The Asian foods industry in Australia covers two main areas:
- Asian vegetables
- Fresh: leafy vegetables, root crops and a range of other vegetables such as bamboo shoots, Japanese ginger and wasabi;
- Simply processed: fresh cut mixes, pickled, dried or otherwise preserved product;
- Processed Asian food products
- Food products traditionally sold in Asian markets (including Asian consumers in Australia); and
- Food products with an 'Asian' taste targeting broader markets (including pickles, sauces and fermented soy products).
The Asian vegetable industry has been growing rapidly. A recent survey estimated that the wholesale value of the industry has more than doubled since 1993-94 as had the number of growers. Rising consumer demand has been the main driving force behind this growth, but R&D has also played a role (Hassall & Associates 2003).
Growth in processed Asian food products has been less spectacular. The manufacture of value added food products in Australia is disadvantaged by high labour costs relative to productivity, the lack of brand name appeal and shortcomings in marketing expertise.
The Asian Foods subprogram originated with a National Workshop in July 1993 that set initial R&D priorities. In 1999, in accordance with RIRDC practice, a five-year R&D plan was developed for the subprogram following an evaluation of progress to date and a workshop of researchers, marketers, growers and government stakeholders.
Over the period from 1999 to 2004 the subprogram invested approximately $3 million in 38 projects
This is the second plan for RIRDC's Asian Foods Program. The publication has been prepared with the assistance of AgEconPlus Pty Ltd and is based on close and extensive consultation with industry, researchers and marketing stakeholders.
The purpose of the plan is to guide RIRDC's investment in its Asian Food R&D Program over the 5 years to 2010. The plan sets out the objectives of the R&D, strategies to achieve these objectives and performance indicators.
The plan is available for free, either by telephoning RIRDC on (02) 6272 4819 or via internet download at http://www.rirdc.gov.au/pub/AsianFoods2005-10-Plan.pdf
In NSW, every greenhouse business owner and/or manager must make sure their greenhouse and farm area is a safe working environment. This is called Duty of Care. It is the law that every business must be a safe workplace. Everyone who works at or visits a farm, including family members have a legal right to be protected from any dangers.
Greenhouse managers need to be prepared and stop problems from happening. Growers should check their farm and greenhouse regularly for risky situations. Co-author of Being Safe in the Greenhouse, Jeremy Badgery-Parker (NSW DPI extension horticulturist for greenhouse horticulture) says that managers should set a date every few months on their farm calendar or diary to spend time checking that everything is alright.
"Greenhouse managers can also ask staff about the workplace as they are often the best people to identify problems. They should be able to help make decisions that affect their health, safety and welfare," said Mr Badgery-Parker.
Being Safe in the Greenhouse is more than just about safety. It is also about good business. Finding and fixing safety problems can often mean finding better and cheaper ways of doing things.
Being Safe in the Greenhouse has been written to help greenhouse growers run safer and better businesses. The booklet covers the NSW OH&S Act and specific issues for greenhouse horticultural production and safety, including:
- Heat related illness;
- Sunburn and protection from ultra violet (UV) radiation;
- Air quality;
- Lifting and carrying;
- Noise; and
- Confined spaces.
- Emergency management plan;
- Risk management;
- Risk assessments; and
- Working out priorities.
This CD was originally launched 2 years ago in conjunction with facilitated workshops held nation wide. The agribusiness community has found it to be a very valuable business capacity building tool, and NIDP has again released the updated version in line with current demand for the product.
The Agribusiness Supply Chains: Learning from Others interactive CD is built on the experiences of agribusinesses that are implementing good supply chain management practices. This involves focusing on better management of product flows, information systems, financial systems and relationships that link them with their supply chain partners. The Supply Chain CD is made up of learning modules and includes both a library of relevant articles and a workbook that can be utilized to implement the suggested strategies.
