Queensland Fruit _ Vegetable Growers by wuyunyi

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									                                       Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers

                                 Submission to the Productivity Commission study

        “Industries in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment and measures to address

                                                                 declining water quality”




Executive Summary




Introduction and background
Π  The Queensland fruit and vegetable industry
Π  The role of Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers




The economic and social importance of horticultural industries in the GBR
Catchment
Π  Economic and social profile of the fruit and veg industry in reef catchments and as
    proportion of overall industry




Growth projections for horticultural industries in 2010 and 2020




The horticultural industry’s approach to water quality management
Π  Potential effects on water quality from fruit and vegetable production in reef
    catchments
Œ   The Queensland fruit and vegetable industry’s environmental code of practice
    (Farmcare)
Π  Other water quality management initiatives in the Queensland fruit and vegetable
    industry:
    Π    Water for Profit
    Π    Integrated Pest Management
    Π    ChemCert, ChemCollect and DrumMuster
    Π    Environmental Management Systems case studies
    Π    Environmental management training course
    Π    Riparian zone management
    Π  Waste-water management




Future directions towards systematic and documented environmental management
Π  Beyond the Farmcare environmental code of practice




Appropriate policy options from a horticultural industry perspective




Attachments
1. QFVG policy statements regarding natural resource and water management
2. Farmcare practices relevant to water quality protection
3. Farmcare Code of Practice compliance checklist
4. Horticulture guidelines for the Johnstone River Catchment
5. Further information regarding the Water for Profit program
6. Queensland Horticulture Institute report on the adoption of Integrated Pest
    Management (IPM) in the Wet Tropics banana industry
7. Flyer regarding the Wet Tropics banana industry EMS case study
8. QFF draft discussion paper regarding the development of a long term plan for
    integrated natural resource management
9. Slides to illustrate the concept of the long term plan for integrated natural resource
    management
                                                                 Executive Summary


Members of the fruit and vegetable industry located in the catchments that drain to the
Great Barrier Reef take seriously their responsibilities to limit any environmental impacts
from their farming activities. Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) maintains a
number of programs to support its members to improve their environmental management.
QFVG’s policy regarding natural resource and environmental management is included at
the end of this summary.


QFVG believes that the state of water quality reaching the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an
indicator of the overall health and sustainability of the full suite of land uses in reef
catchments. Our comments in this submission, therefore, will take a broader view of the
issues and discuss future directions towards sustainable development, environmental
protection and sound natural resource management, rather than focus specifically on
water quality protection.


Also for these reasons, QFVG is seeking the development of an integrated sustainability
strategy for rural industries in Queensland that overhauls the current approach in which
single issues are being tackled through a series of disjointed planning processes.


Accordingly, QFVG does not support the development of a separate plan for protection of
water quality reaching the Great Barrier Reef. Good water quality should be an outcome
of an overarching and integrated initiative to drive sustainable natural resource
management in Queensland. Such an initiative can be achieved through a clearly defined
partnership approach between the three levels of government, regional natural resource
management boards and rural industries.


Queensland is Australia’s premier horticultural producing state, valued at $1.2 billion and
directly employing around 25 000 people. Horticulture is the second largest primary
industry in Queensland, behind the cattle industry.


Fruit and vegetable production in reef catchments was valued at $707.9 million at 30 June
2002 (Source: ABS Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced: Australia, States and
SD).
The horticulture sector plays a vital role in the regional economies and communities of
Queensland, often enhancing the economic diversification of small communities. It has a
strongly symbiotic relationship with the tourism sector as over 3000 holiday makers work in
the fruit and vegetable industry each year and spend much of their earnings on tourist
activities.


The industry is dominated by small enterprises operating as partnerships and sole
proprietors – mostly family farms.       The market is extremely competitive.        Business
managers have little or no capacity to absorb or to pass on increased costs of production
or lowered productivity due to demands for conservation or environmental management
that generate mostly public rather than private benefits.       Growers are also unable to
continually take time away from their businesses to participate in the multitude of planning
processes under way to separately address natural resource management issues.


The industry is highly efficient in its use of natural resources, occupying only three per cent
of Queensland’s cropping land and using ten per cent of irrigation supplies to produce
almost 40 per cent of the value of all irrigated products.


The industry has made significant investments in improving the environmental
sustainability of its production systems. Our key successes have been in improved water
use efficiency, rapid uptake of integrated pest management systems and the adoption of a
comprehensive environmental code of practice.            Strong partnerships with research
organisations, in particular the Queensland Horticulture Institute and Horticulture Australia,
support a growing portfolio of research into sustainable production systems.


QFVG and our members do recognise, however, that there is a need for further
improvement. The critical issue our industry faces regarding reef protection is minimising
the off-site movement of sediments, nutrients or pesticides from farms and pack houses in
reef catchments.


When supported by appropriate strategic agreements, institutional arrangements, financial
incentives and funding programs, organisations such as QFVG have demonstrated their
capacity to drive significant improvements in natural resource management within rural
industries.
QFVG, therefore, is developing a proposal for the delivery of a major program aimed at
supporting fruit and vegetable growers to take a more active, target-focussed, systematic
and documented approach to environmental management. The new program would be
modelled on the hugely successful rural water use efficiency initiative, which QFVG is
delivering on behalf of the Queensland Government.


The proposed program, however, must be embedded in, and offer the delivery arm of, an
overarching strategic plan for sustainable and integrated natural resource management in
Queensland.     QFVG seeks the support of the Commonwealth and Queensland
Governments to work towards this goal.
                         QUEENSLAND FRUIT & VEGETABLE GROWERS
                           NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICY STATEMENT


Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers supports its members goal to be responsible
custodians of natural resources and rural environments.

Good environmental management practices for the horticulture industry are described in
the Farmcare Code of Practice for Sustainable Fruit and Vegetable Production in
Queensland and include:
Π  Efficient and careful use of natural resources, particularly water and soils.
Π  Minimising environmental impacts caused by horticultural land use, particularly run-off
    of sediments, fertilisers and pesticides into waterways.
Π  Minimising waste and pollution from horticultural land use.
Π  Careful use of pesticides.
Π  Minimising impacts on biodiversity.

The Farmcare Code has been endorsed by the Queensland Government as an approved
Code of Practice under Section 219 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

The Code constitutes an industry standard giving guidance to growers in meeting their
’General Environmental Duty’ under the Act.

QFVG supports the sustainable development of the horticulture industry in Queensland.
This requires horticultural enterprises to be profitable and socially viable as well as
environmentally safe. This ‘triple bottom line’ approach will be used to monitor and report
on the industry’s performance. The organisation will maintain an environment program
designed to assist its members to continually improve their environmental performance
and achieve ecological sustainability in the industry.

QFVG and its members aim to work in partnership with government, research
organisations, regional and catchment management organisations, the community and
other stakeholders to develop long-term solutions to natural resource and environmental
management issues. Through this approach, we aim to deliver workable and balanced
outcomes for the industry that also benefit the broader community.

QFVG seeks recognition and commitment from government and the community that the
industry requires support to achieve its goal of ecological sustainability. In particular, the
industry requires:

Π  Negotiated transition phases of an appropriate and agreed timeframe that allow
    industry time to adapt or restructure to legislative or policy changes, implement
    changes to practices or develop solutions to problems.
Π  Financial and other support for growers when the public benefits of environmental
    management outweigh private benefits, and when the community’s expectations of
    environmental management or biodiversity conservation restrict growers’ farm
    management beyond current recommended practices.
Π  A range of financial and market-based incentives be explored and used as much as
    possible to encourage the adoption of improved environmental management practices.
Π  Institutional, economic and other barriers to the adoption of sustainable management
    practices be identified and addressed.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AGENDA ISSUES
Issues to be considered within the broader environment policy heading include:
Π  A 10-year plan for natural resource management in Queensland.
Π  Sustainability.
Π  Industry self-regulation where possible.
Π  Natural resource planning and management based on sound science.
Π  Vegetation Management/Tree clearing.
Π  Water quality.
Π  Salinity.
Π  Greenhouse and climate change.
Π  Chemical use.
Π  Biodiversity.
Π  Wildlife management.
Π  Great Barrier Reef.
Π  Acid-sulphate soils.
Π  Pest and weed management.
Π  Competing land use eg urban development in rural areas.
Π  Local government land use planning.
Π  Regional and catchment planning and management within an overarching framework.
Π  Property management planning.
Π  Natural resource access, allocation and trading (eg water, carbon credits).
Π  Organic food production.
Π  Genetically modified organisms.
Π  Environmental Management Systems in agriculture.



WATER POLICY STATEMENT


The importance of water to horticulture is unquestionable. Rural industries are facing
increasing competitive demands for Queensland’s finite water supply. The viability of
horticulture in Queensland depends upon the availability, price, and the way in which
available water resources and the integrity of catchments are managed.


With the use of water resources comes responsibility. Water issues have become
increasingly important throughout the community, and the focus is on using this resource
sustainably in the future.

Markets for water rights should be developed which enable the optimum distribution of
water in the market place between alternative users.
WATER AGENDA ISSUES
Issues to be considered within the broader water policy heading include:
Π  Availability and access.
Π  Efficiency of use, including extension of the Water for Profit Rural Water Use Efficiency
    Initiative.
Π  Water pricing.
Π  New infrastructure.
Π  Water Resource Plans.
Π  Local management.
Π  Legislation and regulation including water property rights, pricing and the coordination
    of property management plans.
Π  Water infrastructure including:
    Π  State government approach.
    Π  Water infrastructure projects.
Π  COAG water reform issues.
Π  Waste water policy issues.
Π  Review and monitoring of Water Resource Plans.
Π  Land and Water Management Plans.
Π  Water trading.
Π  Unallocated water.
Π  Penalty systems for unauthorised water use.
Π  Metering.
                                                     Introduction and background


Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) is the industry representative body for
horticulture in Queensland, representing a $1.2 billion industry comprising 6 500 growers
in 3 500 business enterprises producing over 120 types of produce for domestic and
international markets.




The Queensland fruit and vegetable industry

Horticulture contributes 16% towards the gross value of the State’s primary industries and
is Queensland’s second largest primary industry behind cattle. The fruit and vegetable
industry is growing, is presently valued at more than $1.2 billion and directly employs
around 25,000 people.       A map showing the location of Queensland’s major growing
districts is presented in Figure 1.


Horticulture’s contribution to regional economies is significant both in economic and social
terms.    Queensland, the most decentralised state in Australia, has only 46% of its
population living in the Brisbane Statistical Division. Nationwide, agriculture contributes
more than half of total employment in 28 per cent of small non-coastal towns (ABARE,
Country Australia, p38). A host of rural communities rely heavily on business created by
local horticulture enterprises for example:


Π  Primary industry input and service industries eg provision of fertilisers, chemicals,
    petroleum products, mechanical repairs and road transport.
Π  Processing industries eg fruit processing and canning.
Π  Human services industries eg hospitals, schools.
Π  Infrastructure development and services eg water supply, road and street maintenance.
Π  Port services eg specialist commodity loading facilities.


By expanding into new areas eg citrus growing near Emerald and tropical fruits in North
Queensland, the horticulture industry is providing new inputs into regions and providing
diversified opportunities for both business development and job creation. The horticulture
industry also provides inputs into many urban-based value-adding activities, from service
industries to logistics.
Figure 1 Queensland’s fruit and vegetable growing districts


Atherton Tableland – mangoes, potatoes,         Gympie – cucurbits, beans, mangoes
avocadoes, lychees, pawpaw, exotic fruit
Tully-Innisfail - bananas, lychees, pawpaws,    Sunshine Coast – bananas, pineapples,
exotic fruits, melons                           avocados, strawberries, passionfruit, mangoes,
                                                beans, pawpaws, chokos
Burdekin-Bowen – tomatoes, mangoes,             Brisbane region – lettuce, potatoes, spring
capsicums, melons, cucumbers, eggplant          onions, sweet potatoes
Yeppoon – pineapples, mangoes, exotic fruits    Lockyer and Fassifern Valleys – lettuce,
                                                potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, onions,
                                                cucurbits, cauliflower, cabbage, melons,
                                                beetroot, capsicums, beans, leafy vegetables
Rockhampton – grapes, melons, pawpaws,          Darling Downs – lettuce, broccoli, melons,
mangoes                                         stone fruit, grapes
Emerald – citrus, grapes                        Mt Tamborine – avocadoes, kiwifruit
Bundaberg – tomatoes, capsicums, melons,        Granite Belt – apples, stone fruit, grapes,
zucchini, cucumbers, lychees, mangoes,          celery, cauliflower, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage,
avocados, pineapples, bananas, citrus           capsicums
Central Burnett – citrus, stone fruit, grapes   St George – grapes, melons, capsicums
The industry is characterised by small businesses operating in a highly competitive market.
Partnerships and sole proprietors own approximately 85 percent of Queensland
horticultural farm businesses. The majority of these farm businesses are family farms.


The economic base of the industry is diverse and ranges across geographic and climatic
regions and crops – it is a diverse ‘investment portfolio’, employing large numbers of
permanent and seasonal workers.


Growers also employ participants in the Commonwealth Government’s working holiday-
maker scheme. Over 3,000 working holiday-makers from 12 countries (DEWRSB, 2002)
work in the Queensland industry each year to fund their travels. Most stay for 12 months,
and take up to three jobs, spending much of their income in the tourism sector.


Crops
Queensland growers produce more than 120 types of fruit and vegetables and hundreds
more in different varieties.     Production ranges from temperate stone fruits and staple
vegetables to exotic tropical fruits and Asian vegetables.


