March 2011

The Executive’s approval of the new Vegetable Growers Association of Victoria Strategic Plan has helped in my decision to stay on and assist in getting the new plan implemented.

With the support and approval of the Executive I am sure our members will be happy with the outcome.

Luis Gazzola

Contents :

National Vegetable Expo 2011
Every two years the National Vegetable Expo provides a venue for vegetable growers, seed companies and industry suppliers to gather and discuss the best our industry has to offer. Jointly funded by the VGA, DPI Victoria and Horticulture Australia Limited.

The National Vegetable Expo is considered the premier horticultural event in southern Australia. It features spectacular displays of new vegetable varieties offered by seed companies and this year the event is being held at the Dairy Road site (Melways reference 206, D8) in Werribee from May 5-6…

February Flood Update
The recent flooding in Werribee has resulted in about 30 per cent crop losses, mostly in lettuce that was ready for harvest.

The damage occurred during one hour of heavy rain which caused flash flooding.

Once the water subsided, crops that still looked good externally were found to be either full of mud or damaged inside and unsuitable for harvesting.

Cauliflower and broccoli crops fared much better. Other western areas also incurred damage from the heavy rains, however, most of the damage was to younger crops.

Some of these growers have had successive crops washed away and are now starting to feel the financial impact of these continuous losses…

Click to Download #43 705kb
No. 43 download 705kb

VGA Website
The VGA website offers many useful tools and resources for growers. The VGA website aims to serve the interests of Victorian vegetable growers and regularly attracts more that 3000 unique visitors each month.

The popularity of the website is due to its extensive and easily searchable content, covering issues and technical matters relevant to success in our industry…

Adopt a Farmer
VGA Vic member Steve Skopilianos of Ladybird Organics is the program’s first ‘adopted farmer’.

As an adopted farmer, Mr Skopilianos will visit Coburg Primary School as well as host school tours and education days on the farm…

Calculating Carbon
Recently, the VGA organised a workshop on the topic of the new carbon calculator tool for vegetable growers…

Lettuce Anthracnose
Plant pathologists Liz Minchinton (Vic) and Len Tesoriero recently visited vegetable farms SE of Melbourne. The purpose of the visit was to evaluate disease presence and provide a chance to speak with growers about the issue…

Hydroponic Capsicums
Early in February 2011, approximately 30 Masters students from the University of Melbourne piled into a bus and made their way to Wallace Farms in Keilor, Victoria…

Market Relocation
One of the main topics at hand is the issue of market relocation. In the past few weeks there has been much discussion in the marketplace and in the media that we are no longer relocating to Epping, but instead staying at Footscray Road, West Melbourne.

New State Government
The appointment of a new government in Victoria has been a big change. We have had discussions and meetings with the Minister for Major Projects and Ports, Denis Napthine, and the Minister for Agriculture and Water, Peter Walsh, and I must say that it has been a breath of fresh air meeting the new ministers, who’ve demonstrated a positive attitude in support of our industry…

Water Security
A group of us also met with Minister Peter Walsh at the Rural Press Club on 3 February, 2011. The Minister’s presentation was very informative and he promised to sort out most of the water issues where possible. Our growers informed the Minister of the possible problem with regard to the recycled water salinity issue at Werribee.

We also asked that the Minister investigate the stormwater issue, and in particular to review stormwater harvesting licenses to allow currently licensed growers to harvest stormwater 12-months of the year, if and when mother nature’s excess water is available.

Magazine Publisher
This edition of Vegetables Victoria has been produced by AUSVEG.

We would like to thank Katie Fisher and Grant Nelson of AgriHort Communications for their excellent professional service in developing and publishing our quarterly journal since 2008.

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