Facilitating the development of the Australian pineapple industry stage 3 (PI15000)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Entering its second year, this project supports the adoption of innovation and technology in the Australian pineapple industry to help growers remain resilient, viable and profitable. It is primarily delivered by an industry development officer (IDO), who helps build knowledge of R&D in the industry, facilitates opportunities for information exchange and learning among growers and with other stakeholders, and promotes capacity building in the industry.
What’s the latest update? Activities of the IDO, Georgie Townsend, continue to include:
- Production of the quarterly industry newsletter The Pineapple Press, with issues uploaded to the grower section of aussiepineapples.com.au
- Updating of the Australian Pineapples website with industry information
- Facilitation of annual Pineapple Field Days, with the 2017 event to be held in South East Queensland in July (details will be distributed via industry channels when available)
- Facilitation of grower study groups, as detailed in project PI13006, with the IDO to continue to facilitate these workshops at the conclusion of project PI13006
- Involvement in relevant industry events and meetings as needed
- Facilitation of regular meetings between major packhouses, grower representatives, and Hort Innovation representatives to discuss supply, quality and marketing activity to ensure alignment.
Study groups enabling industry adaption to pineapple market changes (PI13006)
Status: Near-completed project
What’s it all about? This project has been responsible for facilitating the communication of up-to-date information among Australian pineapple growers through grower study groups. The ultimate goal has been to arm growers with new skills to produce high yields of good-quality fruit, and to help provide the information needed to make good business decisions.
What’s the latest update? The facilitation project is now wrapping up, with its final report to be available and summarised in the next edition of Hortlink. At the time of last reporting in Hortlink (Spring 2016), all four regional grower study groups in the project had completed a number of workshops. Detailed minutes and some presentations from these meetings had been distributed to attendees, and continue to be available on the pineapple industry website, www.aussiepineapples.com.au.
At the time of last reporting, a production forecast survey was also undertaken to update the estimate for the 2016 calendar year.
Growers attending a three-day meeting/tour in the Northern Territory
Integrated pest, disease and weed management systems for pineapple (PI12008)
Status: Completed project
What was it all about? Concluding in November 2016, this project funded the employment of a technical officer for the pineapple industry, to investigate management options for major pest, disease and weed threats. The ultimate goal was to develop contemporary integrated pest and disease management systems for the industry, with the investigation of alternative products and strategies to current pesticides.
Throughout the life of the project, the project conducted trials to investigate the potential of…
- A range of nematicides to manage root-knot nematodes
- Insecticides to control pineapple mealybug
- Pre-emergent herbicides for effective weed control
- Root-promoting substances for improved root development during early plant growth stages (to establish strong, healthy plants)
- Plastic mulch, which was found to have potential to control weeds, reduce herbicide application, improve crop growth and increase fruit size
- Trapping systems to monitor symphylid populations, with a new method identified.
The technical officer participated at regional study group meetings and prepared articles for The Pineapple Press, to keep industry informed of progress.
It is expected that the data generated from the project’s trials may assist in the registration of new pesticides and adoption of new management systems for the pineapple industry, through further work is required, particularly before industry recommendations can be made on the use of the above products and approaches.
Full details can be found in the project’s final report, which will ultimately be available to order at www.horticulture.com.au/about/resources-publications-final-reports. Final reports are free to Australian horticulture levy payers, registered Hort Innovation members and industry representative bodies.