April 2015

“I trust you and your families had an enjoyable Easter, as I did with my family; autumn is just a fantastic time of the year.

You can never say this industry is dull – there’s always something new to learn, whether it’s on the farm, marketing new varieties, new machinery, new work practices, new ideas to improve your business for the next year, or your next crop.

If you are like me, you never stop thinking of new ideas and ways to improve your business and grow the best product for your customers and consumers to buy and eat.”

David Wallace – President, VGA-Victoria

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Contents :

New Executive Officer for VGA
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Orr as our new Executive Officer.

Ken has extensive experience in the horticultural industry, working with government, industry and corporate entities over 35 years.

Ken’s experience in agronomy, sales, marketing and product development in annual and perennial horticultural crop production (vegetable, fruit and vine crops), will be of great benefit to VGA and its members …

Integrated Crop Protection
Protecting crops in a sustainable way is vital for Australian vegetable producers seeking to improve productivity and profitability.

There is currently an extensive amount of ICP information from levy-funded projects that can be built upon. It is important that this information is made accessible, practical and relevant to individual commercial farming operations, rather than generating more information.

This project, being delivered by RMCG, AHR and IPM Technologies, aims to work with growers, advisors and other industry service providers …

PMA Fresh Connections
PMA Australia-New Zealand is theleading global fresh produce trade association serving member companies around the world.

This year it is holding its national conference, PMA Fresh Connections,in Melbourne from 12-14 May, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The VGA in conjunction with the PMA Fresh Connections Conference, has 10 places available for young VGA members to attend the Fresh Connections trade show on Wednesday 13 of May …

NUFFIELD Scholarship
Nuffield Australia farming scholarship applications will open on 1 April 2015 and close on 30 June 2015.

Nuffield Scholarships are for people between 28-40 years of age, who are engaged in farming or fishing as an owner or active member of a farming business, and are intending to remain involved in primary production in Australia.

If you are actively engaged in the vegetable industry, have ideas or want to enhance your skills, both for your business and the industry you work in, then have a go at this great opportunity …

Grants for Small Exporters
The Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce MP, recently announced that applications are being sought for more than $11 million in grants to improve market access for small exporters of dairy, meat, egg, fish and horticulture and grain products.

Applications close at 5pm AEST, 30 April 2015 …

Agro Chemicals
The finalisation of the fenthion review is expected soon, with the current permits expiring in October.

Further extensions are considered unlikely. Also, the finalisation of the review of dimethoate is also anticipated to occur within the next few months.

So by year’s end, these products will no longer be under permit.

Compost Field Walk at Clyde
A field walk was held recently to demonstrate and discuss the trial results with interested producers.

Compost is used to maintain and improve nutrient holding capacity, soil structure, soil biology and moisture retention.

The Western Port Catchment Landcare Network (WPCLN) has received funding to trial application methods, incorporating composts and organic manures, on five enterprises in the catchment region over a 15 month period …

Executive Officer’s report

The Association is presently conducting a review into its future structure, and how best to meet its members’ needs. A summary document will be circulated to all members, and will be followed up with forums in major growing districts to discuss our members’ views mid-year.

I am developing a communication strategy to minimise duplication and get the best bang for our buck when keeping you all up-to-date with the issues, outcomes and technology that the industry provides so readily.

We are also looking at providing more input and exposure for our valued industry Associate Members, who have supported the VGA so well over a long period of time.

I would like to remind you again of the opportunity available for our Association’s young growers to register for the PMA Trade Show on 13 May. This opportunity is open to growers between the ages of 18-35, who are members of the VGA and are actively involved in the vegetable industry and want to be exposed to wholesale, retail and consumer service providers at the PMA Trade Show. There are only 10 places available, so first in best dressed.

The VGA Vic is your voice of the Victorian vegetable industry and needs your support.

Should you require more information about vegetable services available to you please contact :

Executive Officer Ken Orr :  Mobile: 0428 502 936   Email: ken.orr@vgavic.org.au

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