than cucurbits & root and tuber vegetables

Tomato potato psyllid

31-Aug-25

PER85076

AG

Peratec plus fungicide

Tomatoes

Fusarium wilt

28-Feb-25

PER85103

AG

Nufarm nuprid

Green beans

Silver leaf whitefly

30-Sep-22

PER86428

AG

Serenade opti

Cucumber

Bacterial spot

30-Jun-21

PER86530

AG

Status herbicide

Beans

Annual rye grass & winter grass

31-Aug-21

PER86551

AG

Pyrethrins

Organic green beans

Bean podborer

30-Apr-24

PER86599

AG

Bifenthrin

Celery

Red-legged earthmite

31-Dec-23

PER86665

AG

Fipronil

Carrots

White fringed weevil and symphylids

31-Jan-22

PER86723

AG

Various herbicides

Garlic

Broadleaf and grass weeds

30-Sep-21

PER86732

AG

Various herbicides

Garlic

Various weeds

30-Aug-21

PER86750

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Garlic

Insects

30-Sep-23

PER86751

AG

Various fungicide

Garlic

Various disease

30-Sep-23

PER86799

AG

Tebuconazole, mancozeb, metalaxyl, metalaxyl-m

Garlic

Fungal diseases

30-Sep-23

PER86800

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Garlic

Insects

30-Sep-23

PER86805

AG

Phosphorous acid

Rhubarb

Downy mildew

31-Jan-24

PER86815

AG

Versys

Tomato

Silverleaf whitefly

31-Dec-21

PER86849

AG

Imazamox, imazapyr

Faba beans

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds

30-Apr-22

PER86865

AG

Ioxynil

Onions

Annual broadleaf weeds

31-Aug-21

PER87005

AG

Abamectin

Garlic

Bulb mite

30-Sep-24

PER87012

AG

Ioxynil

Garlic (Allium sativum) (fresh market and seed)

Broadleaf weeds

30-Sep-21

PER87013

AG

Various products

Garlic

Various diseases

28-Feb-24

PER87014

AG

Various products

Garlic

Annual grasses and broadleaf weeds

28-Feb-24

PER87015

AG

Lambda- cyhalothrin

Garlic

Various pests

31-Aug-24

PER87051

AG

Durivo insecticide

Various vegetables

Various pests

28-Feb-24

118

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021


YOUR PRODUCTION

Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER87065

AG

Dimethoate

Melons including watermelons (post-harvest)

