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News
Substrate production trials at Piñata Farms
Investment into substrate production under polytunnels at Piñata Farms Wamuran and Stanthorpe sites in Queensland has sparked a lot of interest.  Gavin Scurr recently spoke with ABC Rural about the trials, noting the labor savings and fruit quality gains being achieved. 
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Gavin Scurr, Piñata Farms speaking to ABC Rural about their substrate trials
Cracking the genetic history
In what has been claimed as a win for strawberry breeding, researchers from the University of New Hampshire have finished mapping the genetic history of the modern cultivated strawberry.  The findings from the study hope to improve modern cultivation efforts to develop new varieties that are specifically designed to thrive in their local growing conditions.  A better understanding of the ancestry of the cultivated strawberry provides a clearer understanding of the traits associated with specific genetic markers, including fruit quality, flowering habits and disease resistance. 
Export markets
Strawberry exports are on the agenda in Queensland as part of efforts to diversity available markets.  Queensland grower, Suncoast Harvest has been diversifying their market access this season including supplying misshapen fruit to Aldi's 'all shapes and sizes' range as well as markets in New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. 
Strawberry Industry Development Officer, Jennifer Rowling will be following up with Queensland growers shortly with a short survey with respect to end of season production volumes.
Aerial attack on two-spotted mites

A helicopter-style drone is being used in the war against two-spotted mites. Aerobugs, a business run by former strawberry grower Nathan Roy, has taken off after Mr Roy invented and patented a system to air drop predatory mites into the fields.

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Aerobugs, Nathan Roy in the media spotlight following this piece on ABC Rural
Resources
Gross Margins
Given the particularly poor market price at the present for strawberries, with some markets fetching at little as $0.80/punnet, an analysis of variable production cost may assist some growers.  This profitability and gross margin analysis spreadsheet, developed by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, through the Wealth from Water program, provides a useful decision support tool in considering production costs and market return across the whole season.
Events
29 September - Victorian Strawberry Growers Association AGM & Farm Walk - Violi Farm, Coldstream

4 October - Queensland Strawberry Growers Association Management and Normal Meeting - Glasshouse Mountains Sports Club

26 October - Victorian Strawberry Industry Development Committee Ladies Dinner - Otree, Lilydale
2016 Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reduction
When: 8 November, 2016
Where: Orlando, Florida, USA

Since 1994, agricultural and forestry researchers from governmental, academic and private institutions, as well as extension agents and users, have gathered together in this forum to share information on a variety of laboratory, field, and on-farm research and technology transfer topics.
This conference is devoted to the sharing of information on current and ongoing research into methyl bromide alternatives.
More details available here

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