Queensland's production accounts for 30 per cent of all fruit and vegetables grown in
Australia, including 80 per cent of Australia’s tropical fruit, making it the nation's premier
horticultural producing state.


The state enjoys the advantage of being able to supply export and domestic markets all
year, often for much earlier periods than horticultural regions interstate.


Queensland’s fruit and vegetable growers produce nearly 100 per cent of Australia’s
pineapples, 90 per cent of our beetroot crops, over 70 per cent of our mangoes, 80 per
cent of Australia’s banana and mandarin crops and 72 per cent of capsicum crops.


Queensland is a significant producer of melons, lettuce, strawberries, pumpkin, beans,
avocados, broccoli, tomatoes and shallots.


Queensland is also the major producer of exotic tropical fruits such as papaws, custard
apples, lychees, rambutans, pepinos, star fruit, carambola and durians.


The production of Asian vegetables is emerging as an important segment of the Australian
vegetable industry with increasing domestic and export sales.
Value Adding
Agriculture also represents a significant input into many other industries, particularly the
food processing industry, which had a turnover of $51.2 billion and a value added of $14.2
billion in 1999-2000.         Food processing is the largest industry subdivision of total
manufacturing, both by value added, and by employment. The sector also provides over
$11 billion of exports (Source: ABS, Manufacturing Industry, Australia, (Cat no 8221.0)).


An increasing number of value-added products with a variety of flavours and combinations
are being produced in Queensland, including:


Π  Pre-packed and ready-to-serve coleslaws.
Π  Fruit salads.
Π  Shelf stable fruit and vegetables (packed in cans, glass or plastic).
Π  Jams, preserves and simmer sauces.
Π  Curried vegetables.
Π  Salad mixes.


Over the past few years, juice production has increased to become a significant industry.
Orange juice comprises the largest share of juice production with oranges grown
especially for their juice.


Other fruits and vegetables that are juiced include:


Π  Mandarins.
Π  Apples.
Π  Apricots.
Π  Mangoes.
Π  Pears.
Π  Pineapples.
Trends
Horticulture is a growing industry. It is not often recognised that Australian agriculture has
demonstrated significant increases in productivity over the past decade.            Agricultural
productivity increased by 3.3 per cent per year between 1988 and 2000, well above the
average of 1.2 per cent and the second highest in the market sector (after
communications)     (OECD, Economic Surveys – Australia 2000-01, p82).             This fact in
particular should dispel the myth that the agricultural sector is “old economy”. Farmers
have been adopting new technologies and improving practices with enthusiasm.


Continued growth by the industry in Queensland is forecast, driven by the development of
new markets, better marketing and new technology. With the current downturn in some
agricultural sectors, particularly the sugar industry, it is likely that a significant number of
Queensland farmers will enter the comparatively lucrative horticulture industry. However,
these new entrants require capital for investment, training in best practice production
methods and marketing skills in order to succeed in the change from a single desk
marketing system (eg sugar and formerly dairy) to a free market trading system.


Queensland growers are seeing more export opportunities.              Through the efforts of
individual producers and industry organisations such as QFVG and Horticulture Australia
Limited, overseas markets are set to expand in the medium term.              This will provide
economic growth and social development opportunities in both rural and urban
communities.


Exports
In the trade arena, Queensland exports 13 per cent of Australia's total fruit exports and 17
per cent of Australia's total vegetable exports. While around 50 per cent of all Australian
food exports are destined for Asian markets, by comparison, more than 80 per cent of
Queensland's horticulture exports go to Asia, indicating that Queensland growers are
export ready and ahead of the trend.


The majority of Queensland vegetable exports are aimed at high quality, niche markets.


In 1999-00, the five key export markets for Queensland vegetables were New Zealand,
Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Together these five countries accounted for
81 per cent of Queensland’s total vegetable exports.
In 1999-00, the five key export markets for Queensland fruit were Japan, Hong Kong, New
Zealand, USA, and Singapore. Together these five countries accounted for 68 per cent of
Queensland’s total fruit export value.


The success of Queensland’s horticulture export industry relates to the:


Π  Availability of counter-seasonal products to Northern Hemisphere markets.
Π  Ability to offer a range of quality products because of diverse geographical and climatic
    conditions.
Π  Maintenance of a clean and healthy environment, enhanced by HACCP (Hazard
    Accident Critical Control Point) based quality assurance applications eg SQF 2000 and
    Freshcare.
Π  Use of advanced infrastructure and post-harvest technology ranging from grading
    technology, packing equipment, labelling equipment, cold storage and transport
    technologies to prolong the life of fresh produce either in storage or during long
    distance transport.


Marketing and Value Chains
The fresh fruit and vegetable trade is now a global industry driven by the demands of
international supermarket chains (and their customers) and vertically integrated produce
supply companies.


Producers need to be able to guarantee continuity and quality of supply in order to access
high value export markets. Many Queensland marketing groups have formed to take
advantage of this, by providing critical mass and a good reputation for quality.


Experience shows that by working together and considering strategic business alliances
with retail and food service sector buyers, farmers can lift profits and enhance long-term
viability. They can achieve this by moving further along the value chain, having a closer
relationship with food service sector buyers and consumers, and at the same time
monitoring trends and competitors.


Technology
The level of technology adopted by the horticultural industry is world class, having
changed significantly during the last two decades. These changes have been influenced
by the need to improve production efficiencies in the face of rising competition and input
costs, along with the need to ensure the sustainability of farming practices. R&D activities
have returned significant outcomes to the industry in terms of commercialised products
and methods. Examples include the introduction of more vigorous and high yielding root
stock, extensive planting of disease resistant varieties, better trellising techniques, more
efficient irrigation practices, integrated biological and chemical pest control, automated
planting, mechanical harvesting and improved human resource management and
workplace health and safety practices.


In addition, new packaging methods and improved post-harvest technology and handling
have improved the quality of the product reaching the consumer.


An important feature of technology applied to primary industries is that it is concerned with
embodying new knowledge and increased value in agricultural commodities. Agricultural
commodities are not part of “the old economy”.           They make significant economic
contributions through the implementation of innovative technologies in production, quality,
consistency, the development of new varieties, water use efficiency, and pest and disease
management.


Strategic Advantages
The Queensland industry is recognised both domestically and internationally for:
Π     Its close proximity to key export markets.
Π     Its reputation for safe, high quality produce grown to ever-increasing levels of
       sustainability.
Π     Professional producers and support from industry associations and government.
Π     A sophisticated supply chain.
Π     The competitive nature of the industry.


Natural Resource Management
Queensland’s fruit and vegetable industry is a leading example of using a little to achieve a
lot.      It provides a textbook study in combining high value output, intensive farming
practices using advanced technology and minimal use of natural resources such as land
and water.


The industry occupies only three per cent of the State’s total land under crops. It accounts
for a mere 10 per cent of the State’s irrigation water, yet produces almost 40 per cent of
the value of all irrigated products.


As responsible custodians of our natural resources, growers are increasingly adopting
sustainable farm management practices and earning a strong reputation as safe food
producers. Our commitment to clean, green produce is recognised around the world. One
such example of how growers are achieving this is through tools such as the Farmcare
Code of Practice for Sustainable Fruit and Vegetable Production in Queensland which
assists growers with:


Π  Efficient and careful uses of natural resources, particularly water and soils.
Π  Minimising environmental impacts caused by horticultural land use, particularly run-off
    of sediments, fertilisers and pesticides into waterways.
Π  Minimising waste and pollution from horticultural production systems.
Π  Careful use of pesticides.
Π  Minimising impacts on biodiversity.


Inhibitors and Threats to Industry Growth
Key inhibitors and threats to industry growth include:
Π  Lack of funds to develop new technologies to remain internationally competitive.
Π  A lack of research to ensure the industry has management plans prepared in case of
    exotic pest and disease incursions.
Π  The availability of irrigation water for horticultural crops.
Π  Poor prices for commodities.
Π  The introduction of new legislation or policy change without adequate transitional or
    adjustment arrangements and timeframes in place.
The role of Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers


Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) champions the interests of Queensland’s
6,500 commercial growers through a range of services. While the interests and needs of
growers are divergent, they all share a common bond – the call for strong and unified
action to assist them to succeed.


QFVG provides leadership, advice and support to growers to ensure their specific needs
are met. This encompasses the identification and management of key industry matters,
political lobbying, the development and coordination of industry development programs,
marketing and promotion services, and access to beneficial commercial opportunities.


QFVG is currently in a transitionary period. The organisation is removing the statutory
arrangements that have governed it since its establishment in 1923 and is working
towards becoming a voluntary, commercially focused organisation.


By June 2003, QFVG will provide members throughout the value chain with a service that
directly meets their ever-changing needs in this dynamic industry.


QFVG’s charter is to increase the economic and environmental sustainability of its
growers. Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ policies align with The Queensland Fruit
& Vegetable Industry Future Directions Plan, developed by the Horticulture Industry
Development Council (HIDC), a high level industry consultative forum established by the
Minister for Primary Industries and Rural Communities. The Plan defines the industry’s
preferred future positioning. The Plan’s key elements include, but are not limited to:


Π  Smart Marketing, for example:
À Utilising high levels of knowledge and skills within the industry.
À Removing impediments to accessing key markets.
À Developing associated opportunities based around fruit and vegetables.


Π  Achieving Business Success, for example:
À Focusing on best practice.
À Using current success to create new products and services for tomorrow.
À Stimulating achievement and a “can do” mindset.


Π  An environmentally sustainable industry, for example:
À Meeting the standards expected by discerning customers.
À Responding to community expectations of responsible industry behaviour.
À Applying innovative practices.


Π  Co-operating to Deliver, for example:
À Working collaboratively on projects.
À Being both focussed and flexible in pursuing solutions.
À Maximising effectiveness of research and development through relevant R&D
    structures and systems and reliable funding streams.


Activities
QFVG responds directly and quickly to the changing needs of growers. The organisations’
activities fall under three main areas:


Π  Advocacy and policy Рchampioning the needs of growers to politicians and business
    and community leaders to ensure our growers’ voices are heard.
Π  Industry development services Рhelping individual growers, through industry-wide
    programs and activities, to succeed in an ever-demanding market.
Π  Member services Рproviding practical commercial services and offering access to
    special offers and discounts to give growers a leading edge.


Research and Development
In the field of research and development, QFVG is responsible for the coordination of $1.5
million dollars per annum of grower contributions towards relevant, innovative programs in
science, marketing, economics and business development critical to industry development.
These efforts are designed to build industries' focus and performance, and function at
national, regional, local and individual business levels, and through the demand chain.


Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) is the industry’s premier research and development
organisation. The portfolio of HAL covers all established horticultural industries including
fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, extractive crops, nursery products, cut flowers, turf and
foliage. The portfolio also includes processed products in chilled, frozen, dried, bottled,
packed, canned or preserved forms.


As the HAL research and development portfolio is half funded by the Australian community
through Commonwealth Government matching of industry funds, Horticulture Australia has
a responsibility to the Commonwealth Government to ensure the nation benefits from
outcomes of the R&D undertaken. Members of QFVG contribute to voluntary research
and development levies for their respective commodities. These funds are matched dollar
for dollar through HAL approved projects. QFVG is contracted to manage a significant
proportion of HAL approved projects.


Key industry issues addressed through research and development include:


Π  Efficient production systems
Π  Food quality
Π  Food safety
Π  Biotechnology
Π  Human Resources
Π  Economic research
Π  Trade, market access and quarantine
Π  Crop protection, integrated pest management and bio-control
Π  Water use efficiency and sustainable natural resource management


In June 2003, the compulsory levy collection system in the Queensland industry will cease
and it is expected that this will cause a significant impact on available private sector
funding and consequently the amount of matched funding provided by the Commonwealth
through HAL for R&D projects.


This change is occurring while demand for industry research and development is
increasing.   There is also a growing awareness that while research efforts need to
maintain a focus on productivity and quality related issues increasingly, investment must
also be made in emerging needs such as:
Π  Demand chains,
Π  Factors influencing trade,
Π  Improving the capacity to identify, develop and supply export markets
Π  Addressing environmental issues and designing sustainable production systems.


There is a danger that the range of critical issues for the industry will receive smaller and
smaller shares of the available research funds.


It is also difficult for research committees to justify significant investment in projects that
cannot demonstrate a clear benefit to a business’ bottom line. Industry members expect
that research into environmental issues that will generate more public than private benefit
should attract significant alternative funds.
 The economic and social importance of horticultural industries in
                                                                  the GBR Catchment


The economic and social contribution of horticulture
Horticulture industries are widely located throughout Queensland. An extensive range of
fruit and vegetable (and amenity) horticulture activities are undertaken in the Great Barrier
Reef catchment, from the far north, along the eastern coastal regions and in many inland
locations, such as the Central Burnett and Central Highlands. Production output resulting
from primary industry activity is largely determined by the availability of resources (e.g.
irrigation water), marketing factors, incidences of pests and diseases, and weather
conditions.


Of the $1.2 billion in annual Queensland production, fruit and vegetable growing in the
Statistical Divisions of Wide Bay-Burnett, Fitzroy, Mackay, Northern and Far North
Queensland generates $707.9 million.


The figures listed in Table 1 below are confined to crops within the ambit of QFVG’s
industry representation. This, however, is by no means intended to diminish the $81.4
million contribution made by other horticultural industries to economic and social
development in the catchment (see Table 2).


