Evaluation of nursery tree stock balance parameters (NY15001)
Status: Completed project
What was it all about? Ensuring out-planted nursery trees have a high potential survival rate requires a balanced root and shoot system prior to dispatch. This project has investigated how species differences and climatic conditions in different production regions can affect this balance in tree stock, and has collected a host of data in relation to root-to-shoot balance, via size index, in tree stock across Australia.
Looking at more than 13,800 trees from 23 nurseries, the project revealed that landscape trees have a much greater variation in size index than the current Australian Standard (AS2303:2015 Tree Stock for Landscape Use) allows for. This could mean that people selecting trees are rejecting some that would actually be fit for purpose.
The project results have prompted an application for a revision of the Standard that takes into account the large variety of trees sold and grown in Australia. Updates on this process will be included in industry communication channels as available.
Click here for a fact sheet summarising the project results. Presentations, videos and other information related to this project also continue to be available on the project team’s website.
Full details will also be found in the project’s final report, which will soon 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.
Where should all the trees go? An investigation of the impact of tree canopy cover on socio-economic status and wellbeing in LGAs (NY16005)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Beginning late in 2016, this project seeks to measure the impact of tree canopy cover on socio-economic status and wellbeing in Australian local government areas (LGAs). It will provide an updated estimate of canopy cover across all metropolitan LGAs, and examine relationships between this cover and socio-economic, health and wellbeing indicators. In its course, it will identify areas for priority canopy-cover planting and support the nursery in achieving the goals set out by the 202020 Vision.
What’s the latest update? In its initial months, the project has had a focus on using ultra-high-resolution aerial photo maps to identify canopy cover in LGAs. The images were taken from a satellite and span the entire country. Images of random points from within each of Australia’s 139 urban LGAs were then selected, assessed and classed on whether they were showing mostly grass and shrubs, trees, or hard surfaces such as roads, buildings or carparks.
The measure of canopy cover from this analysis will be compared to the previous measure of trees for each LGA, to track the speed of urban greening.
The collection of health and socio-economic data for each LGA is also ongoing, as is the mapping of LGA temperatures in an effort to look at the ‘heat island’ effect. This information will help identify where green space is needed most.
Nursery industry statistics and research 2016/17 (NY16004)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Beginning in January this year, this project will collect industry statistics to allow nursery growers and the broader industry to make timely and effective decisions in planning and resource prioritisation, as well as track market trends and industry performance over time.
What’s the latest update? The project is still in its early stages, with more detailed updates will be provided in future editions of Hortlink. In the meantime, see this profile on nursery grower Hamish Mitchell in relation to the project, or watch the video profile here. These resources were produced as part of the Communication program for the Australian nursery industry 2015-18 (NY15006).
Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry (NY15002)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Beginning in 2016, this project aims to enhance the biosecurity preparedness of the Australian nursery industry. It builds on earlier project Plant health, biosecurity, risk management and capacity building for the nursery industry (NY11001) and is developing new contingency plans, producing new and updated information. It is also delivering the industry’s Pest Identification Tool (www.pestid.com.au) to make diagnostic identifications more financially viable for production nurseries.
What’s the latest update? Two live ‘webinars’ were recently delivered as part of the project – one on mite identification and management, and one on virus identification and management.
For those unable to take part in the live sessions, recordings of all webinars held to date by the project are available to watch at any time here.
While no new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1), you can see last edition’s update here – which includes links to various fact sheets, management plans and webinars. These resources can also be accessed from the ‘Resources and downloads’ section of Hort Innovation’s nursery grower page.
National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? The National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program aims to ensure production nurseries in Australia are aware of and prepared for incursions of exotic plant pests, and that they have effective market access mechanisms in place to maintain business functionality.
Beginning in 2016, a key part of the project is the industry on-farm biosecurity program BioSecure HACCP, to underpin national market access with electronic certification. BioSecure HACCP assists growers in assessing pest, disease and weed risks and supports the implementation of management strategies within businesses. It is one program under the Nursery Production Farm Management System (Nursery Production FMS), which is now an entirely nationally governed and administered system that also includes the EcoHort system and the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia, or NIASA, Best Management Practice program.
What’s the latest update? The project continues to develop BioSecure HACCP as a national market access system, and to carry out broader biosecurity-related activities for the industry. If you missed it, click here to read last edition’s case study on how one Australian nursery is benefiting from the system.
In May, a Nursery Paper produced as part of the Communication program for the Australian nursery industry 2015-18 (NY15006) also detailed the program – including a recent Queensland legislative amendment that will have a positive impact on the accreditation of production nurseries. Download and read the Nursery Paper now.
For more on the program, refer to the last edition of Hortlink’s update here, and look for the latest updates in the next edition.
Communication program for the Australian nursery industry 2015-18 (NY15006)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? The industry’s communication program ensures Australian nursery and garden growers and other industry stakeholders are kept up-to-date with the latest news, information and R&D and marketing updates to support decision-making within businesses.
This program is supported by the project NGIA – communications support on NY15006 – nursery industry communications (NY15009), which provides funding to Nursery & Garden Industry Australia to facilitate work with the communication program’s external service provider.
What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:
- Regular Nursery Papers looking at current industry projects, with all issues accessible here
- The Your Levy @ Work newsletter
- The Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) website and the Your Levy @ Work website
- NGIA social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Media releases, the production of regular case studies for peer-to-peer learning and video content also form part of the communication program.
The project is also developing an ‘Entrants’ Kit’ with information for new industry members.
Other R&D projects of note…
- 202020 Vision Training/Capacity Building Program (NY16002), soon-to-be-completed project that has been responsible for driving awareness of and engagement with the 202020 Vision through national and regional workshops and regular updates provided to growers. As well as events and information appearing in industry communication channels, grower resources relating the 202020 Vision are accessible on the initiative’s Growers’ Hub here.
- Green industry growing leaders program (MT16002), a new multi-industry project supporting the participation of 15 nursery and turf workers in a three-month, industry-specific leadership education course. Read more in Hort Innovation’s article here. Applications were advertised in key industry channels and closed in early May, with successful candidates notified in mid-May.
Nursery levy investment in strategic partnership projects…
What are ‘strategic partnership’ projects?
Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative is responsible for developing collaborative cross-industry projects with the aim of finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the future of Australian horticulture. These projects are funded via a combination of Australian Government investments (at least $20 million annually) and co-investments that are brokered and managed by Hort Innovation (including from research institutes, commercial partners, individual levy industries and more).
How is the nursery industry involved?
Nursery levy has been co-invested in the following projects…
- Measuring Australia’s green space assets (GC15004), which is helping quantify, evaluate and promote healthy and climate-resilient green space environments. The project is part of the strategic partnership Green Cities Fund, with more information available here.
- Developing the business case for green cities (GC15000), a new Green Cities Fund project that will help build the evidence base and tools needed by organisation to make business cases for urban greening.
- Global Masterclass in Horticultural Business (LP15001), a project that’s part of the Leadership Fund, which you can read more about here. The nursery levy funds three scholarships annually under this project, for industry levy-payers to take part in the Masterclass in Horticultural Business course. Read more on the course and the story of one of its nursery participants in this Nursery Paper, watch a short video on the Masterclass here, and look for future scholarship opportunities to be advertised in industry channels when available.
- Attracting new entrants into Australian horticulture – promoting careers in horticulture (LP15006), a Leadership Fund project that is engaging graduate students with the horticulture industry. Under the project, businesses can receive funding to host an intern. Learn more in this case study with nursery business Fresh Leaf Herbs, who took part in the project’s pilot run. Businesses interested in hosting an intern are encouraged to learn more by contacting Rimfire Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.