The business strategy of supply chain management emphasises the importance of working together to build relationships within the relevant chain to ensure Australian agribusiness remains competitive on the world market. The Supply Chain CD is designed to be used individually or in a workshop environment, where individuals from one supply chain, or members of different supply chains, can participate in the learning experience and was developed using expert advice from the University of Queensland.
For more information or a copy of either interactive CD, or to receive the NIDP publication Made In Australia please contact NIDP:
Phone: 1300 884 588
The New Industries Development Program (NIDP) is a 10-year $34m program running from 2001-02 to 2010-11 as part of the 'Backing Australia's Ability: Building our Future Through Science and Innovation' package. The objective of the NIDP is to enable small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australian agribusiness to gain the financial assistance and business skills required to successfully commercialise new agribusiness products, services and technologies. The program creates flow on benefits including significant business and job growth over the medium term, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
Irrigation is one of the major inputs for successful vegetable crop production in southern NSW and northern Victoria. The efficiency of irrigation is becoming more important as demand grows for water. How that water is managed on-farm depends largely on the grower's experience and approach to irrigation scheduling.
This manual is intended as a reference for growers and others in the onion and carrot industries, and outlines guidelines for success in managing sprinkler and furrow irrigation. These guidelines are based on field investigations and combine the knowledge and skills of growers, researchers and consultants.
Growers who follow these guidelines can:
- improve investment returns by increasing yield and crop quality
- save irrigation water, so that they can increase their cropping area or sell the surplus water
- reduce drainage volumes and chemicals moving off-farm
- reduce the environmental impacts of irrigation and keep rivers and ecosystems healthy
- make less water available to weeds and diseases, and thus reduce pesticide use
16 Pathologists and the 6 vegetable IDO’s from around Australia and New Zealand met over 2 ½ days to discuss current projects and issues facing the vegetable industry. Also included were a representative from Plant Health Australia and AQIS, and Peter Dal Santo, who currently manages the minor use chemical permit program.
Pathologists from each state, NT and NZ presented information on current projects being undertaken on diseases of vegetables, and with the IDO’s discussed the disease and quarantine issues facing each area. The meeting was very productive, and the disease issues in each crop were discussed and prioritised. These will be presented to Horticulture Australia to be discussed in the next meetings of the IAC’s
The group visited John Mundy’s to look at Brassica white blister (not that much was found!), Barry Nicol ‘s carrot processing sheds, the DAFF plant (Effluent recycling for irrigation) and the Greenhouse Management project. A BBQ and growers meeting at Virginia completed the day. Information was presented on current work, including White blister from Dr Minchintin (Vic), Viruses in cucurbits from Brenda Coutts (WA), Carrot virus Y from Rob Coles (SA), Management of leek diseases from Catherine Hitch (SA), Diseases of greenhouse crops and Black rot of Brassicas from Len Tesoriero (NSW), and last but not least an update on the minor chemical use program from Peter Dal Santo.
Vegetable Pathology Researchers and IDO’s at the Meeting in Adelaide
Left to Right, Mat Dent, QLD vegetable IDO, Barry Nicol and Barbara Hall at
Agricultural Research & Advisory Committees (ARAC’s) were established in 2002 for the SA potato and vegetable industries.
ARAC’s are an effective way for industry to identify its needs, and to establish strong direction for research, development, extension and adoption activities. ARAC’s are a valuable forum where growers, consultants and other industry representatives can get together with PIRSA, SARDI, SAFF and other organisations to ensure the relevance and direction of support programs.
The process is primarily designed to access matched industry levy funds through Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) for the major industry priorities.
The role of ARAC’s in SA can, and will, go beyond the procedures for accessing Horticulture Australia funded programs. They are already proving to be a valuable forum for interaction between industry, industry bodies and the government agencies where issues can be debated and proposals generated to resolve them by any means of funding. Issues raised will also be incorporated in the 2004 to 2009 SA Vegetable Industry Strategic Development Plan currently being developed.
