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Addressing agricultural plastic waste
Finding a practical solution to agricultural plastic waste was discussed at a recent workshop in Queensland.  The Plastic Waste Challenge workshop was instigated through a collaboration between the Queensland Strawberry Industry, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay Regional Councils and Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay.  The workshop provided an opportunity to bring together innovative thinkers to contribute to the development of realistic options to reduce environmental harm and develop a best practice model for plastic waste produced by farming.  Find out about the workshop outcomes here.
Annual Victorian industry Ladies Dinner
Women from across the Victorian strawberry industry joined together late last month, for the annual Ladies Dinner, held in Lilydale.  More than 80 women were at the dinner, including interstate visitor’s from Queensland, Jennifer Rowling (sub-tropical region Industry Development Officer) and Dr Jodi Neal (QDAF, National Breeding Program).
The evening culminated in talks from two new faces to the industry, Victorian Strawberry Industry Development Committee CEO Miffy Gilbert, and recently appointed temperate region Industry Development Officer, Dr Angela Atkinson.  Miffy and Angela spoke with the group about their backgrounds, interests and future plans for the industry.
The annual Ladies Dinner continues to be an important event on the Victorian Strawberry Industry calendar, and a much anticipated opportunity for women in industry to get together.
Looking to technology for soil health management
Beerwah based strawberry and ginger grower, John Allen from Oaklands Farms, has shared his experience with using Growcom's Hort360 program.  Addressing challenges with his soil, John looked to technology through completing EM38 mapping, to identify salinity levels within his soil profile.  This was overlaid with mapping of NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index).  The mapping exercise linked the state of John's soil against his crop performance.  John will be using this information to inform his nutrient and irrigation management, and future drainage design.
Smartphone applications are becoming increasingly popular in agricultural industries to provide growers with information, monitor crops, and support decision making on farm.  The University of California have developed a free app on strawberry pests and diseases, IPMinfo.
It is important to note this is an American based application, developed by the University of California.  It has not been designed for Australian strawberry growers.  Keep this in mind, as while there are good references on relevant pest and disease information – not all content, including management options – is relevant to an Australian context

IPMinfo provides one-touch access about the biology, symptoms of damage, and management options for a range of pests and diseases.  The app is available for both iPhone and Android users.

To download the app, go to your App Store and search for IPMinfo.  If you are interested in further Australian based IPM information – let Industry Development Officers Angela or Jen know.
Bacchus Marsh Strawberries and Cherries Weekend
18 - 21 November, Bacchus Marsh Vic
The 10th annual Strawberries & Cherries Weekend celebrates the arrival of the first spring crop of fruits, with strawberries and cherries being the star of the show.
Copyright © 2016 RMCG, All rights reserved.

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