The first half of 2021 has brought sweet relief to the VegNET – Gippsland project and Regional Development Officer Bonnie Dawson as growers and industry members have been able to reacquaint themselves with each other in person. In this column, Bonnie provides an update on recent activities in the Gippsland region.
In February, Gippsland played host to Callum Fletcher and Zarmeen Hassan from AUSVEG. Their visit presented an opportunity to bring growers, agronomists and industry representatives together for an open discussion and to share insights regarding recent pest incursions and threats, particularly that of fall armyworm.
The informal nature of the meeting provided an opportunity for three-way information exchange – an overview of current knowledge and resources from AUSVEG Biosecurity Coordinator Callum, updates ‘from the field’ courtesy of the agronomists and growers in the room, and sharing of tips and knowledge between them. This was a worthwhile gathering, and there is enthusiasm for further similar occasions to be organised.
AUSVEG EnviroVeg Coordinator Danielle Park spent a week in Gippsland in March and visited 10 different growing operations. Each of these growers indicated they will be completing EnviroVeg self-assessments online this year. Having this many growers in the region responding to the self-assessment will enable a regional profile to be drawn that identifies Gippsland’s strengths, and identifies any gaps for targeted extension activities going forward.
From an industry perspective, it is hoped that this engagement with the CMA, other authorities and the broader community will improve their understanding and perception of the industry’s impact on the local environment.
Growers were also invited to share ideas on how the industry can better engage with the local community and authorities to improve their understanding of on-farm practices.
For more information:
Tel: +61 407 683 938