The principle objective is that issues should be identified by industry itself - who then seek a suitable provider to solve them, rather than having projects put up by a provider - who then seeks industry endorsement. The latter can still occur but the emphasis remains on the ideal that industry must prioritise its needs.
The important thing about ARAC’s is that they are industry driven . The ARAC membership generally includes representatives of Horticulture Australia ’s R&D and Industry Advisory Committees. This ensures that the state members are familiar with a proposals prior to entering the decision process conducted at national level. This process also shows that the submitted proposals have strong industry support and are relevant. The SA IAC members for potatoes and vegetables found the ARAC process to be very helpful to them when preparing for the last national meeting.
The timetable for ARAC activity for ‘04/’05 is;
End of June: Deadline for return of issues sheet.
Mid August: First ARAC review meeting to prioritise issues
October 14: Project proposals developed
November 30: Deadline for submission to Horticulture Australia Ltd.
This is an important chance for everyone in the industry to have their say about issues that need attention
Download Issues Paper
Thank you for your input:
Craig Feutrill, SA vegetable IDO, Ph (08) 8303 6714, Mobile 0418 831 089
A growing number of farmers are using an Environmental Management System (EMS) to link their farm production to their care for the environment.
What is an EMS ?
An EMS is a way for farmers to match their business goals to their care for natural resources. It helps manage the impacts of farming so the environment is protected, while you work towards improving farm performance.
Most farmers have a business plan and a property plan. An EMS puts these together to help improve both the business and the farm itself.
Why use one?
Here are some good reasons to consider an EMS :
- it helps organise information so you can make better business decisions
- you can show others that you are committed to sustainable agriculture and to protecting the environment
- your natural resources will be improving each year as you work towards your goals
- it will add value and recognition to your property plans.
Many farmers find that the greatest value of an EMS is that they take a closer look at their whole business and can find savings in routine farm practices.
What is involved?
To build an EMS for your farm you need to:
- pinpoint the environmental issues that are most important to your farm
- write an environmental policy that states your goals and values for the farm
- develop a program that will put that policy into practice
- take the steps that will make the changes you want
- measure and check that you are making progress
- review and improve your whole management system.
Getting started is easy
A new, easy to use, multi-media CD-ROM is available from NSW Agriculture Tocal to help you develop an EMS for your farm. It contains practical advice, examples, and comments from farmers who have developed an EMS . It costs $29.95. Phone Tocal on 1800 025 520 or go to www.tocal.com
By considering the environment in your management decisions, you are protecting the health of your farm, employees and your family.
The latest findings from the project “Disease Management Strategies for White Blister on Broccoli” ( HAL VG02118) were reported to growers in the advisory committee meetings at Werribee and Cranbourne late 2003.
A fungicide trial for white blister on broccoli seedlings, in a glasshouse, found that a systemic fungicide controlled the disease for up to three weeks, while a combination of contact and systemic fungicides gave excellent control of the disease. Plantvax (unregistered) did not control it.
Surveys of broccoli crops in Victoria showed that weekly sprays gave excellent control of the disease in the field, while fortnightly sprays were nearly as good.
Irrigation Timing Reduces White Blister on Radish
Avoid irrigating crops in the evening ( 8-12.00pm ) as this encourages white blister on radish. The best time to irrigate to avoid this disease is pre-dawn (before 6.00am ) or morning (8-12.00 noon). These observations are consistent for all seasons on radish.
A 12 months scooping study to identify the race of the fungus responsible for the recent outbreak, the source of the disease and management options was initiated by researchers from DPI Knoxfield (PIRVic) last July. This project is supported by the National Vegetable Levy, Horticulture Australia Ltd., and Department of Primary Industries Victoria. For more information on this work contact your state Vegetable IDO officer, Joanna Petkowski, Robert Faggian or Elizabeth Minchinton (03 9210 9222).
