Latest Posts

Identify aphids to lower insecticide use

April 4, 2012

In work that could cut back on insecticide use, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found a way to distinguish aphids that spread plant viruses from those that do not. The researchers used protein biomarkers to differentiate between virus-spreading and virus-free aphids. The findings mark the first time that protein biomarkers have been linked to an insect’s ability to transmit viruses. Read More »

Costco to continue expansion

March 30, 2012

Veginsights, an Australian monthly vegetable newsletter, reports Costco will invest $140 million to continue its expansion across Australia, planning new stores for outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. The company was given $100 million in 2011 from its US parent for start-up costs – which will include losses on the existing stores – and an additional $40 million to fuel its expansion.

The company plans to add at least two stores in 2013, expanding the network to five stores in Australia, all located on the east coast. While the expansion has not been rapid, these stores are high volume units with each store generating the sales levels equivalent to 4-5 full service supermarkets.

Coutdown to Floriade in the Netherlands

March 30, 2012

Floriade, a World Horticultural Expo staged once every ten years in Holland will start next week Thursday 5 April. The sixth edition of Floriade will be organised in Venlo in central-eastern Holland and will be open to the public daily. Read more

Students grow their own food

March 29, 2012

A Fairfield County school district is growing lettuce and other veggies for its school-lunch program. Read more

Woollies takes on Costco in Canberra

March 29, 2012

Woolworths will begin its first head-to-head battle in Australia against US giant Costco when it opens a supermarket and Big W variety store at Canberra Airport today, in a move described as frightening for smaller retailers but a win for consumers.

ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Chris Peters said there were concerns that Woolworths and Coles already had significant share of the retail market.

”On the other hand, it is a very interesting study that Woolworths has chosen Canberra to take on Costco head to head,” Dr Peters said. ”It’s the first place in Australia that will have those two supermarkets side by side.

Read more in the Canberra Times

Priva Day-Training Course

March 29, 2012

Chisholm Institute of TAFE and Priva NL  will convene a specialised day’s training to assist greenhouse growers in getting the best production out of their climate control systems. The presenter will be Peter Mos, who is a highly regarded expert in the use of Priva Integro and Connext systems.

This course will be run at the Cranbourne Campus of Chisholm Institute of TAFE on 18 April, commencing at 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (lunch and refreshments provided). The cost of the course is $375 plus GST.

Registrations are limited and further details are available from the course co-ordinator– Paul Saunders at or via mobile number 0408 823 373

This promises to be a highly informative day for all participants, so early registration is strongly recommended.

2012 New Rural Industries Australia National Conference

March 28, 2012

The New Rural Industries Australia 2012 Conference, Expo and Fashion Parade will be held at the Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre, Ballarat, Victoria, from 18-19 April.

The NRIA is about commercial action for new and emerging rural industries – capacity building with an overall objective of profitable commercialisation of new, innovative and emerging plant, animal and associated regional industries. The NRIA seeks to deliver strong benefits to stakeholder industries, build regional economies and benefit the wider community through these activities. The NRIA leverages R&D, national and international networks to build commercial alliances.

Key issues that NRIA 2012 will present include:

  • Carbon Farming into the 21st Century – Times of change are times of opportunity.
  • Biodiversity and biosecurity – how to protect and innovate.
  • Knowledge tools and networks – smarter, agile business tools for nimble industries.
  • International partnerships – building strong global networks to Australia’s advantage.
  • Entrepreneurship – how to drive your emerging business forward.  Ω