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News
Your thoughts on non-soil substrate production?
Interest in alternative strawberry production systems to field grown, including non-soil substrate culture, is increasing.  To better understand these production systems, a small scale strawberry tabletop substrate culture experiment is being undertaken by the QDAF National Strawberry Breeding Program at the Maroochy Research Facility in Nambour, QLD, supported through Hort Innovation.

Two years of yield data has been collected and is currently being analysed in an economic model. This year, four commercial varieties and several breeding lines have been tested for their suitability for growing in substrate medium.  In order to provide the best cultivars for the current and future needs of the Australian strawberry industry, the research team is in the early stages of investigating trends in substrate culture adoption in Australia.
Your assistance in filling out this very brief survey, will go a long way towards informing the focus of this research. All answers are strictly confidential and your contribution, even if you are only growing in-field, is greatly appreciated.

Click here to access the brief survey. 
Applications closing soon for Masterclass in Horticultural Business
Growers have until the 31st of December to apply for the Masterclass in Horticultural Business, a global leadership program which is the first of its kind in Australia.  The program, best described as a mini-MBA, has been developed in partnership with international leaders in horticulture – The University of Tasmania, Hort Innovation, Wageningen Academy in the Netherlands and New Zealand’s Lincoln University.  Up to 22 growers and people working in the supply chain will be selected to participate each year, and successful applicants will work alongside people who understand their business and face the same challenges.  Click here to register your interest.
Latest Hortlink available online
Hortlink is a quarterly online magazine from Hort Innovation providing a detailed overview of grower levies in action.  The publication provides details of Hort Innovation’s new, ongoing and recently completed R&D projects for each levy industry, grower profiles and a look at Hort Innovation’s strategic co-investment funds, which are delivering projects for the whole of horticulture. 
Private sector extension in Australian agriculture survey 
  • Do you or your organization provide information, advice or support to farmers in Australia?
  • Are you, or would you like to be, involved in development and delivery of extension services for Australian farmers?
If yes, please click here to complete this survey of individuals and organization’s that provide these services to Australian farmers.
The survey forms part of research into agricultural extension being conducted as part of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Rural R&D for Profit programme and is supported by Dairy Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, Sugar Research Australia, Horticulture Innovation Australia, RIRDC (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation), NSW Department of Industry, Agriculture Victoria and the University of Melbourne.  The survey is administered by Quantum Market Research.
Resources
Rediscovering cover crops (webinar recording)
Sharing lessons across industries, vegetable growers are rediscovering cover crops as a practical way of improving soil productivity and health. While cover cropping is a simple concept, it can be complex to implement in today’s intensive farming systems – including on strawberry farms.

In this webinar, produced through the Integrated Crop Protection and Soil Wealth project, the use of cover crops in vegetable production and the practical issues which need to be considered is discussed.
 
If you are interested in webinar discussions on topics specific to the Australian strawberry industry – let us know what topics you want to hear more about.
Events
Queensland Strawberry Growers Association AGM
Tuesday, 7th February 2017
Caboolture Sports Club from 7pm
Queensland Strawberry Industry Women's lunch
TBC February, 2017
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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