Fruit, vegetables and other horticultural industries have been the foundation of many rural
communities that have grown to provide goods and services to producers and their
employees. These industries are also providing impetus to further development of
communities that were originally based on other industries. The rapid growth of a number
of industries (e.g. citrus growing near Emerald, tropical fruits in North Queensland) is
providing new opportunities for both business development and job creation in these
communities.


Owing to the large number of horticulture crops grown throughout the State, it is often
difficult to gather enough data to confidently estimate and forecast production of particular
crops. Indeed, it is considered that the erratic nature of some of the estimates produced
could, at times, relate more to problems with data collection than with variance in
production and value. However, the fruit and vegetable estimates discussed below should
provide adequate information for determining the economic contribution of horticulture in
the Great Barrier Reef Catchment.
   Table 1 - Value of Horticultural Commodities Produced : Selected Qld SD’s, Year ending 30 June
                                                 2000
                                           Wide Bay-        Fitzroy     Mackay         Northern        Far North       Total - GBR
                                            Burnett                                                                    Catchment
                                           Value ($)       Value ($)   Value ($)       Value ($)       Value ($)        Value ($)


Apricots                               0               18,930          0           0               0               18,930
Avocados                               14,186,624      29,539          33,327      n.p.            9,416,685       23,666,175
Bananas                                1,301,909       0               n.p.        190,346         209,042,914 210,535,169
Beetroot                               0               0               0           0               n.p.            0
Broccoli                               n.p.            0               0           197,445         0               197,445
Cabbages                               n.p.            0               0           0               226,579         226,579
Capsicum,Chillies and Peppers          9,075,256       11,079          n.p.        32,588,795      n.p.            41,675,130

Carrots                                n.p.            n.p.            0           0               n.p.            0
Celery                                 0               0               0           n.p.            0               0
Cucumbers                              414,148         n.p.            0           925,902         112,819         1,452,869
Egg fruit                              0               22,570          0           0               0               22,570
French and Runner beans                5,547,907       0               0           14,922,985      n.p.            20,470,892
Grapefruit                             1,128,623       n.p.            n.p.        0               n.p.            1,128,623
Grapes - Other uses                    4,458,552       3,095,675       0           98,855          132,541         7,785,623
Grapes - Wine                          496,260         54,900          0           5,760           4,680           561,600
Green peas for fresh market            206,350         0               0           0               n.p.            206,350
Lemons and limes                       4,650,939       383,561         n.p.        35,235          460,698         5,530,433
Lettuce                                n.p.            0               0           n.p.            0               0
Mandarins                              50,336,748      8,672,755       n.p.        5,247           226,761         59,241,511
Mangoes                                3,081,197       4,229,805       n.p.        22,900,730      25,111,910      55,323,642
Marrows and Squashes                   1,421,414       n.p.            0           0               n.p.            1,421,414
Melons nec                             705,639         0               0           n.p.            0               705,639
Navel Oranges                          8,227,507       78,937          n.p.        n.p.            n.p.            8,306,444
Valencia Oranges                       2,443,239       n.p.            n.p.        0               n.p.            2,443,239
Oranges excluding Navel and Valencia   33,462          n.p.            11,918      n.p.            n.p.            45,380

Nectarines                             428,428         22,142          0           n.p.            n.p.            450,570
Onions - White and Brown               n.p.            n.p.            0           n.p.            262,864         262,864
Orchard fruit - Other                  350,430         522,012         n.p.        249,272         4,887,799       6,009,513
Orchard fruit & nuts nec               24,437,181      4,781,356       72,710      23,173,153      42,252,350      94,716,750
Other fruit                            370,784         0               0           663,117         2,885,345       3,919,246
Papaws                                 1,675,291       n.p.            n.p.        26,330          3,114,248       4,815,869
Peaches                                383,350         0               0           n.p.            n.p.            383,350
Peaches for processing                 n.p.            0               0           n.p.            n.p.            0
Peaches nec                            381,772         0               0           0               n.p.            381,772
Pineapples                             8,302,336       6,693,620       n.p.        719,797         n.p.            15,715,753
Plums                                  n.p.            42,340          0           n.p.            0               42,340
Plums and Prunes                       n.p.            42,340          0           n.p.            0               42,340
Popcorn                                384,361         0               0           0               0               384,361
Potatoes harvested before 30 June      2,822,439       n.p.            0           4,755,255       10,119,136      17,696,830

Pumpkins, Triamble, Trombone,etc       986,301         472,686         n.p.        7,816,637       2,004,315       11,279,939

Rock Melons and Cantaloupe             8,664,378       n.p.            0           14,841,192      n.p.            23,505,570
Small berry and tropical fruit         12,139,053      6,848,484       n.p.        1,599,590       215,181,696 235,768,823
  Table 1 - Value of Horticultural Commodities Produced : Selected Qld SD’s, Year ending 30 June
                                                2000
                                                   Wide Bay-              Fitzroy         Mackay          Northern            Far North           Total - GBR
                                                    Burnett                                                                                       Catchment
                                                     Value ($)           Value ($)       Value ($)        Value ($)           Value ($)            Value ($)


Snow peas                                     4,732,088              0                   0            n.p.                0                   4,732,088
Spring Onions and Shallots                    992,374                0                   0            n.p.                n.p.                992,374
Stone fruit nec                               376,093                110,861             n.p.         126,758             n.p.                613,712
Strawberries                                  n.p.                   0                   0            0                   0                   0
Sweet Corn                                    271,477                n.p.                0            3,347,124           7,867               3,626,468
Tomatoes for fresh market                     19,547,936             25,832              0            72,491,485          n.p.                92,065,253


Tomatoes for processing                       0                      0                   0            18,575              0                   18,575
Vegetables for human consumption nec          15,582,543             1,462,316           133,932      2,336,972           2,875,432           22,391,195

Vegetables for seed - Potatoes                0                      0                   0            259,338             60,616              319,954

Water Melons                                  3,667,539              3,443,642           0            3,881,419           959,758             11,952,358
Zucchinis                                     6,387,034              0                   0            1,231,704           110,373             7,729,111
Total value of fruit                          109,672,350            24,163,180 n.p.                  25,191,938          259,433,773 418,461,241
Total value of vegetables                     90,051,386             9,786,962           207,575      169,201,360 20,266,151                  289,513,434
Total - horticultural production              199,723,736            33,950,142 207,575               194,393,298 279,699,924 707,974,675

            n.p – not for publication
            Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 9941.0 2000 Agriculture Commodity Survey



         Table 2 - Value of Selected Commodities Produced : Selected Qld SD’s, Year ending 30 June 2000

                                                  Wide Bay-          Fitzroy                 Mackay           Northern            Far North        Total - GBR
                                                   Burnett                                                                                         Catchment

                                                  Value ($)          Value ($)           Value ($)            Value ($)           Value ($)           Value ($)


Tobacco - Value ($)                           0                  0                   0                    0                   15,039,331          15,039,331
Nurseries, flowers & turf - Total value ($)   16,468,769         7,496,326           4,922,680            4,956,462           18,424,173          52,268,410

Asparagus - Value ($)                         4,755,753          0                   0                    0                   0                   4,755,753
Mushrooms - Value ($)                         n.p.               0                   0                    n.p.                1,217,318           1,217,318
Parsley - Value ($)                           166,013            0                   0                    0                   n.p.                166,013
Olives - Value ($)                            n.p.               0                   0                    0                   0                   0
Macadamia nuts - Value ($)                    6,648,920          0                   0                    0                   n.p.                6,648,920
Pecan Value ($)                               n.p.               0                   0                    0                   0                   0
Honey and Beeswax - Total value ($)           1,035,631          197,170             7,918                26,726              95,186              1,362,631

Total                                         29,075,086         7,693,496           4,930,598            4,983,188           34,776,008          81,458,376
            n.p – not for publication
            Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 9941.0 2000 Agriculture Commodity Survey
The Wet Tropics banana industry provides these additional statistics:
Π  The Wet Tropics banana industry is valued at $275 million per year and produces
    around 80% of the nation’s banana crops.
Π  There are 100 000 ha of banana production.
Π  There are around 500 growers in the Wet Tropics banana industry.
Π  Approximately 3000 full time equivalent positions are employed within the industry, and
    the industry is heavily reliant on the tourist-based transient workforce.


Further information is being sought regarding accurate estimates of the multiplier values of
the horticulture sector. This information will be forwarded separately.
    Growth projections for horticultural industries in 2010 and 2020


Future Directions
The Queensland fruit and vegetable industry embarked on a conversation about its future
during 1999. This took the form of a ‘foresight’ process in which the industry used a range
of techniques, including analysis of a range of scenarios and broad consultations within the
industry, to develop a picture of its preferred future in the year 2010.


The Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Industry Future Directions Plan defines the industry’s
preferred future positioning. It provides a blueprint for the future development of the
industry. It was developed with the intention of providing individuals and organisations
involved in all sectors of the industry with a broad framework in which to develop their own
plans and actions.


Achievement of the outcomes envisaged in the plan will deliver significant benefits to the
industry. Many of these benefits align with the Queensland Government’s priorities – more
jobs, building regions, smart skilling, safer and more supportive communities, better quality
of life and valuing the environment – highlighting that the industry is an important
contributor to Queensland’s future.


Short Term Outlook
The following paragraphs contain information from the June 2002 publication of the
Queensland Department of Primary Industries’ Prospects for Queensland’s Primary
Industries, and summarise the current and short-term outlook for fruit and vegetable
production in Queensland, with discussion on major crops.


Fruit Forecasts
In 2001–02, the total gross value of Queensland’s fruit and nut production is estimated at
approximately $645 million, 17% above the ABS estimate for 2000–01.


In 2002–03, it is forecast that the State’s gross value of fruit and nut production will
increase by 3% on 2001–02 to $665 million.


Discussion
ABS has published gross value of production estimates for apples, grapes and all other
fruit and nuts together for 2000–01. Individual ABS estimates for Queensland’s major fruit
crops are not available for comparison with DPI estimates for 2001–02. However, based
on DPI 2000–01 estimates published in December 2001, gross value of bananas and
avocados in 2001–02 have increased. Also, the present DPI 2001–02 estimate of $65
million may represent a slight increase rather than a decrease.


The gross value of bananas in 2001–02 is expected to increase by approximately 10%
from the 2000–01 estimate to $260 million. This is due to an increase in production
outstripping a slight decrease in price. While the implementation of a treatment program
for the disease black sigatoka has temporarily reduced production in the Tully district, a
number of producers not affected throughout north Queensland have increased plantings.
This is expected to result in a net increase in total production of around 7%. The price of
bananas paid to producers is expected to fall slightly from the previous year. In 2002–03,
the area of bananas treated for black sigatoka will return to production and increased
plantings will further add to production. This is expected to result in an overall 8%
increase in production for the State. Industry commentators have indicated that they
expect the price to producers to decrease by around 3% during this year. The overall
effect of these factors is likely to be a 4% increase in gross value of banana production to
$270 million in 2002–03.


A slight increase in the gross value of mandarin production in 2001–02 to $65 million is
due to marginal increases in both production and price. As with other major fruit crops,
promotion campaigns appear to have maintained or increased demand for mandarins
while production has increased. It is forecast that the gross value of this fruit will increase
by 8% to $70 million in 2002–03. Again, price and production are expected to rise. The
main reason for the increase in production is additional trees are expected to come into
fruit, particularly in Central Queensland.


Mango gross value of production is forecast to reduce slightly to $65 million in 2001–02
and then increase by 8% in 2002–03 to $70 million. The increase in 2002–03 is due to an
expected rise in production of 10% overriding the effects of a price fall of approximately
2%.


The rise in production is due mainly to:


ΠA return to an average season following two relatively poor seasons.
ΠAn additional number of trees coming into fruit.


In 2001–02, avocados are expected to increase in gross value to $45 million because of a
rise in price outstripping the effects of a decrease in production. The decline in production
was due mainly to the effects of heat and drought conditions throughout summer on trees
in a number of growing districts. A lack of good catch-up rain in growing districts during
winter 2002 may affect the gross value of avocados in 2002. Among the other factors that
may influence this increase in gross value are:


ΠAdditional trees coming into commercial production.
ΠThe continued increase in production of more popular varieties.
ΠImproved demand through media campaigns.


The gross value of pineapples is expected to decrease slightly in 2001–02 to $40 million
but increase to $50 million in 2002–03.


Apple gross value of production is estimated at $25 million for both 2001–02 and 2002–
03.


Gross value of production has not been estimated for other individual fruit.


Vegetables Forecasts
In 2001–02, it is forecast that Queensland’s gross value of vegetable production will
increase by almost 20% from the previous year to $715 million.


In 2002–03, Queensland’s gross value of vegetable production is anticipated to increase
slightly to $730 million.


Discussion
As with fruit, ABS has published preliminary 2000–01 gross value of vegetable production
estimates separately for only tomatoes and potatoes. Individual ABS estimates for a
number of Queensland’s major vegetable crops are not available for comparison with DPI
estimates for 2001–02. Also, based on information available from the main tomato
producing districts in Queensland, it would appear that ABS has underestimated the gross
value of Queensland tomatoes in 2000–01. The gross value of this vegetable has been
re-estimated for 2000–01 and is thought to be approximately $170 million. On the other
hand, ABS’s published 2000–01 preliminary gross value of production estimate for
potatoes appears to be high at $62 million. Data available to DPI indicates that
approximately $50 million would be closer to the actual figure for that year.


