Home' Grower : August 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower – August 2011
SARDI scientist wins
SCIENTIST Kaye Ferguson has won Protected Cropping Australia
Industry’s national Researcher of the Year award.
The face of SARDI research into the industry for the last five
years, she has been working on a number of projects, including
investigating sustainable management of leaf diseases and
conversion from soil growing to hydroponic production.
SARDI Executive Director Professor Pauline Mooney said Dr
Ferguson, from the Horticultural Pathology Unit at SARDI, had
provided invaluable assistance to growers in managing powdery
mildew in cucumber and capsicum crops, investigating aspects
of varietal susceptibility, alternatives to fungicides for control and
programs for effective management of the disease.
“With field days, newsletters, grower articles and farm visits, Dr
Ferguson has the ability to communicate her results to the growers
and provide a more sustainable focus on disease management,
moving away from a reliance on fungicides,” Prof Mooney said.
Need to know more?
Terry Price 08 8303 9433 or 0423 292867.
Zest promotes ‘fresh’
THE Adelaide Produce Market it has appointed Zest
Advertising to help the independent retail sector boost fruit
and vegetables sales.
Campaigning under Burst of Freshness, commercials are
aimed at getting more people interested in fruit and
vegetables and showing how they can be used to make
quick, easy and healthy meals at home. The market has
recently signed up 2010 MasterChef finalist and local foodie
Callum Hann to front the commercials.
“After an extensive process, we are delighted to have
appointed Zest Advertising for the next 12 months. We were
very impressed with their creative ideas and their track
record, especially in the very competitive retail sector”
Adelaide Produce Market spokesperson Julian Carbone said.
“A different commercial will air on television every
fortnight, promoting which fresh produce is in good supply
and Callum will explain which recipe is a perfect match”, he
said. Recipe cards promoted in the commercials would be
available in selected stores across Adelaide and the suburbs.
Water worries keep mounting up
❏ By ANGELA LUSH
AT this time of the year, ever yone
needs to make the most of pre-
cious winter rainfall.
Water running off your soil and away
from the crop – taking topsoil with it
or pooling on the surface and evapo-
rating into thin air – is not a good
But having too much water in the soil
can be just as bad as not having enough
and, at this time of the year, waterlog-
ging can be a big problem.
In healthy soil, water enters the soil
easily, retaining sufficient for plants to
use and allowing excess to drain
A common sign of an unhealthy soil is
a crust on the surface, which restricts
water entry. Instead of infiltrating into
the soil profile, water pools on the soil
surface and is lost via evaporation.
Soil compaction also limits entry and
storage of water because the number of
pores or air pockets in the soil is very
One of the ways to optimise water
entry, storage and supply in the soil is
to increase the amount of organic mat-
ter. Kaylee Maitland, Compost for
Soils, says compost can help remediate
soils that have problems with crusting
Waterlogged soils or soils with poor
drainage do not have the pores that are
needed for water and gases to move
through the soil. Waterlogging deprives
plants of oxygen, reduces yields and
makes soils extremely difficult (often
impossible) to work with.
“Compost also improves soil structure
by stimulating biological activity.”
Incorporating compost is particularly
ef fective when used in conjunction with
other strategies that benefit soil health.
A healthy soil is the cornerstone of any
sustainable farming system. Problems
such as crusting and waterlogging are
symptoms of poor soil health.
If your soil is healthy it has flow-on
ef fects for all other aspects of the system
such as improving plant health, water
and fertiliser use ef ficiency and decreas-
ing the need for pesticides.
Improving soil health is one of the
best things you could ever do, not only
for your plants, but for your business as
Need to know more?
Kaylee Maitland, Compost for Soils 0408 818
436, 08 7329 0422.
Returns have plummeted by up to 58 per cent, leaving
many growers on the brink of collapse.
Support citrus survival
CITRUS Australia has launched the
Aussie Orange Farmer Fightback
Campaign as local citrus farmers
face their toughest season in years,
battling against a high Australian
dollar and the bumper crop slashing
Chief executive officer of Citrus
Australia Judith Damiani said
although the season had delivered
the best harvest in more than a
decade, the exchange rate had made
exports far less competitive on
Returns had plummeted by up to
58 per cent, leaving many growers
on the brink of collapse.
“This year, more than 240,000
tonnes of Aussie navels of
exceptional quality will be produced,
compared with 177,000 tonnes in
2010,” she said.
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