Photos: Broccoli head affected with white blister, glasshouse chemical trial on broccoli seedlings
See our publications page for more information (Lettuce Leaf and Lettuce Aphid Pest Alert)
Eggs: only laid on Ribes spp., including red, white and black currants, and gooseberries
Immatures: Wingless yellow-green
Adults: Winged and wingless forms, ~2-2.5 mm in length, greenish to yellow-green irregular narrow dark patches on back.
The lettuce aphid (also known as currant-lettuce aphid) is considered to be a major pest of salad crops, particularly lettuces. It originated in northern Europe and was confirmed in Tasmania mid March 2004. A current theory is that it arrived in Tasmania from New Zealand on an extreme and unusual weather event in late January.
Lettuce aphid is now found in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, Switzerland, United Kingdom), North America (Canada, United States of America), South America (Argentina), New Zealand and Tasmania.
Lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ), Ribes (gooseberry; and red, black and white currants), chicory, nipplewort ( Lampsana ), Hawksbeard ( Crepis ), Hieracium , Speedwell ( Veronica ), Sowthistle ( Sonchus ), Artichoke, Tobacco, Petunia and other members of the hairy thistle family.
Lettuce aphid is primarily a contamination pest. In general, the direct damage from the aphid is limited on lettuces, though large numbers of aphids may stunt young plants and cause leaves to become pale in colour and slightly deformed.
Lettuce head contamination by lettuce aphid makes them unsaleable. Lettuce aphid can be a vector of cucumber mosaic virus and lettuce mosaic virus.
• Resistant varieties . Rijk Zwaan has a lettuce aphid resistance gene in many of their lettuce varieties. Lettuce aphid does not feed nor reproduce and larvae do not reach adulthood on resistant plants. South Pacific Seeds are now also using this gene and have a range of fancy lettuce ready for commercialization but head lettuce varieties are not yet available.
Domenic Cavallaro, Sandra McDougall, Andrew Creek and Don Ruggiero - Surveying for Lettuce Aphid at Swanport Farms, Murray Bridge
• Source control . Care should be taken that lettuce aphid is not introduced via transplants or movement of other plant material.
• Monitoring . Crops need to be closely inspected. In seedlings and prehearted lettuce attention needs to be paid to the innermost leaves and in folds or crinkles in the leaf. Once the lettuce has hearted some destructive sampling is needed. Since lettuce aphid may occur non- uniformly across paddocks, a number of widely dispersed sampling sites need to be looked at. Weed hosts should be sampled, including Hawksbeard and wild lettuce if nearby.
• Beneficial insects . Aphids are eaten by a range of beneficial insects, and particularly in the hearted lettuce they are likely to be more efficient at reaching and feeding on aphids than are insecticides. However the use of broadspectrum insecticides are likely to kill many beneficials.
• ‘Soft' foliar insecticides . Pirimicarb (Pirimor®) is a 'soft' aphicide registered for use on aphids in lettuce in Australia. Although resistance has been reported to pirimicarb in Europe, tests in NZ show that their lettuce aphid is not resistant. There are some newer potentially ‘softer' chemistry that is not currently available that may get permits or registration.
• Broadspectrum insecticides . Dimethoate, maldison, methidathion (e.g. Supracide®), and pyrethrins are the other resistered aphicides in Australia for lettuce.
In Europe resistance to cypermethrin, dimethoate, and endosulfan have been recorded. Broadspectrum insecticides are undesirable in an IPM system since they knock out most, if not all, beneficial insects.
• Seedling or soil drenches . An emergency permit has been granted for imidacloprid (Confidor®) as a seedling drench in Tasmania. Soil or seedling drenches can control lettuce aphid. Imidacloprid as a drench is still harsh on beneficials so is not readily compatible with an IPM program. The potential for developing resistance to imidacloprid or any other chemical is a major concern.
