1. THE GROWER 2. GREENHOUSE STRUCTURE FEATURED 3. CROPS GROWN. Hung Nguyen: ,

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1 1. THE GROWER Hung Nguyen: , Hung is a new grower in his third year of independent farm management. He completed a Diploma in Horticulture while working on his parent s farm and helped them to make important changes to their soil and pest management with the knowledge he gained. He has since established his own property and implemented Advanced IPM there as well as encouraging his parents to do the same. 2. GREENHOUSE STRUCTURE FEATURED Total farm size (parents old farm): 1.5Ha, Hung's new farm: 1.6Ha Featured structure Conventional polyhouse Height: 3.2 to gutter (a bit higher than most) 6 houses (42m wide x 48m long) Total area: 2016m 2 Modified Features Double meshing on western side to reduce dust & mites 3. CROPS GROWN In selected structure Blocky capsicums In other structures Capsicums PHOTO OF HIS PRODUCTION

2 4. PRODUCTIVIT IMPROVEMENTS DUE TO PRACTICE CHANGE CHANGE IN IELDS/QUALIT Variable measured Before After Change % Plant density/m Good quality fruit/plant ield (Kg) per m $/m $1.80/Kg Whole block gain $32,376 $44, ISSUES ADDRESSED TO ACHIEVE CROP IMPROVEMENTS Hung identified a significant level of loss or damage due to: Serious issues with thrips and virus, also with root knot nematodes High soil salinity Wet ends on the greenhouse promoting root diseases and weak plants Sub-soil issues due to a shallow water table and a shallow reactive carbonate layer Plants sometimes stretching with over application of Nitrogen fertiliser Fruit burning during hot weather and slow plants during cold weather SUMMAR OF MONE AND TIME SPENT (ONE BLOCK) AND RESULTS ACHIEVED ISSUE ADDRESSED MONE SPENT +/- TIME SPENT +/- RESULTS Information and learning Cert IV in Hort 1, hrs Well structured program Internet & other sources 1hr/wk internet etc and decision making. V Soil testing Leaf testing hrs when needed sampling & sending good understanding of soil and plant needs and Crop monitoring (nutrition, - 7hrs/week (+4) management water, pests, setting) Compost application: Composted chicken straw 400 Spreading 220 Salinity management Ripping Own equpt Time to rip Salinity now well under Pre plant leaching through A bit more Time to run control. dripper leaching Aquacal 50 Nutrient management Switched to Calsap Cheaper No issues and about 20% Monitoring As above saving Precision irrigation: - Shorter irrigation events - Plants stronger - less root issues Pest management: IPM program 3,792.6wks saved on Much better control and pesticides 800 less spraying time higher quality Soil fumigation Chemical via dripper 750 2hrs Control is not adequate Climate/weather stress Increased protection from low plastic end walls, 75 2hrs cold winds for young Inner skin 60 4hrs plants

3 ADDITIONAL COMMENTS Hung has adopted a range of new/improved management practices that have returned substantial benefit and are now a continuing part of his program including: Completing a Diploma in Horticulture training program which cost about $1,000. This supported most of the other investments and changes he went on to make including Spending a lot of time doing close crop monitoring in most key areas of plant health, including soil and leaf) testing. Combining monitoring with other measures below has led to strong improvements in plant health and quality of fruit, eg less blossom end rot, more setting, and reduced fungal root disease. Implementing Advanced Bio-control on both his parent's farm and his own new farm has paid off very well, virtually eradicating thrips virus and spider mite issues. The IPM contract costs have been more than offset by pesticide savings (previously around $ over the whole farm An initial attempt at fumigating through his drippers was only partially successful. Control of root disease improved, but nematode control only lasted for half the crop life. Using chicken straw compost to improve soil carbon, and to reduce salinity. Changing fumigation chemicals (from Metham Na to Rural In-line) and application also seemed to reduce salinity. His soil was initially very saline with no structure on the old farm featured in this study. Irrigating in smaller amounts to be more aligned with actual plant needs. Reducing Nitrogen output to match plant needs Installing additional plastic side walls and ceiling skin to help with cold weather issues 5. MAIN ISSUES, MANAGEMENT CHANGES & ECONOMIC IMPACT Read on for details regarding the actions Andrew took, their effectiveness and cost A. Pest and disease issues Western Flower Thrips (WFT) and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) infection (65%est loss) WFT and TSWV: Advanced IPM program with initial soil fumigation to kill thrips pupae Excellent. Previous 60% loss reduced to 5% ACTION TAKEN COST INCREASE/SAVINGS EXTRA TIME/SAVINGS Advanced IPM service $1.71/m2 + GST = $3,447 (+ chemicals). Overall 2/3 reduction in spraying time Previously Success + others / wk = $10,000 for the whole farm. Pesticide savings now approx. 32 sprays vs 12 sprays Fumigation (see A2. Nematodes below)

