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Farmers and communities called on to boost recycling

May 12, 2014

Rural recycling program drumMUSTER is calling on farmers and communities across NSW to collect and recycle empty chemical drums to prevent them ending up in landfill. It comes as the program kicks off its annual campaign in the state, encouraging farmers and chemical users to return their empty agvet chemical containers. Read More »

Horticulture review: make better use of levy and taxpayer funds

May 9, 2014

The Australian Government today welcomed the findings of an independent report into the performance of Horticulture Australia Limited, a research, development and marketing body owned by horticulture peak bodies. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the report makes a strong and persuasive case for grower levy-payers to be the owners of the organisation and to have a direct say in how investments are made in the future. Read More »

Independent review released to HAL members and Government

May 9, 2014

Key recommendations from a comprehensive, independent review into Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) and the horticulture levy system have been referred by the HAL Board to industry and government for consideration. Read More »

Maylasia to expand hydroponic greenhouse industry

May 4, 2014

The New Straits Times (Malaysia) reports the state government is allocating RM1 million for agricultural cooperatives, area farmers’ organisations (PPK) and farmers to adopt  hydroponics and fertigation technologies. It compared these modern techniques to countries like China where production has increased over traditional methods, using less space.

Johor Agricultural and Agro-based Industry executive committee chairman Ismail Mohamed said, initially, the state government would introduce these methods to the members of agricultural cooperatives and PPK.

He said research showed that they were suitable for suburban and rural areas where land was limited.

He added that they involved the use of greenhouses and resulted in higher yield and better quality produce, thus improving farmers’ incomes.

“We have found that these methods are suitable for our country, even when there is a draught or during rainy season because the plants are more resilient and can produce continuously.

“These methods are different from traditional methods.

“Hydroponics uses water mixed with fertilisers while the fertigation techniques uses a combination of fertiliser and coconut husks. This will save on the use of land and produce higher yields,” said Ismail.

He said the allocation would be distributed through the Idle Land Development Scheme.

He said these methods were suitable for crops such as leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, long beans, eggplants, tomatoes, pumpkins, chillies, lady fingers and potatoes and would require an area of less than one hectare.

“Courses and guidance on these methods will be given to the farmers to ensure that they understand the best way to implement them.

“I have asked each of the 13 districts in the state to choose one produce that is suitable for each district so that we can maximise production and prevent the overproduction of one produce.”

Read more: Getting farmers to modernise – Johor – New Straits Times

Posted 4 May 2014

Fabled Gardens Unearthed

April 30, 2014
Steven Carruthers

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon have fascinated ancient and modern-day scholars for well over 2000 years. They were listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world; but there has been no physical evidence to prove they really existed. There is no mention of the fabled gardens in any of the known Babylonian writings or carvings of the time, with most accounts of their existence based on tales told by returning travellers and soldiers, and written about over 300 years later by Greek writers who never actually saw them. Read More »

Disinfection Methods . . . an Australian Perspective

April 30, 2014
Fully-automated Priva Vialux HD/UV disinfection unit, which is suitable for treating both large and small quantities of water.

Disinfection systems are essential insurance policies as environmental pressures force growers to recirculate their nutrient solution. PH&G profiles the various disinfection methods, from an Australian perspective.

Compiled by STEVEN CARRUTHERS Read More »

AGS to host Hyderabad seminar

April 24, 2014

Australian Greenhouse Solutions (AGS) will convene a one-day information seminar on modern commercial greenhouse and hydroponic systems at the Vivanta by TAJ Hotel, Hyderabad, India, on 15 May 2014. Presented by Graeme Smith and Brian Ellis, topics will  include greenhouse systems, crop types, and growing in harsh climates, among many other topics. The seminar includes technical workshops. Read More »