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News
Women's Wellness Weekend
The Queensland Strawberry Industry calendar featured a new event last week, the Women’s Wellness Weekend.  The two-day event, combining a luncheon and wellness seminar, was initiated to build a strong network of women within the industry for support and information sharing, whilst also addressing the issues associated with stress and other mental health problems.

Over 30 women attended the luncheon on Friday to hear from guest speakers including, Emma Dunstan from SuperFriend, a national mental health promotion foundation focused on creating mentally healthy workplaces and Bundaberg grower Tina McPherson.  Tina shared an inspirational story of her journey into farming strawberries and passionfruit with her husband Bruce, their experiences along the way and how she has recently launched a new business venture combining her farming experience and passion for travel and people.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive, with plans to continue the weekend activity as an annual event focusing on a different theme or topic each year.
Strawberry planting density: 200,000 plants per hectare
The goal posts for achieving maximum production per square meter in strawberries have changed following the launch of a new production system by Spanish greenhouse builder, J.Huete.  Publicly launched last week at the Fruit Logistica Exhibition in Germany, the new strawberry production system is maximising plant density per hectare due to an oscillating gutter system – allowing production of up to 200,000 plants per hectare. 
The system is also reported to be quite versatile, as it is suitable for both substrate bags and pots with growing media.  The oscillating system uses a special draining system that will efficiently drain waste water, avoid spreading disease and promote root development.  Further details can be found on the company’s website here
 
Women's Leadership Development Scholarships open
Women currently employed in the Australian horticulture sector are invited to apply for scholarship funding that has been provisioned for participation in a range of leadership development courses.

The scholarship grants are co-funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) and cover almost 60% of the program fee. The scholarships are applicable for emerging leaders, women with mid-level management and leadership experience, and women working at a senior and executive level with a high degree of leadership experience.

Places on the co-funded scholarship program are limited with Expressions of Interest closing Friday, March 10, 2017.  Further details available here
Resources
Strawberry diagnostics videos
A series of videos have been produced for the Strawberry Diagnostic project in the United States, part of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative.  Hosted by Brian Whipker of North Carolina State University, these short one minute clips provide a simple visual introduction to possible nutrient deficiencies and toxicities in strawberry plants, including:
Strawberry Diagnostics: Nitrogen vs Phosphorous Deficiency
Events
Queensland Runner Harvest Farm Walk
TBC March, 2017
Stanthorpe, Qld

Farm walk of runner farms in Stanthorpe during the harvest.  Contact Jen Rowling 0438 752 177 for more details. 
Queensland Strawberry Industry Annual Dinner and Awards Night
12 May, 2017
The Events Centre, Caloundra
Victorian Strawberry Forum
TBC May, 2017
Details of this event will be available soon, or contact Angela Atkinson on 0408 416 538 to discuss further. 
Hort Connections
15-17 May, 2017
Adelaide Convention Centre

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Hort Connections.  Combining the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections, Hort Connections is set to become the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry.
For further details and to register click here.
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