• Sanitation. Surrounding weeds should be well controlled. Lettuce that have been rogued or chipped-out should be buried rather than left in the crop. Badly infested crops should be cultivated and buried. Infested shipments should be recalled and buried. Crops should be cultivated as soon after harvest as possible.
• Post harvest washing. Washing of head lettuce will not disinfest. Loose leaf lettuce washing processes with fine water filtration systems can reduce numbers of aphids present in packed lettuce.
Growers with a strong IPM strategy and good populations of beneficial insects are in better situation to manage lettuce aphid populations, particularly when they first arrive in a district.
If you find suspect aphids in an area where lettuce aphid is not previously known from, mark the collection site in some way so it can be found easily later and call either your:
• Vegetable Industry Development Officer or
• Local department of agriculture or primary industry or
• Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881
Aphid Infestation in Head Lettuce
CONTINUITY KEY TO BRANCHED BROOMRAPE ERADICATION
Eradication of branched broomrape is expected to be achieved within 20 years and industry needs to develop a long-term view of support for the eradication program, according to Phil Warren.
Economic analysis shows that investment in the program in its current form is generating substantial benefits and the branched broomrape team is continuing to search for new technology that will speed eradication of this parasitic pest.
Mr Warren, who heads the branched broomrape eradication program, said eradication is being achieved by containing infestations of the weed and destroying seed by fumigation and natural decay.
Many of the favoured crop hosts of this destructive weed are annual horticultural crops, so Australia's horticultural enterprises remain at risk until the pest is eradicated.
One of the first impacts of spread of the parasite outside the boundaries of the current quarantine area would be major disruption to production and distribution networks as a result of quarantine provisions.
The climate in fruit and vegetable growing areas throughout southern Australia and as far north as Bowen (Queensland), Katherine (NT) and Geraldton (WA) is suitable for branched broomrape.
"Globalisation" of the national market, with produce from one region transported throughout the country, means there is potential for the spread of branched broomrape from SA to other States unless the provisions of the Code of Practice for Horticultural Crops – designed expressly to prevent such an eventuality - are strictly complied with, Mr Warren said.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 tonnes of onions and potatoes – worth about $26m - are trucked out of the quarantine area each year to destinations across Australia including large outlets on the east coast.
Protection of Australia's trade interests in light of international concern about the threat posed by branched broomrape was a major factor in the decision to quarantine the infested region, Mr Warren said, so spread of the pest would place Australia's trade at even greater risk.
It would also pose a direct threat to horticulture across Australia.
The crops listed in the table are confirmed hosts of branched broomrape, but the list may increase. Several cucurbits are currently being assessed to determine whether or not they are susceptible to attack by the parasite.
Confirmed Horticultural Hosts of Branched Broomrape in Australia
* Pot trials only
Overseas experience suggests branched broomrape is a highly damaging pest that reduces yield and quality.
It is a parasite that relies entirely on the host, so it reduces growth and the critical build-up of sugars in the crop.
Branched Broomrape germinates only when there are suitable hosts present. It then attaches to the roots and grows underground for several weeks before it emerges, so the damage is done before it is evident there is an infestation.
The imposition of quarantine provisions in the current branched broomrape area and development of related Codes of Practice – the Horticultural Code of Practice is one of six protocols - is designed to contain the pest to the quarantine area while steps are taken to eradicate it.
On-going research indicates it is possible to prevent emergence of branched broomrape – the first step towards eradication – provided the provisions of the Codes of Practice are complied with and the resources to sustain the program and the related research continue to be available, Mr Warren said.
There are 186 growers operating 209 horticultural enterprises producing more than 20 horticultural crops in the branched broomrape quarantine area in the SA Murray Mallee.
These crops include Almonds, Olives, Citrus, Stone fruits, Grapes, Artichokes, Avocados, Mustard, Bok choi, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Onions, Lettuce, Carrot, Cucumber and other cucurbits, Snow peas and flower crops including natives.
