Production & Management

Production & Management

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NGIQ Technical Field Day

Some great presentations were again on offer at the NGIQ Technical Field Day at DPI&F Redlands Research Station last month. Water and irrigation again featured heavily in the program during the day. Mal Hunter, known for the development of his innovative container design, discussed the various forms of capillary matting available for use in nursery irrigation, along with their benefits, uses and shortcomings. Mal also presented findings from his current project.

 

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EcoHort™ workshop

EcoHort™ is the Environmental Management System for Production Nurseries and Growing Media Manufactures within the Australian Nursery Industry. The eighteen participants of the July EcoHort™ workshop held at Kallangur received a wealth of information to enable those operators to implement the EcoHort™ program in their business operations. The participants who attended the one day workshop will receive on farm visits over the coming weeks to provide further assistance with their natural resource management and environmental issues.

 

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EcoHort™ site plan

My first EcoHort™ site assessments have proved positive for the businesses concerned. Participation in an environmental management system is not about achieving some unreasonable benchmark; it is about analyzing the current environmental performance of your business and identifying a list of priority areas for continual improvement. As a Farm Management System Officer, it is then my role to work with each operator to establish an action plan for the coming few years.

 

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EcoHort™ benefits business

My first EcoHort™ site assessments have proved positive for the businesses concerned. Participation in an environmental management system is not about achieving some unreasonable benchmark; it is about analysing the current environmental performance of your business and identifying a list of priority areas for continual improvement. As a Farm Management System Officer, it is then my role to work with each operator to establish an action plan for the coming few years.

 

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Continual Improvement through Best Management Practice

One of the more enjoyable aspects of my role with NGIQ is visiting production nurseries, meeting old friends and making new ones. So far I have visited at over 70 nurseries in SEQ, discussing the benefits of EcoHort™ (the production nursery environmental management system) and NIASA (our best management practice program). The response has been overwhelmingly positive from those who have taken the time to discuss and consider the opportunities that may exist through gaining environmental certification.

 

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Best Management Practices

One of the more enjoyable aspects of my new role with NGIQ is visiting production nurseries, meeting old friends and making new ones. So far, Steve Hart and I have visited at least 80 nurseries in SEQ, discussing the benefits of EcoHort™ (the nursery industry environmental management system) and NIASA (our best management practice system).

 

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Promoting Sustainable Nursery Production

The NGIQ has been an active member of the Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) for a number of years benefiting from a collective approach to regulatory issues and the sharing of information between member organisations. Through our association with QFF, and its member bodies (Sugar, Cotton, Fruit & Vegetables, Dairy, Chicken Producers, etc), we have had opportunities to involve our industry in a range of activities and projects directed at various strategic initiatives including drought declaration, biosecurity, natural resource management and environmental performance. Due to the above alliance NGIQ has been an active participant in a QFF/EPA Project – Enhancing Sustainable Primary Production.

 

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NATURE CONSERVATION ACT 1992 2001 REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NURSERY INDUSTRY

To grow and sell Australian native plants (Protected Plants) in Queensland it is quite possible that you will require some level of authorisation/licence under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 or its subordinate legislation. Australian native plants entering Queensland, from another state or territory, immediately come under the jurisdiction of the Queensland legislation irrespective of the originating state or territory’s legislation.

 

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Frost and freezing

As winter continues to role on the ever present threat of frost hangs over production and retail nurseries throughout southern Queensland. Frost is caused by a drop in temperature at or below 0?C with wind speeds under approximately 10km/h. Temperatures below 0?C with wind speeds above 10km/h cause freezing which is a different phenomena to that of frost. It is very difficult to modify the environment, during freezing conditions, in an attempt to reduce crop damage whereas frost remediation through environment modification can be effective.

 

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Growing Media & Water Testing

Two of the most important inputs in plant production are the growing media and the irrigation water used to grow the crop. It is vital that the chemical and physical characteristics of these two inputs are known as they can have such a major impact on so many areas of the successful production of a marketable crop.