Home' Grower : February 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- February 2011
Grower training improves
production in greenhouses
By Angela Lush
RESEARCH and training for
greenhouse growers are
tackling some hard issues
and making a real difference in the
Virginia horticultural region.
An industry support program has
been developed through co-oper-
ation between Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges Natural
Resource Management, ARRIS
training and consulting ser vices,
Compost for Soils and several
independent consultants working
through a group called HORTEX.
"Last year more than twenty
growers attended farm days and
workshops. These workshops
demonstrated how to reduce salin-
ity, improve irrigation and increase
root and plant health. Growers
were shown how to detect defi-
ciencies in soil and plants as well as
the best way to deal with any
problems uncovered," said indus-
tr y development officer Compost
for Soils, Tony Burfield.
"One session involved an on-
farm discussion of a soil pit, with
physical and chemical soil tests to
work out why the soil might not
be performing as well as it
should," he said.
High salinity and poor str ucture
and drainage can lead to a lot of
problems with root health, nutri-
ent uptake and possibly wilting
"Growers were then shown how
to address these weaknesses
according to their soil type and
soil test results.
"Managing most aspects of soil
and plant needs can be improved
by using good rates of compost to
help the soil and roots work more
efficiently and steadily through
improving nutrient availability and
reducing various causes of root
stress," Mr Burfield said.
Participants were particularly
interested in how to select and use
foliar nutrients to overcome typi-
cal deficiencies that cannot be eas-
ily fixed half way through a crop.
Leaf testing was discussed as an
essential guide to meet plant needs
and maintain good production.
Growers who may not have had a
chance to attend the workshops
will still be able to see some of the
Mr Burfield is now helping
greenhouse growers to showcase
their new practices with a series of
videos being developed for release
The first film in this series focus-
es on Hoang, an eggplant grower
who has recently started using
"Hoang has been impressed with
the results he's seen from using
compost, particularly with the
improved plant vigour, fruit set
and quality. His crop is perform-
ing so well that he can now
encourage side shoots for extra
fruit," said Mr Burfield.
"His plants could not support
this extra output until he began
using compost. Hoang is now def-
inite about the regular use of com-
This inter view, the first of the
series, is scheduled to be released
online in February (visit
links to grower's stories on
More grower stories will be fea-
tured online and in workshops to
Hoang Phuong with his new spacing and irrigation systems, some of the
areas where growers are making changes.
demonstrate how real benefits are
being achieved from better soil
and plant management.
More training and support will
be offered in 2011.
Details: Tony Fox (AMLRNRM) irrigation
management, salinity management and
soil health (0417 890 765, antho-
Lora Smith (Arris) for registering interest
in the 2011 'Training to Grow Your
Business' workshops (0425 724 044,
Tony Burfield (Compost for Soils) using
compost in vegetable production sys-
tems, online case studies (0401 120 857,
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Wholesale suppliers of JAG Shade Cloth, Bird Net, Hail Net etc.
We are also
February Product Profile
The new greenhouse walling plastic has arrived.
The 180um plastic comes 2.5 metres wide x 100 metres long, 4 year
UV warranty. Also arrived is our Panda flooring plastic. This black &
white plastic is 7.5 metres wide. To suit most greenhouse floors,
comes in 200um thick and 50 metre rolls
SAC Packaging and Design now offer a targeted range of cardboard and pulped paper
packaging for the wine industry. The range includes 2, 3 and 4 way Gift Bottle Presentation
Packs ideal for point of sale displays and shelf sales within Airports, Hotels, Shows, Retail
Outlets and Cellar Door etc.
Full artwork and design services are available.
An extensive colour pallet is at your disposal.
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The dividers are built into the Pack allowing easy
postal or transport movement. Cardboard design
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