Australian almond industry innovation and adoption program (AL16001)
What’s it all about?
Contracted in early 2017, this project is helping to deliver technical advice to growers, promoting best practice and facilitating the adoption of R&D. It is tasked with identifying and developing initiatives to address the capacity-building requirements of the industry.
Specifically, the investment continues to support the roles and activities of Almond Board of Australia industry development officers (IDOs) including Josh Fielke (email@example.com) and Ben Wilbin (firstname.lastname@example.org). The program has also brought onboard part-time entomologist Greg Buchanan (email@example.com) who is working with the IDOs and providing a point of contact for researchers and industry regarding pest research.
At a broad level, project work for the IDOs has and will continue to include:
- Industry fields days, workshops, tours and training initiatives, which are advertised in industry channels
- Input into the industry communications program, described later on in this snapshot
- Production of fact sheets to take knowledge from projects to growers (find specific resources in the project update sections below)
- Face-to-face and other direct engagements with industry participants
- Establishment and management of demonstration plantings at the Almond Centre of Excellence, in conjunction with other projects, to promote best practise
- Support for and participation in other industry R&D projects as required
- Engagement across a range of R&D and industry committees.
This investment continues to deliver technical advice to growers to ensure best practice is promoted across the industry. Day to day advice to growers is a key part of this project, and the project team continuously seeks knowledge from their networks to advise growers about the latest technologies and solutions.
Specific activities in this report period have included:
- Appointment of Dr Greg Buchanan, former head entomologist for Agriculture Victoria, to the Industry Development team. He is coming on board to focus on liaising between researchers and growers to address significant pest issues facing the industry.
- A series of orchard hygiene field days were held at orchards in the Riverland, Sunraysia and Riverina regions which represent 96% of production.
- ABA’s Almond Conference was attended by 480 delegates and included presentations on pest and disease management. All presentation slides are available on the ABA website.
- Collaboration with Hort Innovation to obtain an Emergency Use Permit for the chemical Samurai in time for application prior to harvest.
Watch video updates from Agriculture Victoria on the:
- Integrated Disease Management Program with Dr Jacqueline Edwards, lead researcher of the Plant Pathology team.
- Integrated Pest Management Program with Dr Paul Cunningham, lead researcher of the invertebrate & weed science team.
Access all the presentation slides from the 2018 Australian Almond Conference held in October.
A recent focus of the industry development team has been promoting best practices for orchard hygiene to reduce pest pressure. Until the industry’s pest and disease projects (funded through other Hort Innovation Almond Fund investments) develop new control measures and guidelines for key orchard issues, the team notes that “orchard hygiene or sanitation is the best option to reduce the impact of Carpophilus beetle and also carob moth”. To this end, the team is focused on providing practical guidance for growers including through articles, fact sheets, e-newsletters, videos, grower forums and one-to-one advice.
Work has also been undertaken with chemical companies to trial new chemistry and existing products to reach a position where these can be registered or minor use permits granted.
Access just some of the information and resources recently produced by the program below.
- Fact sheet: Implementing best practice for orchard hygiene
- Video: Best practice for orchard hygiene with former IDO Brett Rosenzweig
- Video: Carob moth and orchard management
- The Australian Almonds interactive flowering synchronisation tool, which was released at the end of April 2018
- Almond variety fact sheets have recently been updated on the Almond Board of Australia website, with new yield and flowering information added
- An update on the experimental orchard at the Almond Centre for Excellence, including future trials that are planned, was provided in the R&D Roundup of the Autumn 2018 In A Nutshell (from p18).
- Resources for assessing phenology, including fact sheets and the Australian Almond flowering reporting tool have also recently been updated on the Almond Board of Australia website, including here.
Access recent resources and presentations relating to the project, including…
- A new Almond Production Spreadsheet, updated in January 2018, to aid in the explanation, budgeting and tracking of almond irrigation, fertiliser and foliar applications (it also has an instruction document here)
- Materials from an insect pest management workshop delivered in November 2017
- Information on canker diseases from workshops delivered in November 2017, including a fact sheet on diagnosis and management
- Information on the Almond Centre for Excellence including this time-lapse video of its development and this orchard info presented at the 2017 Australian Almond R&D Forum & Field Day held in October.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Almond Fund