Tomato gross value of production for 2001–02 is expected to increase by 6% from the
previous year to $180 million. This is due mainly to an estimated 10% decrease in
production being offset by a rise in price of up to 20%. The decrease in production is
expected because of the shortage of water supply in some districts. In addition to the
shortage of production in Queensland, the effects of weather problems in Victoria on
tomatoes in that State are likely to push average prices up to the level expected.
In 2002–03, the gross value of tomato production is forecast to remain at approximately
$180 million. However, realisation of this estimate will largely depend on the availability of
irrigation water, particularly in the Bundaberg district.


Potato gross value of production for 2001–02 has been estimated at approximately $50
million. Production is forecast to decrease in this year due to a shortage of water supply in
the Lockyer Valley and a reduction of output on the Atherton Tableland. However, the
average price received by producers is expected to rise by about 15% due to both the
reduced supply in Queensland and the effects of adverse weather on potato production in
Victoria. In 2002– 03, it is forecast that the gross value of Queensland potato production
will remain at approximately $50 million.


Capsicum gross value of production is forecast at $75 million in 2001–02, which is
thought to be similar to, or slightly more than, the previous year. This is expected to
increase to around $80 million in 2002–03 due to small increases in both production and
price.


The estimated 2001–02 gross value of the more important ‘Other vegetables’ not listed in
detail are:
ΠLettuce, $45 million.
ΠRockmelons, $35 million.
ΠWatermelons, $35 million.
ΠBeans (french and runner), $30 million.


In 2002–03, it is forecast that the gross values of each of these vegetables will be similar
to those in 2001–02.


Long Term Outlook – 2010 and 2020
As evidenced by the previous paragraphs, performance in different commodity groups can
vary significantly between years. However, horticulture as a whole has seen relatively
steady growth over the past ten years. Using established figures as a baseline, it is
possible to make broad assumptions about future growth in the industry. QFVG is
developing these projections and this information will be forwarded shortly.
                     The horticultural industry’s approach to water quality
                                                                                  management




Potential effects on water quality from fruit and vegetable production in reef
catchments


Horticultural production systems in the catchments of the GBR include orchards,
plantations and bed cropping. Around 95% of the industry is irrigated.


Activities conducted within these production systems that may affect water quality include:
Π  Vegetation clearing and thinning of riparian vegetation.
Π  Soil cultivation potentially leading to soil structural decline or erosion.
Π  Over-irrigation leading to run-off or leaching of water and attached sediments, nutrients
    or pesticides.
Π  Off-site movement of agricultural fertilisers and pesticides during flood events or if
    applications are not adequately targeted or managed.
Π  Inappropriate storage or disposal of chemicals or chemical containers potentially
    leading to pollution of waterways.
Π  Inappropriate management of waste-water from fruit or vegetable packing houses.


To minimise the risk of these impacts occurring, the industry has developed an
environmental code of practice and maintains a number of programs and activities to
address environmental issues including:
Π  Water for Profit water use efficiency program
Π  Pest management project
Π  ChemCert, ChemCollect and DrumMuster
Π  Environmental management systems case studies
Π  Environmental management training course


QFVG has also developed a natural resource and environmental management policy
statement, which is included in Attachment 1.
The Queensland fruit and vegetable industry’s environmental code of
practice


The Farmcare Code of Practice for Sustainable Fruit & Vegetable Production in
Queensland was launched in 1998 and distributed to all fruit and vegetable growers in the
state. A CD-ROM of the Code is included with this submission.


Farmcare was developed by QFVG through a three-year research and consultation project
with funds from HAL (then the Horticultural Research & Development Corporation or
HRDC). Over 500 growers and industry and environmental specialists contributed to the
collation of the practices outlined in the Code.


Farmcare was developed to provide growers with comprehensive guidelines for how to
meet their general environmental duty defined in the Environmental Protection Act (Qld)
1994. It offers detailed advice on management of land and soils, water, biodiversity, noise,
air and waste and integrated crop protection. The Farmcare Code has been endorsed by
the Queensland Government as an approved Code of Practice under Section 219 of the
Environmental Protection Act 1994.


The code continues to receive high praise from government and community stakeholders
as one of the best agricultural environmental management codes produced.


Practices that will assist growers to avoid causing impacts on water quality are suggested
throughout the Code. These practices are listed in Attachment 2.


Farmcare has been heavily promoted at industry forums and in industry journals since its
launch in 1998. A checklist designed to assist growers to audit their practices and identify
areas where they do not meet their industry environmental code accompanies Farmcare
(Attachment 3). Growers are encouraged to complete the checklist annually to monitor
and record their progress towards meeting the Code. Levels of adoption of the Farmcare
Code of Practice, however, are difficult to quantify, as formal reporting processes have not
been established.


This year, a new two-day training course on environmental management, designed
specifically for fruit and vegetable growers in Queensland is being rolled out by QFVG. A
major focus of the course is the Farmcare Code of Practice. An assessable item within the
course is the completion of the Farmcare checklist. Results from this will contribute to
QFVG understanding of the levels of adoption of the Code.
The impact of the code has been significant, with anecdotal evidence gathered from
discussions with growers, suggesting that Farmcare is highly valued as a resource book
and guideline. Without formal environmental monitoring programs in place in fruit and
vegetable production districts, however, any environmental improvements generated from
the adoption of Farmcare practices are difficult to assess.


In response to increasing regulation of on-farm environmental and natural resource
management, community concern for environmental issues, opportunities for verifiable
“clean & green” marketing and pressure to demonstrate progress towards sustainability,
the fruit and vegetable industry has been investigating “the step beyond Farmcare” since
2000.


The industry recognises that the environmental code of practice and other environmental
management tools and initiatives must be further developed. Future directions will involve
supporting growers to take an active, systematic and documented approach to
environmental management and monitoring.


Additional guidelines for growers in the Johnstone River Catchment were developed
through a 1995 Integrated Catchment Management initiative.           These guidelines are
provided in Attachment 4.




Other water quality management initiatives in the Queensland fruit and
vegetable industry


Water for Profit
The Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative is a program funded by the Queensland
Department of Natural Resources & Mines. The program sets targets for industries to
achieve certain criteria to increase irrigation efficiency. QFVG delivers the program to the
horticultural sector on behalf of the Queensland Government under the banner of Water for
Profit. The program provides an excellent mechanism to facilitate the adoption of many
practices within the Farmcare Code.


The program consists of two components:
Π  A financial incentive scheme which provides growers with a rebate on investment in
    monitoring equipment and irrigation system improvements
Π  A team of regionally-based irrigation specialists who assist growers to benchmark,
    monitor and improve the efficiency of irrigation systems through on-farm trials,
    workshops, field days and best practice manuals.
Over 95 per cent of the horticulture industry relies on irrigation, so targeting improvements
in irrigation has an effect through most of the industry. Water for Profit has been extremely
successful in achieving change in irrigation practices in the major horticultural regions
across the State. These improvements have been verified by both independent data and
data collected through the program. Irrigation efficiency improvements have flowed on to
delivering a broader range environmental improvements.


Irrigation efficiency gains made in horticulture though Water for Profit
Identifying the changes and gains made through the program has been made through four
methods:
Π  An independent survey
Π  Field Officer estimates of irrigation efficiency gains,
Π  Grower attendance at workshops and involvement in the BMP process, and
Π  Data from the RWUE Financial Incentive Scheme.


These indicated that:
Π  Over 80 per cent of horticultural growers in Queensland are aware of the program
Π  Just over 50 per cent of horticultural growers have made changes to increase the
    efficiency of their irrigation system during the past 2 years. Of these growers, about
    two thirds of the changes have been influenced in some way by the RWUE Initiative.
    The program target is 40 per cent of growers to have made changes in management
    practices.
Π  From grower self estimates obtained in the independent survey, there has been
    approximately 10 per cent improvement on farm in water savings and productivity
    gains, resulting from the changes made.
    The program target is 11 per cent in Water Use Efficiency.
Π  As at the end of April 2002, field officers have estimated that the Water for Profit
    program has achieved gains equivalent to $115 million. These gains are largely made
    up from the opportunity returns of water savings (at $4900 per Megalitre saved), but
    also from productivity gains.
    The program target is $150 million of gains in Water Use Efficiency.
Π  There have been over 4600 attendances at Water for Profit workshops and functions,
    which have targeted improving growers understanding of irrigation efficiency. Many
    growers have attended more than one workshop, indicating a willingness to make
    ongoing improvement.
Π  As at the end of April 2002, almost 30 per cent of horticultural growers had been
    involved in workshops and the BMP process. It is estimated that this number will be
    almost 50 per cent by June 2003.
    The program target is 40 per cent of growers involved in the BMP process

Changes made through the Financial Incentive Scheme.
Π  The Financial Incentive Scheme (FIS) has been extremely successful in
    complementing the activities of QFVG irrigation field officers. The FIS has both initiated
    change for many growers as well as accelerating the rate of change in many cases.
Π  For each dollar that the Scheme has contributed, growers have contributed an
    additional two dollars, with total expenditure by growers through the FIS exceeding $5
    million to the end of April in approvals.
Π  At mid 2002, almost 30 per cent of horticultural growers had been approved to make
    changes using the Financial Incentives Scheme to improve irrigation efficiency. It is
    expected that further funding is available for at least another 10 per cent of horticultural
    growers.
    The horticultural program aims at having 40 per cent of growers making improvements,
    as defined by the BMP process.



Environmental benefits delivered through Water for Profit
In addition to the achievements listed above, there have been other benefits gained from
the program, including environmental gains. Not only is irrigation water being used better,
the off-farm impacts of irrigation will ultimately be reduced through greater irrigation
efficiency.


Significant environmental benefits have been identified as part of the current program
activities including:
Π  reductions in deep drainage,
Π  reduced run-off of farm chemicals and nutrients,
Π  accessions to ground-water tables and saline seepage discharges and
Π  improving soil structural conditions.


Case studies monitoring the benefits associated with improved matching of irrigation
application volumes to soil water holding capacity and crop requirements has indicated
that substantial reductions in deep drainage (commonly in the order of 20-70%) can be
achieved through the implementation of soil water monitoring.
Field officers in the Burnett region have been asked to assist several growers whose
farming operations have been affected by saline seepages. Improvements in irrigation
scheduling and a reduction in application volumes typically resulted in these seepages
being substantially reduced or eliminated completely resulting in a reduction in saline
contributions to surface and riverine flows and enabling the crops in these areas to
recover.


Soil structural degradation has been identified by Water for Profit staff on a number of
farms from the Tablelands to the Burnett.          Contributing causes included the use of
excessive cultivation, low organic matter additions, high sodium contents in the soils or the
use of water with low electrical conductivity. The addition of gypsum either directly to the
soil or, used to increase the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water, or increase in the
use of surface organic mulches, have now been used to rehabilitate a number of areas
and improve soil structure, infiltration and root penetration.


The Water for Profit program has also enhanced links between the fruit and vegetable
industry and other stakeholders in the natural resource management field including:
Π  the Queensland Department of Natural Resources & Mines,
Π  the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and the Queensland Horticulture
    Institute,
Π  other irrigated industries,
Π  the University of Southern Queensland,
Π  irrigation suppliers and consultants,
Π  the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency,
Π  conservation groups,
Π  Landcare and Catchment groups, and
Π  the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.


Success factors
The successes of the RWUE Initiative has been achieved through:
Π  Industry delivery of the program, which ensured it was marketed and delivered in a
    way that tapped into growers’ areas of interest and allowed growers to retain
    ownership of the changes being made.
Π  Financial incentive scheme, which provided support to growers to invest in system
    improvements and monitoring equipment.
Π  The team of regionally-based extension staff who provide highly valued technical
    advice on how to achieve production efficiencies and environmental improvements.
QFVG believes the RWUE initiative provides an excellent model for the delivery of
environmentally-focussed programs to the fruit and vegetable industry and recommends
that future programs aimed at addressing water quality protection and sustainable natural
resource management follow this model. Further details on the Water for Profit program
are provided in Attachment 5.




Integrated Pest Management
Significant efforts have been made to research and facilitate the use of integrated crop
management (ICM) and integrated pest management (IPM) systems in the Queensland
fruit and vegetable industry.


QFVG funds, with Horticulture Australia, a project “Implementing pest management
strategies for the Queensland fruit and vegetable industry”. Through this project, a full-
time QFVG Pest Management Officer is employed. The aim of the project is to support
fruit and vegetable growers to develop strategies for environmentally sustainable pest
management and facilitate further adoption of IPM.


The IPM approach involves the use of a wide range of pest control methods in such a
manner as to minimise pesticide use. It includes the use of monitoring for pest threshold
levels that crops can withstand before significant economic damage is caused; the
judicious use of pesticides; and the use of biological and cultural control options where
available.


The use of IPM techniques in the fruit and vegetable industry is growing. Adoption of IPM
is quite high in some commodities, in particular brassicas, bananas (the dominant
horticultural industry in the Wet Tropics) and citrus (significant horticultural commodities in
the Burnett and Fitzroy Basins). These commodities are considered major crops within
horticulture and have a considerable R&D budget to invest in IPM strategy development.
Smaller commodities in the vegetable and tropical / subtropical fruit industries have lesser
and varying degrees of IPM uptake.


A major IPM success story in horticulture is from the banana industry where a 93 per cent
reduction in pesticide use has been achieved since 1985 through introducing bell injection
of a highly targeted pesticide. A Queensland Department of Primary Industries report on
this is included in Attachment 6.


As a result of the growing adoption of IPM in the industry:
Π  An overall reduction in the amount of pesticides used by the industry has been
    achieved.
Π  The pesticides that are used are generally less harsh and more targeted.
Π  Pesticide applications are more targeted and less likely to move offsite.
Π  The benefits of maintaining strong biodiversity are being realised and wildlife habitats
    are increasingly preserved and enhanced to harbour beneficial insects and birds.