Various fruit fly species

28-Feb-24

PER87113

AG

Chateau

Garlic

Various weeds

31-Oct-22

PER87114

AG

Axiom plus

Garlic

Downy mildew, purple blotch

30-Jun-22

PER87185

AG

Benevia insecticide

Tomato

Suckling pests

31-Jul-24

PER87200

AG

Starane advanced herbicide

Bulb onion

Weeds

31-Aug-24

PER87208

AG

Torque

Tomato

Two-spotted mite

30-Apr-22

PER87276

AG

Applaud

Tomatoes

Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum

30-Jun-21

PER87376

AG

Switch

Garlic

Black mould

30-Nov-21

PER87552

AG

Various herbicides

Garlic

Various weeds

30-Apr-24

PER87563

AG

Warlock insecticide

Brassica vegetables

Liriomyza leaf miners

30-Jun-24

PER87619

AG

Entrust sc naturalyte

Tomato

Various thrips

31-Aug-24

PER87630

AG

Serenade opti biofungicide

Brassica leafy vegetables

Bacterial spot

30-Jun-22

PER87631

AG

Coragen insecticide

Spinach & silverbeet

Cabbage leaf miner

30-Jun-24

PER87670

AG

Xentari wg bta biological insecticide

Brassica leafy vegetables

Diamond back moth, cabbage white butterfly, helicoverpa & vegetable looper

31-Jul-24

PER87754

AG

Folicur

Garlic

Orange rust

31-Jul-22

PER87773

AG

Devrinol-c 500wg herbicide

Brassica vegetables

Broadleaf and grass control

31-Aug-22

PER87852

AG

Versys insecticide

Capsicums, cucumber, eggplant

Aphids

31-May-23

PER87878

AG

Delegate insecticide

Snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans

Liriomyza leaf miners

28-Feb-23

PER87914

AG

Nufarm maya herbicide

Onions

Broadleaf weeds

31-May-21

PER87918

AG

Pestech py-bo

Zucchini

Ants, aphids, caterpillars, earwigs, leafhoppers, thrips and whitefly

30-Apr-22

PER88032

AG

Serenade opti biofungicide

Eggplant

Early blight, botrytis grey mould, powdery mildew, bacterial spot

31-Oct-22

PER88066

AG

Emamectin

Celery

Helicoverpa, lightbrown apple moth & cluster caterpillar

31-Aug-24

PER88277

AG

Huwasan tr50

Tomato

Agrobacterium

30-Nov-21

PER88362

AG

Various products

Garlic

Fungi and mildew

30-Jun-25

PER88363

AG

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Garlic

Various pests

30-Jun-23

PER88430

AG

Versys insecticide

Carrots

Aphids including green peach aphid and carrot aphid

31-Jul-23

PER88484

AG

Nimrod

Tomato

Powdery mildew

30-Jun-22

PER88558

AG

Imidacloprid

Chilli peppers

Silverleaf whitefly

30-Sep-23

PER88640

AG

Movento 240sc

Various situations

Various leaf miners

31-May-23

PER89169

AG

Pheromone lure and dichlorvos

Various situations

Fall armyworm

28-Feb-23

PER89181

AG

Sumagic uniconazole

Carrot seed crops

Plant height reduction

31-Oct-23

PER89185

AG

Mainman 500 wg insecticide

Bulb vegetable

Thrips

31-Aug-23

PER89241

AG

Success neo and delegate insecticide

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89259

AG

Altacor insecticide

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89263

AG

Proclaim opti insecticide

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89278

AG

Avatar insecticide

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021

119


YOUR PRODUCTION

permits (cont.) Permit No. Type Description

Crop

Reason for use

Expiry date

PER89279

AG

Various products

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89280

AG

Durivo insecticide

Brassicas, leafy vegetables

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89285

AG

Proclaim opti insecticide

Various leafy vegetables, celery, blueberry

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89293

AG

Lannate insecticide

Various crops as per label

Fall armyworm

30-Apr-23

PER8930

AG

Phorate

Eggplant, peppers, shallots and spring onions

Aphids, jassids, mites, thrips and onion maggot

30-Nov-24

PER89331

AG

Success neo insecticide

Onion

Fall armyworm

31-Mar-23

PER89348

AG

Prothioconazole fungicide

Watermelon

Furarium wilt

30-Nov-23

PER89353

AG

Chlorantraniliprole

Various crops

Fall armyworm

31-May-23

PER89358

AG

Trojan insecticide

Various crops

Fall armyworm

1-May-21

PER89398

AG

Magnet insect attractant technology

Various crops

Fall armyworm

30-Jun-22

PER89419

AG

Miravis

Tomato

Powdery mildew

30-Sep-23

PER89516

AG

Various copper fungicides

Garlic

Downy mildew

30-Sep-25

PER89645

AG

Afalon herbicide

Shallots and spring onions

Annual weeds as per afalon label

30-Jun-22

PER89870

AG

Entrust organic insecticide

Various

Fall armyworm

31-Jul-23

PER89991

AG

Dimethenamid-p

Onions

Annual ryegrass

28-Feb-24

PER90387

AG

Benevia insecticide

Various vegetables

Liriomyza leaf miners

31-Dec-23

PER90652

AG

Cyantraniliprole

Green beans

Silverleaf whitefly

31-May-21

WA Grower advertiser contacts Name

Website/Email

Address

Contact name

Contact no.

ABC Software (p38)

robyn.brady@abcsoftware.co.nz

6–8 Devonshire Place, Taradale, Napier 4112, NZ

Robyn Brady

+64 6281 2020

Australand Agriculture (IFC)

hd@australandagri.com.au

21/110 Inspiration Drive, Wangara WA 6065

Henry Darvish

0433 584 776

Bon Electrics (p97)

kaela@bon-electrics.com.au

Lot 4, Bullsbrook Road, Bullsbrook WA 6084

Kaela Bonomi

(08) 95711314

Boya Equipment pty ltd (p6)

admin@boyaequip.com.au

2 Prestige Parade, Wangara WA 6065

Margaret Neale

(08) 9302 2006

DELTAwater Solutions (p57)

dianne@deltawater.com.au

N/A

Dianne Panov

(02) 4960 9555

edp australia pty ltd (p106)

sales@edp.com.au

31–35 O'Brien Street, Mooroopna Vic 3629

Ian Parsons

(03) 5820 5337

Harvest Trail Information Service (p50)

apezzaniti@madec.edu.au

126-130 Deakin Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500

Alicia Pezzaniti

1800 724 214

Rivulis Irrigation Pty Ltd (p45) tiffany.visser@rivulis.com

120

13–15 Duntroon Street, Brendale QLD 4500

Tiffany Visser

(07) 3881 4071

Seasol International (p58)

alancorke@seasol.com.au

1027 Mountain Highway, Bayswater Victoria

Alan Corke

0488 006 993

Tiger International Solutions (p112)

jason.radford@go2tigers.com

2 Tarlton Crescent, Perth International Airport, WA 6105

Jason Radford

0412 107 405

TriCal Australia (p28)

info@trical.com.au

5 Chamberlain Street, Wingfield SA 5013

Robyn Beck

(08) 8347 3838

WA Crates (IBC)

service@wacrates.com.au

Crate Yard, Market City

Colin Strong-Grove

N/A

WA Grower AUTUMN 2021


WA crates The professional packaging service for WA’s finest fresh fruit and vegetables

0 email: service@wacrates.com.au


Hort Connections is back with planning underway to welcome delegates to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 7-9 June 2021. We are looking forward to networking and celebrating the international year of fruits and vegetables with you in June this year. Delegate and Trade Show registrations are now open to attend Hort Connections 2021.

In addition to welcoming back face to face attendees, Hort Connections will also cater for delegates who are unable to attend in person by offering a virtual registration alternative.

Register now for the largest horticulture conference and trade show in the Southern Hemisphere.

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