Production & Management

Production & Management

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Mitigating Frost Damage in Nursery Production

Frost damage to nursery crops across Australia is a continuing issue with recent frosting events occurring in previously believed ‘frost free’ areas. In 2007 coastal areas of southern Queensland experienced severe frosts, some less than 500m from the ocean, which resulted in tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. In this Nursery Paper Queensland Industry Development Manager John McDonald explains
how to anticipate a frosting event and mitigate the damage to your crop.

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Hygiene in the nursery

If you thought all disinfectants were the same and worked instantly, you had better read this! This paper details the advantages and limitations of some commonly used disinfectants on various
surfaces such as cement sheet/concrete, gravel, capillary mat, and sand beds. The rough and porous surfaces used for paths and placement of pots, such as concrete, gravel, capillary mats and sand beds
require different disinfectants and treatment times for fungi, bacteria and nematodes. However none of the tested treatments were effective on the highly resistant spores of Chalara elegans, which could
not be eliminated from gravel and cement sheet and was only partially controlled on capillary mat. Further research is required to develop effective means of controlling Chalara elegans contamination
of nursery surfaces.

 

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Hygiene in plant propagation

Many production nurseries fail to regularly review hygiene standards and as a result underlying and insidious problems are not obvious until it is too late. Hygiene problems in propagation can easily affect plants for their entire life. Preventing the spread of plant pathogens results in fewer pest and/or disease problems and a reduced need for using pesticides.

 

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Hygiene and sanitation of working surfaces

General nursery hygiene procedures in the past have been based on information derived from scattered sources and were generally not tested on the range of pests and diseases relevant for the
Australian nursery industry. A research project commissioned by NIAA and HRDC has defined the disinfection methods that will ensure clean working surfaces in the nursery. These procedures will
also be used for NIASA accreditation.

 

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BMP Growing Area Construction

When setting up a growing area, the way the beds are constructed has a great bearing on the efficiency of use and the longevity of the beds. The aim in building a good nursery growing area is to create a stable surface that disposes of drainage water as quickly as possible. This minimises water pooling and allows for efficient collection of water for recycling or reuse.

 

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NIASA Greenlife Market Accreditation

‘Greenlife Markets’, commonly referred to as wholesale plant markets, are trade-only businesses that supply greenlife and allied products to the landscape, horticultural, local government, retail
nursery and development sectors. Greenlife and allied products are sourced from a variety of businesses across Australia including NIASA accredited production nurseries and growing media
suppliers.

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Greenhouse Design

The basic function of a greenhouse is to provide more uniform and reliable plant growth, safer and easier work conditions and to minimise impact on the environment. While there are many different greenhouse design and climate control options available, it is helpful to consider greenhouses under three broad technology categories; being low, medium and high.

 

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OPERATING UNDER THE NURSERY PRODUCTION FARM MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Tropical Exotics nursery is located at Ningi north of Brisbane and is owned by Gil & Teena Hebrard. The nursery produces a range of container plants designed for interior use, and are sold and marketed through retailers, wholesalers and plant hire companies along the east coast of Australia. Fifty percent of the Tropical Exotics container plant sales are to interstate customers.

 

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Fertigation – providing fertiliser application through the irrigation system

Fertigation is the application of dissolved fertilisers to nursery crops through an irrigation system. This process provides the opportunity to: manage nutrient availability throughout the production cycle, supplement fertiliser supplied in the growing media, manipulate plant growth, alter the fertiliser program during the growing season, correct any nutrient deficiencies.

 

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Fertigation – providing fertiliser application through the irrigation system

Fertigation is the application of dissolved fertilisers to nursery crops through an irrigation system. This process provides the opportunity to:
? manage nutrient availability throughout the production cycle,
? supplement fertiliser supplied in the growing media,
? manipulate plant growth,
? alter the fertiliser program during the growing season,
? correct any nutrient deficiencies.