Rates of adoption of IPM depend heavily on access to a suite of suitable "soft" pesticides
that will not harm beneficial insects and which can be regularly alternated to prevent pests
and diseases from developing resistance. It also depends on the availability of specialist
services in crop monitoring and IPM advice and the extent to which industries can invest in
research into new chemistry and biological controls.


A negative implication of the growth of IPM adoption and research in the horticultural
industry is that as precision pesticide application methods and reduced volumes of
pesticides are applied, it becomes harder for the industry to maintain access to chemicals
through the national registration process.


This is because pesticides used on commodities that the National Registration Authority
classifies as a “major crop” must have their use included on the product label. Horticultural
chemical use is already very small compared with broad-acre crops but with increased IPM
adoption leading to decreased use of pesticides, its significance is even further reduced.
Increasingly, it is not in the interests of chemical companies to invest in adding a
horticultural use to their products’ labels.


The National Registration Authority has established the “minor use system” which permits
the off-label use of chemicals in smaller crops or for less significant pests. Many minor
crops still face significant difficulties, however, accessing a suitable array of chemicals to
manage pests and diseases using an IPM approach. Costly residue trials are often
required to support such uses and chemical registrants rarely provide the funding for
these. Accordingly, smaller industries are limited as to what new "target specific" and or
"soft" chemistry they can use by how much they can afford to spend on their development.
Their remaining option is to use the few older chemicals that are registered, but are
harsher on non-target beneficials. This also results in existing registered chemicals quickly
becoming ineffective due to a lack of options with which to alternate them, allowing pests
and diseases to build up resistance. This keeps the industry in a cycle of use of harsher
chemicals and limits the development of IPM by harming beneficials and building
resistance in the target pests.
These limitations need to be addressed in order to accelerate the adoption of IPM in the
horticultural sector.


ChemCert, ChemCollect and DrumMuster
A major driver of best practice management and application of pesticides in the industry is
the development of “ChemCert”. This program provides accredited training to growers in
the safe handling, application and storage of farm chemicals.            DrumMuster and
ChemCollect are highly successful programs aimed at facilitating the safe disposal of
agricultural chemicals and containers. The Queensland Farmers Federation submission
details the achievements of these initiatives and the flow-on benefits they have generated
for water quality protection in Queensland.




Environmental Management Systems case studies
An environmental management system (EMS) is a tool that a business can use to improve
its environmental performance through a clearly defined process of planning,
implementation and review.


Through an EMS, a business sets environmental policies and targets; identifies, prioritises,
manages and monitors environmental impacts; documents environmental management
activities; and regularly reviews its performance.


Following a major consultation process with members, QFVG finalised an Environment
Strategy in 2000, which identified that the use of EMS should be trialed in the fruit and
vegetable industry.     The EMS approach was identified as an effective tool to assist
growers to more actively address environmental issues, formalise their adoption of
Farmcare practices and seek market advantage and community recognition for their
efforts.


In line with the strategy, case studies have been established in the Wet Tropics banana
industry and the Lockyer Valley brassica industry. The banana case study aims to:
Π  Trial the use of ISO14001 standard EMSs in horticultural businesses (bananas).
Π  Identify the barriers to adoption of the EMS approach and the support fruit and
    vegetable growers might need to implement and maintain an EMS.
Π  Recommend ways forward for the fruit and vegetable industry in general and the
    banana industry in particular.
An overview of the case study is provided in Attachment 7.


Through the banana case study, information is being collated which details up-to-date
information on best practices and research findings relevant to banana production
particularly for soil health, stability and nutrient management. This information will be
packaged and provided for all members of the industry in addition to advice on how to
design and implement an EMS to the ISO14001 standard.


Should QFVG’s investigation of EMS show that it provides an effective model to drive
improvements in environmental management in the fruit and vegetable industry and offers
a manageable tool for growers that generates business benefits, products and services to
facilitate its adoption will be developed and offered to QFVG members.


Environmental management training course
QFVG, with funds from the Natural Heritage Trust, has also developed a two-day
environmental management training course specifically for fruit and vegetable growers.
The course has been piloted with three groups in Mareeba, Gatton and Childers and is
now being rolled out across Queensland.


The course aims to provide growers with knowledge and tools to improve their
environmental management performance and covers:
Π  Environmental issues important for the horticulture industry
Π  An overview of environmental terms and what they mean
Π  How to identify goals for environmental sustainability
Π  The Farmcare Code of Practice for Sustainable Fruit & Vegetable Production
Π  Environmental management systems (EMS) and certification
Π  Environmental legislation and what it means for growers
Π  How to identify priority issues using an environmental risk assessment process.


The roll out of the course is expected to be a first step in the second phase of Farmcare
where growers will be supported to more actively address environmental management
issues.


Riparian zone management
Riparian zone management has been identified as an aspect that requires attention within
the fruit and vegetable industry.    QFVG has commenced work on reviewing scientific
information generated by the CRC – Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management
with a view to developing a detailed policy and advice regarding best practice
management of riparian vegetation.




Waste water management
Management of waste water from fruit or vegetable packing houses has emerged as an
issue in the industry over the last year. A pro-active approach has been taken to address
the issue. As a first step, a workshop between banana pack-house managers and the
Queensland Environmental Protection Agency was held in April 2002 to develop best
practice guidelines and an action plan to resolve concerns. An eco-efficiency study has
also been conducted in a vegetable pack-house to identify opportunities to improve
management processes.      QFVG will extend this information to other pack-houses as
required.
                  Future directions towards systematic and documented
                                                       environmental management


Beyond the Farmcare Environmental Code of Practice


QFVG recognises that fruit and vegetable growers need more than a code of practice to
demonstrate their sound management of environmental issues.              The industry also
recognises that a commitment to continuous improvement is needed to progressively
decrease any environmental impacts caused by fruit and vegetable production.


A model outlining how QFVG can support fruit and vegetable growers to take a more
active, holistic, systematic and documented approach to environmental management is
being developed within QFVG and in consultation with other QFF member organisations,
government staff and other stakeholders.


The model builds on Farmcare, the Water for Profit program and the EMS case studies
and is likely to include:
Π  Development of the Farmcare Code of Practice and the Water for Profit irrigation best
    practice manual into an interactive workbook incorporating self assessment of the
    extent of adoption of Farmcare and irrigation efficiency practices and risk assessment
    to determine priority environmental risks generated by the enterprise.
Π  Templates and guidelines covering the key elements of an environmental management
    system that can be integrated with established management systems for food safety,
    quality, workplace safety or quarantine.
Π  Tools for benchmarking, monitoring and reporting environmental performance.
Π  Supplementary      information   on   regionally-specific   environmental   management
    priorities, targets and recommended practices.
Π  An outline of environmental legislation and what growers need to do to ensure
    compliance.
Π  A team of extension staff based within growing districts to provide training and support
    to growers to apply the tools available through the program
Π  Formal links to R&D providers so those research questions that emerge through the
    implementation process can be addressed.
Π  Mechanisms for auditing and possibly certifying management practices or systems that
    underpin “clean & green” marketing initiatives, industry environmental reporting, and
    streamlined access to government services, licences or allocations (eg water).
Π  Incentives or financial support to assist growers to implement practices that deliver
    public-benefit environmental outcomes and water quality protection.


QFVG believes that such a model offers a sound mechanism for delivering environmental
protection and natural resource management. The model could be delivered by QFVG as
a major new program with financial support from a range of stakeholders.


This model would, however, need to be one component of a broader strategic framework
for natural resource management reform in Queensland and nationally. QFVG, through
the Queensland Farmers Federation, is progressing this issue with the Queensland
Government.


QFVG does not support the development of a separate plan for protection of water quality
reaching the Great Barrier Reef as good water quality should be an outcome of an
overarching and integrated initiative to drive sustainable natural resource management in
Queensland. Such an initiative can be achieved through a clearly defined partnership
approach between the three levels of government, regional natural resource management
bodies and rural industries.
Appropriate         policy     options          from    a   horticultural       industry
perspective




QFVG is applying significant effort to develop future directions and strategies for how
ecological sustainability can be achieved within the fruit and vegetable industry which
delivers a “triple bottom line” outcome of economic profitability, environmental protection
and maintenance of vibrant communities.          These directions fit within QFVG’s policy
statements on natural resource and water management as outlined in the executive
summary and Attachment 1.


QFVG does not believe that the current piecemeal and fragmented approach of
governments to the natural resource management reform process will deliver good triple
bottom line outcomes.


Currently, QFVG and the fruit and vegetable industry is splitting its efforts and resources
over a diverse and over-lapping range of environmental protection and natural resource
management processes which ultimately are all aimed at the achieving the same
outcomes. These include, but not limited to:
Π  The proposed development of a water quality protection plan for the Great Barrier Reef
Π  Water resource planing processes
Π  Regional vegetation management planing processes
Π  Regional coastal management planning processes
Π  Regional investment planning for the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water
    Quality and the Natural Heritage Trust
Π  Regulation of intensification of agricultural land-use through Local Government
    planning schemes under the Integrated Planning Act
Π  The Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative
Π  A review of wildlife regulations and ongoing flying fox management issues
Π  Issues emerging for the industry through the Commonwealth Environment Protection
    and Biodiversity Conservation Act


Addressing these issues separately is completely inefficient and unsustainable and
furthermore does not deliver the environmental and sustainability outcomes sought.
QFVG would prefer that these matters be addressed through one overarching, integrated,
holistic, state-wide and long-term natural resource management vision and strategic
framework for sustainable development in Queensland.


The strategy should be negotiated between rural industries, Government, regional NRM
bodies and other stakeholders and identify a clear set of outcomes, implementation
strategies, delivery mechanisms, timeframes, resources and commitments.


The plan should provide clarity on how all of the statutory, semi-statutory and voluntary
regional NRM arrangements fit together. It should incorporate mechanisms to facilitate a
meshing of regional approaches to sustainable natural resource management planning
with state-level initiatives of industry organisations.   It should also acknowledge and
address the broader institutional, economic and structural forces operating on rural
industries that constrain growers’ ability to achieve sustainability and address water quality
and other environmental concerns (there is an important body of research by Dr Steven
Dovers that addresses this issue).

QFVG has been working through the Queensland Farmers Federation to progress this
concept. The QFF discussion paper is included in Attachment 8 along with a series of
slides aimed at illustrating the concept.


QFVG suggests that the following principles and issues should be considered in preparing
policy options to support sustainable natural resource management and address water
quality protection for the GBR:
Π  The significant efforts and achievements made by primary producers to improve their
    environmental management performance needs to be recognised and acknowledged
    by governments and the broader community.
Π  Programs to support the achievement of sustainable natural resource management in
    rural industries should be guided by strategic frameworks rather than the current
    situation where the vagaries and politics of funding initiatives drive the process. The
    extent to which programs can achieve strong outcomes is severely restricted by the
    fact that “the tail continues to wag the dog”.
Π  Institutional arrangements to support improved environmental management in rural
    Australia must include a mix of regional and industry-based approaches.
Π  The regulatory and policy arrangements should include consistent and reasonable
    natural resource management regulations that provide a floor for performance
    requirements but that the system encourages self-management and partnership
    approaches aimed at achieving continual improvement in environmental management.
Π  Financial support arrangements are urgently needed to share the costs of
    environmental protection across all beneficiaries and to provide incentives to growers
    to maintain healthy waterways and preserve biodiversity. The costs to growers of
    practices such as wetland preservation or restoring wide riparian buffers cannot be
    recouped through the market system.
Π  Water and natural resource access and use rights and arrangements must be clearly
    defined as a matter of urgency and mechanisms developed to provide compensation
    where rights are diminished in order to achieve public good environmental protection
    goals.
Π  Delivery arrangements for future natural resource management initiatives should follow
    the model of the rural water use efficiency program, which demonstrates the powerful
    outcomes that can be achieved when industry bodies manage the delivery of programs
    on behalf of governments.
Π  Mechanisms to facilitate market recognition and reward for food and fibre produced in
    sustainable production systems should be further developed. The limits to market-
    based incentives and the extent to which the marketplace can provide adequate “pull-
    through” for environmentally friendly-labelled products must, however, be recognised.
    Attachment 1: QFVG policy statements on natural resource and
                                                                    water management

Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers supports its members’ goal to be responsible
custodians of natural resources and rural environments.

Good environmental management practices for the horticulture industry are described in
the Farmcare Code of Practice for Sustainable Fruit and Vegetable Production in
Queensland and include:
Π  Efficient and careful use of natural resources, particularly water and soils.
Π  Minimising environmental impacts caused by horticultural land use, particularly run-off
    of sediments, fertilisers and pesticides into waterways.
Π  Minimising waste and pollution from horticultural land use.
Π  Careful use of pesticides.
Π  Minimising impacts on biodiversity.

The Farmcare Code has been endorsed by the Queensland Government as an approved
Code of Practice under Section 219 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

The Code constitutes an industry standard giving guidance to growers in meeting their
'General Environmental Duty' under the Act.

QFVG supports the sustainable development of the horticulture industry in Queensland.
This requires horticultural enterprises to be profitable and socially viable as well as
environmentally safe. This ‘triple bottom line’ approach will be used to monitor and report
on the industry’s performance. The organisation will maintain an environment program
designed to assist its members to continually improve their environmental performance
and achieve ecological sustainability in the industry.

QFVG and its members aim to work in partnership with government, research
organisations, regional and catchment management organisations, the community and
other stakeholders to develop long-term solutions to natural resource and environmental
management issues. Through this approach, we aim to deliver workable and balanced
outcomes for the industry that also benefit the broader community.