4 Nematodes - Roots knotting and weakening leading to a shorter crop cycle Fumigated through drippers and covered with plastic sheeting for the first time Not much apparent nematode control (but improved disease control) ACTION TAKEN COST INCREASE/SAVINGS EXTRA TIME/SAVINGS Fumigation 1, per block 2hrs treating and irrigating

5 B. Root health (soil condition) B. Various soil condition and root issues were causing significant losses Salinity - Issues with nutrient and water uptake (25% est. loss)_ Wet ends on the greenhouse with weaker plants at ends High water table (15cm) pushing water and salinity into the root zone > drowning, reduced nutrient uptake, and root disease problems Root diseases in general Shallow carbonate causing root retardation > reduced nutrient and water uptake Salinity: Wet soil up 2 weeks before planting > Leaching with Aquacal. Leach again after planting. Irrigate with short pulses only > one longer one every month. Wet ends: Mounding next crop. Modified irrigation (from 1hr once per wk to 3 x 20 ) so less water in the soil each time Root diseases: Fumigated drippers and plastic first time. Shallow carbonate: Mounding next crop. Organic matter: Applies chicken straw compost Salinity issues: Reduced est. loss from 25% to 15%. High water table: Water table is responding to less irrigation water. Has dropped from 15 > 30cm. Mounding should help further. Fumigation worked well on root diseases. Crop lasting a lot longer (9.5months >12). ACTION TAKEN COST INCREASE/SAVINGS EXTRA TIME/SAVINGS Leaching with Aquacal 1 drum Aquacal, $700 (+ GST) 45mins each time Modified smaller water applications Fumigation - drippers and plastic cover As above for nematodes.75 days handling plastic 2hrs treating and irrigating Chicken straw compost 840 (30m3 x $28) spreading 220 contractor Mounding next crop Has the equipment.5 day for 2 blocks to mound C. Nutrient imbalances N/A D. Wilting and irrigation management N/A

6 E. Plant development (stretching, not growing, not flowering, not holding flowers) Plants stretching and producing less fruit per plant Checking and reducing N outputs Cleaning glass to reduce morning condensation Successful Slight saving on reduced N fertiliser F. Fruit damage - burning, cracking, distortion Hot weather fruit burn (Blossom End Rot) - Unmarketable fruit Hot weather fruit burn 3x more Calcium (Root Feed + triple CaN; will increase by another 12% in future) and improved salinity management These actions ahvce has resulted in less burning, reduced from 20% to 12%). Damage in a new blocky variety is down to 1% last season. Additional Ca input (aquacal-1 drum) G. General climate control issues Managing extremes of Heat & Cold End walls to 1.5 to reduce cold, wind, pests, dust (lifts up) Occasional winter second plastic skin on sides to warm air coming in. also cools hot air inside. More balanced climate. End walls: Improved mixing of cold air down low. Reduced rain soakage on ends. Inner plastic skin: more rapid early growth Costs and time involved ACTION TAKEN COST INCREASE/SAVINGS EXTRA TIME/SAVINGS End walls $ hrs Winter plastic skin $ hrs

7 6. HUNG'S BEST PRACTICE CHECK LIST Foundational best practices adopted (Monitoring and Records) es/ No 1. Soil condition lab self y 2. Water stress plant soil irrigation system? performance 3. Salinity stress 4. Nutritional stress foliar test visual obs fert applications 5. Climatic stress cold heat humidity light 6. Ideal plant development Veg/gen Flowering Setting Weakness/Damage 7. Pest and Disease activity Levels Spray aps Bio-con 8. Commercial data ields Sales Costs Records kept y?? Practice comments Laboratory soil testing Texture and RAW IPM program supplies reports

8 7. LEARNING STRATEGIES USED Learning pathways Cert IV Internet Audio podcasts from internet Keen to develop better market returns through personal contact with professional buyers 8. ADDITIONAL HELP WANTED Issue Nematodes Assistance sought Cover cropping - options for nematodes Improved fumigation techniques/chemicals Plant development Climate issues Understanding the plants development and needs Automatic control of opening etc. linked to sensors Reduce wind damage to plastic coverings! 9. OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT HUNG

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