Movement of soil carrying branched broomrape seed has been identified as the highest source of risk for spread of this pest so all machinery used in horticulture is decontaminated by sterilisation prior to leaving a contaminated property or the quarantine area. This is also standard practice for all dryland cropping machinery.
Crops grown in the soil – like potatoes, onions and carrots – and crops grown on the soil – like cucurbits – pose a much higher threat than crops grown above the soil because of the greater risk of them carrying soil contaminated with broomrape seed.
It is vital such crops are free from soil before they leave the quarantine area, so the Code of Practice requires that they be cleaned or processed prior to leaving the property on which they are grown, and that a certificate be issued by an authorised officer before such produce can be transported outside the quarantine area.
Potatoes from an infested area must be transported to an approved processor in approved bins in a sealed truck accompanied by an inspector. The truck and bins are then decontaminated at the processing plant before the return journey.
Transient workers and their tools also represent potential sources of spread of the pest.
For more information contact the Broomrape Hotline, 1800 245 704.
South Australian Vegetable Industry Strategic Development Plan
South Australian Vegetable Industry Strategic Development Plan 2004 -2009
In recent years, the South Australian Vegetable Industry has invested time and effort to identify and act upon industry issues and priorities, through Agricultural Research Advisory Committees and the Horticulture Australia R&D committee. The previous South Australian Vegetable Industry Strategic plan, jointly developed with Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) and the South Australian Farmers Federation, ended in 2000.
The South Australian Vegetable Industry believes it is timely to review resulting achievements, consider new challenges and opportunities arising. This would ensure necessary resources are in place and focused on priorities that can be achieved by industry working together as a whole. The Vegetable Industry Development Officer and PIRSA Rural Solutions will undertake the update of the SA Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan.
This Strategic Plan and Implementation Program (by when, by whom and resources required) for the SA Vegetable Industry will be a key outcome of the process for guiding further development and continuous improvement of the Industry during the next five years. It will provide the basis for subsequent communication and R&D Plans and calendars of activities. This Strategic Plan is also intended to assist vegetable growers to make decisions about the need for, and nature of, industry organisational arrangements in the state.
In developing the 2003 – 2008 Strategic Plan the focus will be on achieving the following outcomes:
• Identifying aspects of previous planning activities that require updating and/or retaining;
• Agreeing on priority areas for investment of R&D and market development funds, including appropriate strategies and implementation action;
• Agreeing on any other key priority areas for action, including appropriate strategies and implementation action.
Meetings were held during February, and a draft of the plan will be presented to Industry in March for comment.
For more information Contact Craig Feutrill , SA Vegetable IDO on P. (08) 8303 6714, M. 0418 831 089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Program Manager for Enviroveg, Sarah Hearn, has visited visited South Australia on several occasions over the last few months to consult with growers on sustainable vegetable production. Enviroveg is an environmental program for vegetables that has been recognised by the industry as essential in being proactive and demonstrating that vegetable growers are farming in an environmentally friendly manner. The program is funded by the Ausveg R & D Levy and the Federal Government through Horticulture Australia.
Sarah's visits to SA, which have followed on from similar visits across Australia, have been to meet with vegetable growers and others in the industry to discuss the development and implementation of the program in SA. Sarah will be assisting growers to identify the issues that they see as important in an environmental program. “It is essential that Enviroveg meets the needs and expectations of growers in each state for it to be a meaningful and useful program that they will want to adopt,” Sarah explains.State reference groups and a national committee are being established to oversee and direct the program. Any vegetable growers interested in being on the SA reference group or wishing to meet with Sarah when she visits are encouraged to contact her or the SA industry development officer, Craig Feutrill .
If you would like to become involved in the program, which is free to all vegetable growers, or simply wish to find out more about Enviroveg, please contact Sarah Hearn on M: 0409 535 051, P: (03) 9687 4707, E: email@example.com, W: www.enviroveg.org