QFVG seeks recognition and commitment from government and the community that the
industry requires support to achieve its goal of ecological sustainability. In particular, the
industry requires:

Π  Negotiated transition phases of an appropriate and agreed timeframe that allow
    industry time to adapt or restructure to legislative or policy changes, implement
    changes to practices or develop solutions to problems.
Π  Financial and other support for growers when the public benefits of environmental
    management outweigh private benefits, and when the community’s expectations of
    environmental management or biodiversity conservation restrict growers’ farm
    management beyond current recommended practices.
Π  A range of financial and market-based incentives be explored and used as much as
    possible to encourage the adoption of improved environmental management practices.
Π  Institutional, economic and other barriers to the adoption of sustainable management
    practices be identified and addressed.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AGENDA ISSUES
Issues to be considered within the broader environment policy heading include:
Π  A 10-year plan for natural resource management in Queensland.
Π  Sustainability.
Π  Industry self-regulation where possible.
Π  Natural resource planning and management based on sound science.
Π  Vegetation Management/Tree clearing.
Π  Water quality.
Π  Salinity.
Π  Greenhouse and climate change.
Π  Chemical use.
Π  Biodiversity.
Π  Wildlife management.
Π  Great Barrier Reef.
Π  Acid-sulphate soils.
Π  Pest and weed management.
Π  Competing land use eg urban development in rural areas.
Π  Local government land use planning.
Π  Regional and catchment planning and management within an overarching framework.
Π  Property management planning.
Π  Natural resource access, allocation and trading (eg water, carbon credits).
Π  Organic food production.
Π  Genetically modified organisms.
Π  Environmental Management Systems in agriculture.



WATER POLICY STATEMENT


The importance of water to horticulture is unquestionable. Rural industries are facing
increasing competitive demands for Queensland’s finite water supply. The viability of
horticulture in Queensland depends upon the availability, price, and the way in which
available water resources and the integrity of catchments are managed.


With the use of water resources comes responsibility. Water issues have become
increasingly important throughout the community, and the focus is on using this resource
sustainably in the future.

Markets for water rights should be developed which enable the optimum distribution of
water in the market place between alternative users.
WATER AGENDA ISSUES
Issues to be considered within the broader water policy heading include:
Π  Availability and access.
Π  Efficiency of use, including extension of the Water for Profit Rural Water Use Efficiency
    Initiative.
Π  Water pricing.
Π  New infrastructure.
Π  Water Resource Plans.
Π  Local management.
Π  Legislation and regulation including water property rights, pricing and the coordination
    of property management plans.
Π  Water infrastructure including:
    Π  State government approach.
    Π  Water infrastructure projects.
Π  COAG water reform issues.
Π  Waste water policy issues.
Π  Review and monitoring of Water Resource Plans.
Π  Land and Water Management Plans.
Π  Water trading.
Π  Unallocated water.
Π  Penalty systems for unauthorised water use.
Π  Metering.
Attachment 2: Aspects of Farmcare relevant to water quality
protection

Land and soil management

Π  Minimise erosion of soil
    ΠConsider the elements of planning a good farm layout
    ΠUse windbreaks to minimise wind erosion where appropriate
    ΠMinimise bare ground to reduce erosion from raindrop impact
    ΠRehabilitate areas of gully and landslip erosion

Π  Practice good fertiliser management
    ΠAvoid too little or too much fertiliser application
    ΠUse soil testing
    ΠApply fertiliser for efficient uptake
    ΠUse soil testing and plant diagnostic techniques to help work out post planting
       fertiliser requirements
    ΠApply post-plant fertiliser for efficient uptake
    ΠUse irrigation to enable efficient fertiliser uptake when possible

Π  Minimise the degradation of soil structure
    ΠMinimise harm from tillage and traffic
    ΠCultivate soils at the right moisture content and depth
    ΠGreen manures, rotations and organic matter add benefits


Water management

Π  If irrigating, use an efficient irrigation system

Π  If irrigating, schedule irrigations

Π  Minimise contamination of water
    ΠApply fertilisers and pesticides efficiently
    ΠReduce drainage past the root zone
    ΠManage soil erosion
    ΠProtect riparian zones
    ΠHandle, transport and store pesticides safely

Π  Manage drainage to minimise harm to the environment
    ΠOn farm drainage should take into account the local catchment
    ΠManage potential acid sulphate soils with care


Biodiversity management

Π  Manage vegetation on farm
    ΠPlan for vegetation retention where possible
    ΠIf tree clearing, do so with consideration
Air management

Π  Minimise off-target chemical application
    ΠCalibrate and maintain spray machinery
    ΠUnderstand the effects of weather
    ΠUse a suitable spraying height and direction
    ΠUse buffer zones to reduce potential impacts of spray drift


Waste management

Π  Dispose of chemicals appropriately

Π  Dispose of chemical containers appropriately

Π  Dispose of waste oil appropriately


Integrated Crop Management

Π  Improve hygiene and cultural practices for pest management

Π  Monitor pests and spray when necessary

Œ   Encourage beneficials by using “soft” options

Π  Introduce biological control agents

Π  Combine chemical disease, nematode and weed control with non-chemical
    options where possible
Attachment 5: Further information on the Water for Profit Program

The Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative (RWUE) is funded by the Queensland
Department of Natural Resources and Mines with targets set for industry bodies to achieve
certain criteria to increase irrigation efficiency. In the horticulture industry, Queensland
Fruit & Vegetable Growers Ltd delivers the initiative.

The RWUE Initiative Horticulture program, which is known as Water for Profit, has been
extremely successful in achieving change in irrigation practices in the major horticultural
regions across the State. An independent survey has identified that over 80% of growers
are aware of the program

Over 95% of horticulture relies on irrigation, so targeting changes in irrigation can have an
effect through most of the industry. The RWUE Initiative has been a very successful for a
number of reasons but ultimately, growers have had ownership of the changes being
made, which has enhanced the activities of the program.


IRRIGATION EFFICIENCY GAINS MADE IN HORTICULTURE

Identifying the changes and gains made by the RWUE has been made through four
methods. These are:
        ♦ An independent survey
        ♦ Field Officer estimates of irrigation efficiency gains,
        ♦ Grower attendance at workshops and involvement in the BMP process, and
        ♦ Data from the RWUE Financial Incentive Scheme.

These indicated that:
♦ over 80% of horticultural growers are aware of the program
♦ Just over 50% of horticultural growers have made changes to their increase efficiency
   of their irrigation system during the past 2 years. Of these growers, about two thirds of
   the changes have been influenced in some way by the RWUE Initiative. The program
   target is 40% of growers to have made changes in management practices.
♦ From grower self estimates obtained in the independent survey, there has been
   approximately 10% improvement on farm in water savings and productivity gains,
   resulting from the changes made. The program target is 11% in Water Use Efficiency.
♦ As at the end of April, 2002, field officers have estimated that the Horticulture RWUE
   program has achieved gains equivalent to $115 million. These gains are largely made
   up from the opportunity returns of water savings (at $4900 per Megalitre saved), but
   also from productivity gains. The program target is $150 million of gains in Water Use
   Efficiency.
♦ There have been over 4600 attendances at RWUE Initiative workshops and functions,
   which have targeted improving growers understanding of irrigation efficiency. Many
   growers have attended more than one workshop, indicating a willingness to make
   ongoing improvement.
♦ As at the end of April, 2002, almost 30% of horticulture growers had been involved in
   workshops and the BMP process. It is estimated that this number will be almost 50%
   by June 2003. The program target is 40% of growers involved in the BMP process

CHANGES MADE THROUGH THE FINANCIAL INCENTIVE SCHEME.
♦ The FIS has been extremely successful in complementing the activities of QFVG
  irrigation field officers. The FIS has both initiated change for many growers as well as
  accelerating the rate of change in many cases.
♦ For each dollar that the Scheme has contributed, growers have contributed an
  additional two dollars, with total expenditure by growers through the FIS exceeding $5
  million to the end of April in approvals.
♦ At mid 2002, almost 30% of horticultural growers had been approved to make changes
  using the Financial Incentives Scheme to improve irrigation efficiency. It is expected
  that further funding is available for at least another 10% of Horticultural growers. The
  horticultural program aims at having 40% of growers making improvements, as defined
  by the BMP process.

OTHER BENEFITS
In addition to the achievements listed above, there have been other benefits gained from
the program, including environmental gains. Not only is irrigation water being used better,
but the off farm impacts of irrigation will ultimately be reduced through greater irrigation
efficiency. While the principal focus of the Water for Profit program has been on irrigation
practices to improve water use efficiency (eg. crop response, soil-water movement,
surface run-off) some significant environmental benefits including reductions in deep
drainage, reduced runoff of farm chemicals and nutrients, accessions to groundwater
tables and saline seepage discharges and improving soil structural conditions have been
identified as part of the current program activities.

Case studies monitoring the benefits associated with improved matching of irrigation
application volumes to the soil water holding and crop requirements has indicated that
substantial reductions in deep drainage (commonly in the order of 20-70%) can be
achieved through the implementation of soil water monitoring.

Field officers in the Burnett region have been asked to assist several growers whose
farming operations have been affected by saline seepages. Improvements in irrigation
scheduling and a reduction in application volumes typically resulted in these seepages
being substantially reduced or eliminated completely resulting in a reduction in saline
contributions to surface and riverine flows and enabling the crops in these areas to
recover.

Soil structural degradation has been identified by Water for Profit staff on a number of
farms from the Tablelands to the Burnett. Contributing causes included the use of
excessive cultivation, low organic matter additions, high sodium contents in the soils or the
use of water with low electrical conductivity. The addition of gypsum either directly to the
soil or, used to increase the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water, or increase in the
use of surface organic mulches, have now been used to rehabilitate a number of areas
and improve soil structure, infiltration and root penetration.


Links to stakeholders: Primarily NR&M; Key – DPI/QHI, QFF, other irrigation industries,
University of South Qld; other links – irrigation suppliers and consultants, EPA,
conservation groups, Landcare, Catchment groups, NAPSWQ, MDBC. The Water for
Profit program is central to the focus of Farmcare.

In addition, the program has been able to offer assistance in times of severe drought in
many regions. The program is a source of technical information. It has also been used by
many growers to assist in the transition process of shifting from low input irrigation crops
into Horticulture.

SUMMARY

The Water for Profit program has made positive contributions to increasing irrigation
efficiency in Queensland. Both independent data and data collected through the
Horticulture RWUE Initiative support this. As a result of increased efficiency, other benefits
have resulted from the program with numerous benefits to the environment.
Ultimately the RWUE Initiative has heightened the importance of irrigation efficiency on
Horticultural farms, with growers making changes where they otherwise would not have.



FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

REGIONAL PLANS
Each Irrigation Officer has developed their own regional plan to develop the program
objectives within their region. Regional reports give many of the objectives relating to the
program.

In summary, these are:

•   Development of regional and crop plans
•   Provision of high quality technical support to growers
•   Development WUE benchmarks
•   Development of effective communication plans
•   Establishment of an Award for Irrigation Efficiency
•   Development of links to R & D program
•   Development of links to other extension and community programs
•   Using demonstration sited as tools to improving WUE



GAINS FROM THE PROGRAM

With the multitude of crops and irrigation systems across geographically different regions,
assessing the gains in the horticulture program was always going to be a challenge. Add to
this seasonal differences in weather, markets and factors such as disease, it could be a
complex task.

A simple but effective approach was developed which was based on using known data
sources and extrapolating this data across each field officers’ region. With good record
keeping and a number of sources of data, this has given a good indicative figures for gains
made by the program. Assessments were made of water savings and productivity gains.

Field Officers assessed their region by allocating growers into four groups, based on the
level of contact the program has had with them. These were:
♦ Direct measurement – where the field officer had reliable information on changes made
    on growers’ farms. This was usually were trials and demonstrations had been done by
    the field officer, or he had been working closely with the grower.
♦ High level – this was where the field officer has had good contact with the grower and
    had obtained data which would be reasonable accurate. However, as the field officer
    may not have been involved directly in generating the data, it may not be as accurate
    as the direct measurement. In some cases, data from workshops and the Financial
    Incentive Scheme was used to support this category.
♦ Moderate level – this is where there has been contact between the program and
    growers, but limited. Growers who had attended workshops or been approved under
    the Financial Incentive Scheme were in this category. Also grower who the field officer
    knew had made changes but did not know the exact details were in this category.
♦ None – this group included growers who had little or no contact with the field officers. It
    also included growers that had applied for the FIS but not yet been approved. It was
    assumed that growers in this group had made little or no change due to the program.
Reliability factors were put to each level. The greater the contact, the greater the reliability.
Field officers calculated the gains by two methods: by grower number; by area. The results
were generally similar, though some variations did occur. Generally speaking, the
calculation by area would be slightly more accurate.

From the field officer assessments, the Water for Profit program has generated gains of
approximately $115 million.



COMMUNICATION

The Horticulture RWUEI has made a concerted effort to utilise various forms of
communication, with a strong emphasis during the second half of the year to produce
quality articles for the mass media.

WORKSHOPS, FIELD DAYS
The use of face to face methods of communication is fundamentally important to the Water
for Profit program and is the basis of the success of the program to date. Field officers
regularly conduct workshops and field days to assist growers to improve irrigation
efficiency and will continue to do this during 2002/2003.

Written Media
There has been a concerted effort to take advantage of editorial opportunities in the written
media. This has been quite successful and a summary is given below.

