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president UPFRONTIndustry INSIDER While some growers have had a strong start to winter, let’s hope others hit by weather and low demand will rebound quickly.WordsDan Kuzmicich, vegetablesWA chair“ Biosecurity is always a concern, so keep yourself up to date on the latest news on biosecurity through the vegetablesWA weekly newsletter”HELLO to members, stakeholders and industry partners. I know too well the challenges that await us on a daily basis, so I hope this report finds you in good health and high spirits. Your continued support and collaboration are instrumental in the success of vegetablesWA and we are grateful for your commitment.In the Gascoyne, we had a lingering hot summer. Quite frankly, I’m happy to see the end of it. Winter has brought cooler evenings and favourable growing conditions. Early rain settled the dust and freshened up the soil, which the plants loved. It’s also pleasing to see decent water in the river.Carnarvon is currently in the early stages of harvesting. From driving around the growing areas, it’s great to see an abundance of tomatoes, capsicums, corn and other crops. We anticipate a good supply throughout the season. It is important to note, however, the weather has had some adverse effects on early tomato crops. Heavy rainfall (40mm and over) led to water damage, resulting in poor returns for those harvests. Sadly, returns have been as low as $5 per 10kg box.Metro and South West growers had a decent start to the season. It was short-lived, however, with low demand resulting in minimal returns. This is disappointing as input costs have been our main concern in recent years and it doesn’t look like it’s going to ease.Biosecurity is always a concern, so keep yourself up to date on the latest news on biosecurity through the vegetablesWA weekly newsletter and online Grower Alerts. The team is kept informed on incursions and will release a webinar series this year.It was great to catch up with some of you at Hort Connect 2023 in Adelaide, so thank you for making the time to say hi. The event gave us the opportunity to connect with new and old friends from around the country, as well as view and discuss the latest developments and technologies for our industry.Well, that’s it from me, as the rains up here in Carnarvon have brought the weeds. Again, thank you for your ongoing support. We value your input and look forward to working together for the betterment of the industry. Stay safe everyone.