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Next steps for the Strawberry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP)
The Strawberry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) met earlier this month to review feedback on the draft Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) received from several state associations and a number of individuals.  The final strawberry SIP will be used to help guide Hort Innovation’s strategic investment of the strawberry levy, ensuring that levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.
Summary notes of the SIAP meeting are available here.  The panel made recommendations for initial investment priorities using the new SIP, including the development of a strawberry export plan, variety development program, consumer insights, and health and nutrition attributes of strawberries.  The final strawberry SIP will be available on the strawberry webpage on Hort Innovation website in the near future.
Berries and leafy veg top heart health foods
A review of the latest research behind popular food trends, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, aims to create recommendations for diets to maintain optimal heart health.  
At the top of the list of whole foods to support cardiovascular function includes berries, especially strawberries and blueberries, leafy greens and plant proteins, such as lentils and beans.  These foods are noted for combining a plant-based dietary pattern that lowers blood pressure, stabilizes blood sugar, and breaks down arterial plaque, the early formation of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Further details here
See your levy in action!
Hortlink is Horticulture Innovation Australia’s quarterly publication delivering a detailed overview of your levy at work. The latest edition (2017, edition 1) is out now and packed with essential, easy-to-read info for growers, including:
  • Details of new, ongoing and recently completed R&D projects for each levy industry
  • Results and resources that can be used in growers’ businesses
  • Updates on industry marketing activity and results
  • Case studies featuring growers, researchers and more.
You can read the latest edition here, and if you’re not already a member of Hort Innovation, remember that signing up is free and easy here.
Queensland Runner Report
Industry Development Officer Jennifer Rowling, with support from Paul Jones from Bugs for Bugs, have compiled a report following inspection of the Queensland runners for 2017, available here

Weather conditions in Stanthorpe have been challenging.  Prolonged intense heat has caused production to fall behind schedule, and wet weather this past week has further delayed harvest. 

For the latest information in relation to harvest and runner condition, contact IDO Jennifer Rowling, 0438 752 177 or your Queensland runner supplier. 
Grower experiences: IPM Strategies for hydroponic production of berry production
Central NSW Coast grower, Wade Mann shares his 2015 Nuffield Report into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies for greenhouse hydroponic production of berry crops.  Moving from cut flower production to commercial berry production, including hydroponic strawberries, Wade has used his Nuffield Scholarship to investigate how to overcome a lack of chemical options to control pests in protective cropped berries. 
Victorian Strawberry Industry Development Committee Ladies Dinner
23 March, 2017
Yering Meadows, Yering

RSVP by Friday 17 March, 2017 to Maree, 0487 085 076. 
Native Vegetation Beneficial Insectarium Farm Walk
Friday 24th March, 2017
11 Fielder Road, Cockatoo Vic.

Six months since planting, join the farm walk to see what the insectarium is looking like and what the spring/summer IPM monitoring has revealed.  For more information, click here
Queensland Strawberry Industry Annual Dinner and Awards Night
12 May, 2017
The Events Centre, Caloundra

For further information or to RSVP, contact Jennifer Rowling, 0438 752 177.
Victorian Strawberry Forum
4 - 5 May, 2017
Including farms walks, workshops and more.  For further details contact Industry Development Officer Angela Atkinson, 0408 416 538.
Queensland Strawberry Industry Field Day
5 July, 2017
Sunray Strawberries, Wamuran

Featuring exhibitors, presentations and in-field demonstrations.  For further details contact Industry Development Officer Jennifer Rowling, 0438 752 177.
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RMCG · Level 1 · 1100-1102 Toorak Road · Camberwell, Victoria 3124 · Australia

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