State and regional Newspapers
Numerous articles have been made in regional and State newspapers. Many of these have
generated inquiries from growers.

FACT SHEETS
Water for Profit has produced fact sheets that cover a large range of topics associated with
irrigation efficiency. More detail about these is in the Technical Report. The range of fact
sheets will continue to be expanded during 2002/2003. Importantly, these fact sheets will
remain as a legacy of the program beyond its current life.

QFVG FRUIT & VEGETABLE NEWS
QFVG publishes a monthly magazine called the Fruit and Vegetable News. This is a useful
vehicle to deliver messages to a large audience. For the past year, there has been a
concerted effort to highlight the Water for Profit program with two full colour pages of each
edition dedicated to Water for Profit. These articles are well received by growers and are
being used to reference information.

ELECTRONIC MEDIA
The program has made good use of radio during the last year, with interviews on the FIS,
Field Days and other activities. Information from the program is accessible electronically
from the NR&M and QFVG Web sites. In addition, the program has contributed articles to
national electronic media such as Prime Notes, produced by the DPI.

Importantly, Water for Profit team has developed the Irrigation Resource CD, initially
designed for use by the field officers, but is being developed as a valuable tool for growers.
Refer to the Technical Report for more details.
ASSOCIATIONS AND CONFERENCES
Team members of Water for Profit have participated in, talked at or run a number of
seminars and conferences at the professional level, targeting groups of people that can
influence irrigation efficiency other than growers. This includes equipment suppliers,
agricultural advisers, government agencies, consultants, media personnel and other
persons.

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FRAMEWORK AND ISSUES BOOKLET

The Water for Profit program encourages horticultural irrigators to monitor their
performance and identify appropriate management practices to improve their profitability
and sustainability within a continual improvement framework. The grower is encouraged to
maintain “ownership” of the process through the implementation of continual improvement
processes which incorporate self monitoring, benchmarking and identification of best
management practices.

Best management practices associated with specific farms vary widely depending on a
wide range of factors including, but not restricted to, crop type, soil type, irrigation
application system, irrigation infrastructure, irrigation supply constraints and water quality.
Against this background, BMP is regarded as the “implementation of a process that
enables individual irrigators to identify their own farm specific best management practices
within a framework of benchmarking and continual improvement”.

To assist growers to embark on the irrigation BMP process, the Water for Profit program
has developed the “Issues in Irrigation Management for Horticultural Producers” self
evaluation and explanatory notes booklets. These provide a framework for growers to
evaluate the appropriateness of their current irrigation activities and identify opportunities
to improve their profitability and sustainability.



GROWER WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING
A major component of the Water for Profit program involves the use of field days and
workshops to raise the awareness and understanding of the factors influencing irrigation
performance and the identification of strategies to improve profitability and sustainability.
A brief outline of the Water for Profit workshop program is provided below.
       Overview of the QFVG Water for Profit field day and workshop program

  Component      Awareness/Introduction           Understanding           Process
  Soil and       Field days; information      “Soils in Irrigation”
  Water for      sheets                       Workshop;
  Irrigation                                  Information sheets
  Irrigation     Mass media; field days;      “Irrigation
  management     shed meetings; industry      Management”                 Continual
  & scheduling   meetings; agribusiness       Workshop;                 improvement
                 promotion; information       Information sheets       leading to best
                 sheets                                                 management
  System         Mass media; field days;      “Irrigation                 practice
  evaluation     industry meetings; shed      Performance
                 meetings agribusiness        Evaluation”
                 promotion; information       Workshop;
                 sheets                       Information sheets
  Issues in      Mass media; industry         “Irrigation: Planning
  irrigation     meetings; information        for Profits” Workshop;
  planning for   sheets                       Information sheets
  profit


TECHNICAL SUPPORT RESOURCES

The Water for Profit program has prepared a range of resources and undertaken a variety
of activities, which underpin the promotion of the irrigation BMP process within each
horticultural sector. A range of other resource materials is continuing to be prepared and
activities being undertaken which support the other aspects of the BMP continuous
improvement process. Activities undertaken which encourage change include: the
formation and participation in grower driven focus groups; on-farm demonstration field
days; training workshops; one to one on-farm performance evaluations and group
extension activities.

Information Sheets

A total of 57 information sheets have already been developed in areas covering crop
benchmarking, monitoring tools, system evaluation, soils, scheduling, system economics,
system maintenance and sustainability. Examples of these sheets are shown in figure 3.
These sheets have been well received with over 6000 copies already being distributed at
workshops and field events. The sheets have also been available for download via the
RWUE and QFVG web sites throughout the year and have proven to be popular. An
additional 20 information sheets are expected to be added to the range currently available
before the end of the program.


TRIALS SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Water for Profit staff are involved in trials to improve the sustainability of irrigation
practices. An applied research trial is currently being conducted in the Mary River
catchment to evaluate the benefits and limitations of using an organic mulch cover rather
than plastic mulch in vegetable crop production. The validation of this technology would
have the benefit of reducing the impact associated with the disposal of the traditional
plastic mulches, increase the potential to utilise in-season rainfall (and hence, reduce
water demands) and use of a renewable resource.
Erosion and surface run-off are not     common problems within the irrigated horticultural
industry due to the large proportion    of micro-irrigation application systems. However,
Water for Profit field officers have    substantially reduced surface run-off under spray
systems due to better matching of        application rates to infiltration rates and surface
detention strategies.


LOCAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
During 2001/2002, all regions held Local Management Committee meetings. The purpose
of these was to review and plan the progress of the Horticulture RWUE Initiative. Actions
were developed from these meetings and incorporated into the regional plans. The Water
Program Manager attended a number of these meetings. Most of these meetings were
held specifically to review the Water for Profit program. This is an important step in the
review and planning process for the program to ensure that it has relevance and
ownership with growers.


INDEPENDENT SURVEY

The independent survey has complemented and backed up much of the information that
has been generated from other sources, including data collected within the Water for Profit
program. This gives credibility to the data that field officers have generated.

The survey does support the claim that the program has been successful. Fifty percent of
growers have made changes to their irrigation with two thirds of these being influences by
the program in some way. Collectively, growers estimate that they have made 10% gains
by making the changes in respect to water savings, productivity and quality gains. Though
only one fifth of growers are currently using scheduling equipment, about half of the area
of horticulture has used or is currently using scheduling equipment. This is significant as it
implies that growers have gained an understanding on scheduling technics. It doesn’t,
however, determine if there is room for improvement.

Thus, 70% of growers feel they can still make some improvement with 10% believing they
still have a lot of room for improvement. It is noted that growers do need support to make
these changes, citing financial considerations as being the most important.

Over 80% of growers are aware of the program with more than a quarter attending specific
Water for Profit activities.
            Attachment 6: Queensland Horticulture Institute report on
                               chemical use in the banana industry


Queensland banana industry - farm chemical use survey
Donna Campagnolo and Stewart Lindsay
Queensland Horticulture Institute
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture, South Johnstone

Introduction
This document reports on a survey of Queensland banana producers conducted in
1998/99 to identify and record current usage patterns for agricultural chemicals. The
specific aims of the survey were:
ΠTo identify which chemicals producers are currently using
ΠTo identify how and when producers are using these chemicals
ΠTo determine how well producers understand the concept of integrated pest
   management (IPM)
Œ To compare chemical use between the early 1980’s and 1999, and report any changes
   in patterns of usage

The survey was conducted as personal interviews with a sample of producers and industry
services people from coastal north Queensland, Bundaberg/Wide Bay and Sunshine
Coast/Caboolture regions. Producers surveyed ranged in experience from 3 years to over
20 years in the industry. Producers who had been present in the industry in the early 80’s
(15 years or more experience) were asked to recall the typical pest and disease
management practices for that era. This historical information was then used to compare
progress in pest and disease management, particularly in reducing the use of agricultural
chemicals.



Changes in the pattern of chemical use

Insecticide use in the early 80’s
Pest control practices in north Queensland in the early 1980’s were geared around the
management of the banana scab moth (Nacoleia octasema). Insecticide applications were
based on a blanket approach, with application of broad-spectrum insecticides made
regularly to the plantation, and producer perception was that extensive coverage and
volume of product were the keys to effective control. The majority of insecticides used
during this period were organochlorines.
Control of banana scab moth involved blanket applications of insecticide to the whole
plantation, either aerially or with a tractor-drawn spray rig. Lorsban and Azodrin (aerial
application only) were sprayed weekly to control scab moth at rates of up to 2 litre/ha.
Additionally, bunches were treated with DDT/BHC dust up to 5 times from emergence to
harvest for control of banana scab moth and banana rust thrips (Chaetanaphothrips
signipennis). These bunch treatments were applied with backpack dusters. The use of
blanket insecticide applications killed many non-target species, including natural predators,
which left growers with serious spider mite infestations. Heavy infield misting of Kelthane
and Tedion were then required to control the mite problems.
The control of soil dwelling and corm pests was mostly achieved by using Dieldrin. It was
boomed sprayed annually onto the soil surface in the row area to control banana rust
thrips and banana weevil borer (Cosmpolites sordidus). Continuous use and the long
residual life of Dieldrin led to resistance to this chemical developing in banana weevil
borer populations.
In the northern industry, as insects became harder to control because of the blanket use of
chemicals, cocktails of miticide and insecticide were frequently mixed and misted through
plantations.
In southeast Queensland the major insect pest was banana weevil borer, with banana
flower thrips (Thrips hawaiiensis) the main bunch pest. Because banana scab moth does
not occur south of the Ingham/Cardwell area, growers in the southern industry did not use
blanket insecticide sprays, and therefore had a reduced need for the chemical armoury
used by growers in the north. Banana weevil borer control was similar in the southern
industry to that used in north Queensland, with mostly Dieldrin used as an annual spray.
Consequently southern growers also experienced the development of resistance in this
pest for the same reasons as the northern industry. For bunch pest control DDT/BHC dust
was also used, applied with a backpack duster.

Insecticide use in 1999
By the end of the 90’s the industry had come a long way from blanket aerial and mister
applications to a more specific targeted application approach. In north Queensland the
introduction of bell injection totally rationalised the use of insecticides in the banana
industry. Bell injection involves the application of small amounts of insecticide into the
emerging bunch for the control of banana scab moth, banana flower thrips and banana
rust thrips. With the removal of blanket broad-spectrum insecticide applications, viable
populations of predators, particularly Stethorous spp, were maintained leading to biological
control of spider mites. Additionally, some of the chemicals commonly used in the early
80’s, particularly the organochlorines, were deregistered for environmental and health
reasons.
Overall these changes led to a significant decrease in the volume of insecticides applied to
bananas in north Queensland. Insecticide applications in 1999 are targeted to particular
parts of the plant, with targeted applications made to the bunch once at emergence, and
once again 2-4 weeks later. These initial changes to targeted insecticide applications have
meant the banana industry has adopted a form of IPM almost by default.

Fungicide use in the early 80’s
In the north Queensland industry, the major use of fungicides was for the control of yellow
Sigatoka or leaf spot (Mycosphaerella musicola), a situation that remains the same in
1999. In the early 80’s leaf spot was controlled with a regimental program of deleafing, and
regular application of fungicides. The fungicides available at the time mainly had a
protectant mode of action, such as Dithane or copper oxychloride, while Benlate also
had some limited systemic and ‘kickback’ activity. Deleafing was a regular and regimental
practice in plantations and was considered a necessity to control leaf spot. Unfortunately
applications of Benlate became more routine rather than strategic because it was
thought to have a miticidal effect and was used to help manage the serious mite
infestations caused by blanket applications of broad-spectrum insecticides. This overuse
led to an increasing lack of sensitivity to this product within the leaf spot population, and
has greatly reduced the effectiveness of Benlate as a leaf spot control.
For southern growers leaf speckle (Mycosphaerella musae) and leaf spot were problems
at times, dependant on seasonal conditions, and deleafing and regular fungicide sprays
were used for control. In the steep hillside country of the southeast application was often
done manually with backpack misters, although aerial application was available.
Fungicide use in 1999
Patterns of fungicide use in bananas have not changed as much as for insecticides over
the same time period. The two biggest changes in leaf disease management have been
the registration of fungicides with improved systemic activity, and the start of commercial
leaf spot monitoring services offered by consultants.
By the mid 80’s the systemic fungicide Tilt was registered, giving producers access to a
systemic product with some curative action. This allowed producers some limited control
against recent infections, and meant that maintaining a constant spray cover with
protectant fungicides was not as crucial. Additionally, producers also began to pay less
attention to regular deleafing, relying instead on the curative action of Tilt to control
previous infections. This has led to high populations of diseased leaf, and hence extremely
high spore populations remaining in the paddock, a situation which has led to increased
difficulty in controlling leaf spot, and an increased risk of resistance to Tilt developing in
the leaf spot population.
In the mid 90’s the over-reliance and occasional use of incorrect rates of the systemic
fungicides has led to a lack of sensitivity in leaf spot to Benlate and Tilt on some farms.
This has led the industry to adopt an anti-resistance strategy where the DMI systemic
fungicides (Tilt, Folicur and Bumper) are supposedly used only up to 6 times in any
season. The importance of deleafing in a leaf spot control program is also starting to be
recognised again.
The development of industry consultants in the mid 90’s offering leaf spot monitoring
services was a major change for the banana industry. The consultants monitor leaf spot
development and provide regular reports on infection status and recommended control
measures to be undertaken. The introduction of monitoring services for growers has led to
a greater degree of control for those growers who employ them, and has had a major
impact on the returning emphasis on regular deleafing as an integral part of leaf spot
control. Thus monitoring, regular deleafing, the regular use of preventive fungicides, and
the strategic use of systemic fungicides have created an IPM system for yellow Sigatoka.

