PRUNE FUND SNAPSHOT

Prune

See how the prune levy is hard at work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the industry levy, and results from these investments, in the R&D snapshot – or click on a project name below to go straight to a specific update. Also look for the ‘ACT NOW’ tag to easily identify project resources ready to use.

All projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the prune R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government. In some projects, additional funding sources are also used.

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Don’t forget to grab the Prune Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Prune Fund Annual Report sums up all levy investments and activities from 2016/17. You can download a copy here, or head to Hort Innovation’s Annual Report Portal to place an order for a free hard copy of the report.

What research do you want to see?

As always, Hort Innovation encourages all growers and industry participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the research they want to see – whether that’s within the industry-specific Prune Fund (where research is funded by grower levies and Australian Government contributions), or within Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative, Hort Frontiers (where research is funded through partnerships with co-investors).

Watch this video to see how ideas are collected and grown into projects, then submit your suggestions for new projects here.

Get closer to your investments with free membership

Hort Innovation membership brings you closer to the investment activities and results in your levy fund, and to the organisation as a whole. As well as providing the opportunity for voting rights at the company’s Annual General Meeting, membership helps you connect with your industry’s Relationship Manager, sends Hortlink straight to your inbox for first-look access, provides exclusive Grower Intel alerts with industry-specific news and opportunities, and more.

Paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a member, so read more here and sign up now!

Find resources on the Hort Innovation Prune Fund page…

Along with Hortlink, Hort Innovation’s webpage for prune levy payers is a great source of info. On it you’ll find:

  • Key documents including the Prune Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier 2017, and the Prune Fund Annual Report
  • The latest meeting notes from the prune Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which will next meet in early 2018
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including operating statements and project expenditure summaries
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.
Any questions?

Hort Innovation Relationship Management Lead Will Gordon is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Prune Fund program. He can be reached on 0427 920 924 or at will.gordon@horticulture.com.au.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Innovation and adoption for the Australian prune industry (DP15002)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Ann Furner

What’s it all about? Beginning in late 2016, this project funds a dedicated industry development officer (IDO), Ann Furner, to provide Australian prune growers and other industry stakeholders with information and know-how on R&D, new technologies and best-practice management. The ultimate goal of the project is to drive the adoption of new technologies and practices, and to support decision-making within businesses.

The IDO is also involved in the evaluation of new prune varieties and work into prune quality assurance.

What’s it all about? Beginning in late 2016, this project funds a dedicated industry development officer (IDO), Ann Furner, to provide Australian prune growers and other industry stakeholders with information and know-how on R&D, new technologies and best-practice management. The goal of the project is to drive the adoption of new technologies and practices, and to support decision-making within businesses.

The IDO is also involved in the evaluation of new prune varieties and work into prune quality assurance.

What’s the latest update? As always, Ann’s activities for the industry through this project continue to include…

  • Communication activities, from production and distribution of the regular Aus Prunes E-News digital newsletter, to creation of prune content delivered through The Vine magazine (produced under project MT15031, described below) and use of SMS alerts to growers for relevant news, including about industry events.
  • Continued liaison with and availability for prune growers and other industry participants to understand industry concerns and needs, and to provide information and discuss issues.
  • Organisation and delivery of information sessions, training, field days and other extension activities for growers, dehydrators and other industry participants. This includes implementation of the Dry Right Quality Assurance Program, which was introduced to dehydrators in 2017 to improve consistency in Australian prunes, and has been tweaked ahead of summer 2018. The Dry Right guide is available for dehydrators online, behind the log-in section at www.ausprunes.org.au. Ann will also be working on the upcoming Grow Right Quality Assurance Program for growers.

Ann is currently organising an upcoming field day/information session on plant nutrition and alternative fertiliser options, which is expected to be held after harvest in 2018. Look for details in industry channels as they become available.

Also in this space, through her role Ann has helped secure additional funding through the Australian Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, to “invest in people and culture to reinvigorate the Australian prune industry to ensure its viability and sustainability”. This will help assist with field days, guest speakers and the like, in the business in leadership space.

  • Work towards initiatives including the 2017 Prune Planting and Production Survey, with growers able to participate at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Ausprunes. Make sure you jump in and fill out the survey as soon as you can – it will draw to a close by the end of 2017.
  • Continuation of trials, including ongoing evaluation of trees as part of varietal trial sites, as well as ongoing collection of chill data for the Australian Prune Industry Association’s chill hour monitoring program. Ann includes timely updates on these activities in the Aus Prunes E-News, including updates on the variety trial in pictorial form that growers can use to compare their own orchards.

Ann has also been working on preparations for the International Prune Congress, to be held in France in May 2018.

ACT NOW
  

As well as accessing the resources above, you can reach IDO Ann Furner on 0467 681 007 or at afurner@ausprunes.org.au about any of these activities.

 Australian dried fruit communications program (MT15031)

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Dried Fruits Australia

What’s it all about? Established in 2016, this project continues to maintain and improve communication to Australian dried fruit growers and other industry stakeholders. By keeping the industry up-to-date on R&D, news, events and other critical information, its ultimate goal is to facilitate the uptake of R&D by the industry and support decision-making in dried fruit businesses.

This project is a multi-industry project. Carried out for the benefit of more than one levy industry, it has funding from a combination of industries along with Australian Government contributions.

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:

ACT NOW
  

As well as accessing the resources above, if you’re a dried fruit producer and don’t currently receive levy-funded e-newsletters you can sign up by contacting the Dried Fruits Australia team at communications@driedfruitsaustralia.org.au.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Enhanced National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (MT16005), which is delivering a nationally coordinated bee-pest surveillance program to help safeguard honey-bee and pollinator-dependent industries in Australia. It builds upon the previous National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (MT12011), and includes upgrading sentinel hive arrays, strengthening relationships with surveillance operators, the introduction of new elements such as Asian hornet screening and more. The surveillance is designed to enable the early detection of high-priority pest incursions that can impact on honey bees, providing the best opportunity for successful pest eradication. The prune industry is one of several contributors to the project’s work.
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2017-12-07T08:31:28+00:00