VegNET: giving growers a heads-up on the latest R&D

SUBSCRIBE to our fortnightly e-newsletter to receive more stories like this. Beetroot crop: VegNET has scheduled a series of early-winter field days and practical events to convey key research-based information to vegie growers across NSW.

In recent years, researchers have made great progress exploring areas of relevance to Australian agricultural practice, including:

  • new methods for pest and disease control;
  • post-harvest handling;
  • soil health;
  • biosecurity;
  • crop agronomy;
  • [plant and animal] nutrition;
  • irrigation;
  • precision agriculture and robotics;
  • [consumer] health and nutrition; and more.

Current and completed vegetable R&D projects across Australia have yielded a wealth of useful information:

  • The Australian vegetable industry and Hort Innovation has funded 235 separate research or development projects over the past 10 years;
  • More than 600 R&D outputs are currently available on the AUSVEG InfoVeg website, as well as relevant outputs from other horticultural industries, R&D from the private sector and international scientific literature;
  • A recent review of vegetable industry extension materials identified and reviewed nearly 300 extension resources including facts sheets, ute guides, books, CDs and DVDs, websites and posters.To download the review, click here.

The National Vegetable Extension Network, aka VegNET, an initiative of Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and vegetable industry members, aims to communicate vital information based the findings of all this research to vegetable growers Australia-wide.Cabbage crop: VegNET workshops, demos and field days are being held in the Sydney Basin and regional NSW, and are open to any grower who pays the National Vegetable Levy.

Extension events for NSW growers

VegNET extension events held across regional NSW in winter 2017, including farm walks, workshops and demos, showed growers in 10 key regional horticultural areas across the state the latest innovations, technologies and methods for managing common agricultural challenges, Topics included:

  • soil-borne disease;
  • cover crops and biofumigation;
  • low-cost protected cropping;
  • ICP pest and disease management;
  • protected cropping biosecurity; 
  • biosecurity for pests and diseases; and
  • agricultural robotics, including demos of the RIPPA, a robot developed at The University of Sydney's ACFR for use on small vegetable farms. .
RIPPA, one of the agricultural robots developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at The University of Sydney.
RIPPA, one of the agricultural robots developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at The University of Sydney.
Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR)

More information

VegNET is funded using the HIA vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government. The NSW Extension Network is managed by Greater Sydney Local Land Services

For more information on VegNET, visit the Applied Horticultural Research (AHR) website, or contact Matt Plunkett on 0428 978 390.                                                      

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