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Together we thriveFrom trial sites to cutting-edge thinking and benchmarks for your business, vegetablesWA is committed to your success.REGIONAL Development Officer, Chi Nguyen, in a newly established cover crop.BY MICHAEL BARTHOLOMEW OUTGOING REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, VEGETABLESWABoosting the sustainability and resilience of growers against external pressures impacting daily farming was the focus of a tour by myself and the new Regional Development Officer for Extension Services Chi Nguyen – here’s what we are working on...
Input use efficiencySet to build on the Biomineral System casestudies and research of growers in Carnarvon, further interest in the system has spread to the Metro growing regions and as far south as Albany. New trial sites are currently being coordinated and growers are showing great interest in the sustainable and efficient growing method. We are working closely with local agronomists to support growers making the change (see our story Magic Microbes, page 13, for more on the Biomineral System).
Following on from the cover cropping, strip tillage and biofumigation workshops run in WA by Applied Horticultural Research, a handful of growers have begun to seek advice as to how they can integrate cover cropping and biofumigation into their cropping cycles to solve issues, such as disease cycles, resistance and soil degradation. It has been a satisfying experience to check in with these growers and observe the beautiful cover crops as they grow to the right height before being ploughed back into the soil. vegetablesWA is working closely with agronomists to provide the right support to the growers involved.
“ New soil moisture monitoring sites are being frequently established, with some growers just beginning and others … now onto purchasing their second. ”OVERHEAD irrigation of a Myalup producer visited by AUSVEG science team.
New soil moisture monitoring sites are being frequently established, with some growers just beginning and others, who have been trialling a sensor, now onto purchasing their second. The real value of soil moisture monitoring is the ability to provide exactly the right water and fertiliser quantities to a plant’s root zone. It's important to know that none is being wasted in the lower soil profile and sufficient levels have been applied to keep the plant happy. Unfortunately, there have been delays in getting a field day planned. However, if this is something that would interest you, get in touch and we can arrange something.
BiosecurityBiosecurity videos mentioned in recent issues of WA Grower have been finalised and will be released soon. This series of videos uses local growers and farms to share local stories about the simple and cost-effective ways that you can improve your on-farm biosecurity.
AUSVEG’s biosecurity team also spent a couple of weeks touring the State to discuss the impacts of fall armyworm and various exotic leafminer species.
Together with the VegNET RDO, resources were provided to growers in key regions. This also provided an opportunity for the growers in WA to meet and build relationships with their national body for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 border restrictions.
Business developmentOur Economic Trends Update event was run at the Guilderton Country Club for the North Metropolitan and Gingin growing regions. Collaborators, such as Rural Bank and RSM, came together with vegetablesWA to provide a comprehensive update to growers. Presentations covered economic forecasts, interest rates, supply chains, benchmarking (new statistics were released in February, see page 28) and end-of-lease planning. This workshop will be repeated in other growing regions further South where there is interest.
We are committed to providing resources, support and networks to help our industry thrive, so if you want to be part of the projects and events above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Chi. And keep an eye out in WA Grower and our E-Newsletter to find out what’s happening near you.
“ New [Biomineral System] trial sites are currently being coordinated and growers are showing great interest … We are working closely with local agronomists to support growers making the change. ”MANJIMUP Soil Wealth workshop showcasing cover cropping and strip tillage.