Workplace health and safety
Workplace health and safety considerations, in respect to agricultural chemical use, are
another area where substantial change has occurred in the banana industry. Over 60% of
the surveyed producers have chemical accreditation or employees who are responsible for
handling chemicals with chemical accreditation. This is continuing to grow every year with
the increased availability of chemical accreditation courses. Growers also demonstrated an
understanding of the importance of safe chemical storage, with more than 75% having a
lockable enclosure separate from the packing area, and education of workers in the use of
chemicals and protective gear. Growers generally adhered to labels and recommended
rates although they were always on the lookout for new chemicals, often looking to other
crops for new chemicals that could potentially be registered in bananas.


Understanding the concept of IPM
Implementation of IPM has been a major research and development focus for horticultural
industries for the past 15 years. While new and improved techniques for managing pest
and diseases have been developed, an understanding by producers of the principles of
IPM is important if the industry is perceived to be practising it.
Over 80% of the producers surveyed understood the principles of IPM, being able to
identify the different activities involved in the management of an integrated program. The
use of cultural practices such as fallows, cutting up pseudostems after harvest, deleafing,
regular bagging and the use of clean planting material were all mentioned as important
pest and disease management practices.
Monitoring is an integral part of IPM with the need for chemical applications decided by
investigation of blocks and plantations. Over 60% of producers surveyed conduct
        monitoring themselves, or employ a consultant to monitor for pests and diseases such as
        banana weevil borer, burrowing nematode (Radophilis similis), banana rust thrips and leaf
        spot. The threshold and lifecycle information that makes the monitoring of these pests and
        diseases possible has mostly been developed through industry-funded research projects.
        The selection of appropriate chemicals and application techniques is also an integral part
        of IPM in bananas. The modern banana industry has a wider range of products in more
        chemical groups from which to select than in the early 80’s. This increased range of
        products coupled with pest and disease monitoring, allows for improved control, and the
        ability to implement chemical rotation strategies to manage the risk of resistance
        developing in pest and disease populations.
        The surveyed producers identified the development of targeted pesticide application
        techniques, and the adoption of them by the whole industry, as key developments in the
        integrated management of insect and mite pests. Since the development of bell injection
        producers perceive spider mites to be a minor pest that only needs monitoring under
        certain climatic conditions and rarely needs control. This has led to miticides no longer
        being a part of the regular chemical strategy within the plantation.


        Pesticide use comparison
        The practices recorded from the survey have been used to generate a comparison of
        pesticide use in bananas between the early 1980’s and 1999. The table below is an
        example of the volumes of active ingredient typically used on a one-hectare paddock in
        both the 1980’s and in 1999. For this exercise we have assumed the paddock is a ratoon
        block with a planting density of 1700 plants per hectare. The figures are calculated on the
        prescribed label rates for the chemicals.

                                                                                            Change from
                                 1980’s                               1990’s
                                                                                            early 80’s to
Area of
                 Active                   Volume per   Active                  Volume per     late 90’s
action
                 Ingredient                hectare     Ingredient               hectare             (%)
Bunch pests      DDT (OC)                   850 g      Omethoate (OP)            652 ml        84.9 %
                                                                                             decrease in
                 BHC (OC)                   110 g      Chlorpyrifos               85g
                                                                                                 total
                                                       (OP)
                 Chlorpyrifos (OP)         6,000 ml                                          insecticide
                                                                                            applied to fruit
Corm/root                                                                       1,400 ml    297% increase
pests            Dieldrin (OC)             471.2 g     Prothiofos(OP)                          in applied
                                                                                              insecticide
Mites                                                                                            100%
                                                                                             decrease in
                                                                                             total applied
                 Dicofol (OC)              3,200 ml                                             miticide
                                                                                            (some use still
                                                                                            occurs in some
                                                                                                years)
Leaf pests                                             Mancozeb (Y)            20,000 ml        35.6%
                                                                                             decrease in
                 Mancozeb (Y)              31,700 g    Propiconazole             400 ml
                                                                                               applied
                                                       (C)
                                                                                              fungicide
                    Changes in chemical use in
                  the banana industry 1980-1999

                                       1980
Broadacre application of
 insecticides (aerial )

                                                    Limited number of chemical
                                                    groups
    ®                                                  Organophosphates
Tilt registered                                        Organochlorines


DDT/BHC,
Dieldrin banned                                        Deleafing prominent
Bell injection adopted
by industry




                                       1990


Rust thrips monitoring                            Greater number of chemical
developed                                         groups-
                                                     Synthetic pyrethroids
Antiresistance strategy                              Phenylpyrazoles
for systemic fungicides                              Carbamates etc


Nematode resistant                                            Greater targeting of
fallow crops identified.                                      specific pests

Ongoing research into
alternative/organic strategies                       Agricultural consultancies
and products                                         established

   Chemical products mentioned by respondents in the survey
   Products being used in the 1990’s
Insecticides      Active                 group
Lorsban WP       chlorpyrifos           organophosphate
Folimat 800      omethoate              organophosphate
Tokuthion        prothiofos             organophosphate
Talstar          bifenthrin             synthetic pyrethroid
Regent           fipronil               phenylpyrazole
Ficam D          bendiocarb             carbamate
Diazinon         diazinon               organophosphate


Nematicides       Active                 Group
Vydate L         oxamyl                 carbamate
Nemacur          fenamiphos             organophosphate
Rugby            cadusafos              organophosphate
Hunter           terbufos               organophosphate
Counter          terbufos               organophosphate
Mocap            ethoprophos            organophosphate


Miticide          Active                 Group
Omite            propargite             organosulphur
Torque           fenbutatin oxide       organotin
Apollo           clofentezine           tetrazine


Fungicide         Active                 Group∗
Dithane M45      mancozeb               Y
Dithane OC       mancozeb+              Y
                  petroleum oil
Dithane DF       mancozeb               Y
Pencozeb         mancozeb + petroleum   Y
                  oil
Tilt             propiconazole          C
Folicur          tebuconazole           C
Benlate          benomyl                A
∗See Appendix B


Post Harvest      Active                 Group∗
Octave           prochloraz             C
Sportak          prochloraz             C
chlorine          chlorine
∗See Appendix B
Herbicides        Active                     Group∗
Surflan             oryzalin                   D
Simazine            simazine                   C
Diuron              diuron                     C
Gesatop             simazine                   C
Stomp               pendimthalin               D
Basta               glufosinate-ammonium       N
Gramoxone           paraquat                   L
Round-up            glyphosate                 M
Arzine              sodium arsenite            arsenical
Fusilade            fluazifop                  A
Sprayseed           paraquat/diquat            L
Touchdown           glyphosate-trimesium       M
∗ See Appendix A


Chemicals used in the early 1980’s
Insecticides         Active                 Group
DDT/BHC dust         DDT/BHC                organochlorine
Dieldrin            dieldrin               organochlorine
Azodrin             monocrotophos          organophosphate
Lorsban             chlorpyrifos           organophosphate
Rogor               dimethoate             organophosphate
Thiodan             endosulfan             organochlorine
Lannate             methomyl               carbamate
Diazinon            diazinon               organophosphate


Miticides            Active                 Group
Kelthane            dicofol                organochlorine
Tedion              tetradifon             organochlorine


Fungicide            Active                 Group∗
Dithane             mancozeb               C
Benlate             benomyl                A
Cuprox              copper oxychloride     Y
∗See Appendix B
Herbicide            Active                 Group∗
Gramoxone            paraquat               L
Arsenic +caustic     arsenic                arsenical
soda
∗See Appendix A
APPENDIX A: HERBICIDE GROUPS

     A         Inhibitors of acetyl                    Aryloxyphenoxy-propionate (’Fops’)
               coA carboxylase                         Cyclohexanedione(’Dims’)
     B         Inhibitors of                           Sulfonylurea
               acetolactate                            Imidazolinone
               synthase                                Sulfonamide
     C         Inhibitors of photosynthesis            Triazine
               at photosystem II                       Triazinone
                                                       Urea
                                                       Nitrile
                                                       Benzothiadiazole
                                                       Acetamide
                                                       Pyridazinone
                                                       Phenyl-pyridazine
                                                       Uracil
     D         Inhibitors of tubulin formation         Dinitroaniline
                                                       Benzoic acid
     E         Inhibitors of mitosis                   Thiocarbamate
                                                       Carbamate
                                                       Organophosphorus
     F         Inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis   Nicotinanilide
                                                       Triazole
                                                       Pyridazinone
     G         Inhibitors of protoporphyrinogen        Diphenyl ether
               oxidase                                 Oxadiazole
     H         Inhibitors of protein synthesis         Thiocarbamate
     I         Disrupters of cell growth               Phenoxy
                                                       Benzoic acid
                                                       Pyridine
     J         Inhibitors of fat synthesis             Alkanoic acid
     K         Herbicides with                         Amide
               diverse sites of                        Organoarsenic
               action                                  Carbamate
                                                       Amino propionate
                                                       Benzofuran
                                                       Phthalamate
                                                       Nitrile
     L      Inhibitors of photosynthesis at            Bipyridyl
            photosystem I
     M      Inhibitors of EPSP synthase         Glycine
     N      Inhibitors of glutamine synthetase  Glycine
    Table extracted from Infopest CD-Rom March 1999.

    APPENDIX B: FUNGICIDE GROUPS

A        Benzimidazoles                                 systemic
C        DMI                                            systemic
Y        Dithiocarbamates                               protectants
APPENDIX 3: ADDITIONAL NEMATODE INFORMATION

John, this is just some snippets from both mine and Tony’s progression applications. It
really looks at the outcomes from 8 years (1994 to 2002) of R,D & E on burrowing
nematodes in bananas. Will have some better/more accurate figures on current area being
fallowed in a couple of weeks time.

•   Regular monitoring of plantations to determine levels of burrowing nematode has
    increased from nil in 1995 to 30% of production (3000 ha) in 1998. Nematode
    monitoring allows consultants to offer a broader range of services to clients, and allows
    producers to assess nematode damage for themselves. Although monitoring by
    consultants costs $40 per hectare per year it can reduce nematicide costs by $2500 –
    3000 per hectare per year.
•   Safer product for consumers, less chemical in the environment, lower production costs
    for producers, and safer work conditions for farm workers. Using suitable fallow crops
    can eliminate the need for chemicals for 2-3 years after replanting, reducing chemical
    applications from 18 to 10 in the life of a typical banana planting. In 2001, 200 hectares
    of banana production were fallowed using systems developed through my project work.
•   The development of an IPM system for nematodes in bananas means that the north
    Queensland banana industry (80% of national production) can reduce chemical
    applications by up to 50% over a normal plantation lifecycle.
•   These new fallow options eliminate the need for nematicides to be applied for up to 3
    years after fallowing, representing a reduction of 8 nematicide applications valued at
    $15,000 per hectare.
  Attachment 7: Overview of Environmental management systems
              in horticulture: Wet Tropics banana industry case study


Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers is trialing the use of environmental management
systems (EMS) in the fruit and vegetable industry.

A case study has been established in the banana industry in Far North Queensland’s Wet
Tropics with funds from the Sustainable Industries Division of the Environmental Protection
Agency and support from the QFVG Banana Committee.


Aims of the case study

Trial the use of ISO14001 standard EMSs in horticultural businesses (bananas).

Identify the barriers to adoption of the EMS approach and the support fruit and vegetable
growers might need to implement and maintain an EMS.

Recommend ways forward for the fruit and vegetable industry in general and the banana
industry in particular.


Steps in the case study

Set the scene
A two-day training course on EMS and the ISO14001 standard, run by Australian EMS
specialist, Genevieve Carruthers, has been offered to interested growers. Around four
growers took part in the course in May 2001 and another 18 completed the course in April
2002.

Eco-efficiency studies have been conducted on 5 banana farms and packing sheds to
identify opportunities for improving environmental management. The site assessments
were completed in May 2001 and the final report delivered in December 2001.

Discuss critical environment issues and canvass ideas with key environmental
stakeholders in the Wet Tropics. A meeting was held in Tully in April 2002.

Form a group of banana growers to work on EMS
The group will meet regularly over a number of months to support each other in designing
and implementing their EMSs.

The group will be facilitated by David Hine (QFVG North Queensland Banana Liaison
Officer) and Jane Muller (QFVG Environment Program Manager).

Technical and process expertise will be accessed as needed.

Critical review of implemented EMSs
When the participating growers are satisfied with the EMSs they have implemented, a
review will be sought.

The EMSs will be assessed against the ISO14001 standard using a second party audit
process.
Interested parties within the region will be invited to review the EMSs and provide
feedback.

Evaluation
Evaluation will form a critical part of the case study, and evaluation processes will be built
into each step.

If the case study shows that EMS provides a useful and practical mechanism to drive
improved environmental management on fruit and vegetable farms, a program will be
designed to facilitate widespread adoption of EMS across the industry. Learnings from
the evaluation process will be central to designing effective guidelines and support
programs.

The banana industry will use the case study and evaluation process to develop specific
advice for growers on environmentally sound practices and management processes.


Timeframes

The case study commenced in May 2001 with the eco-efficiency studies and work started
in earnest in April 2002. The EMS design and implementation steps are expected to take
around 6-12 months and results from the case study should be available early in 2003.


What is EMS and ISO14001 anyway?

An EMS is a management tool that a business can use to improve its environmental
performance through a clearly defined process of planning, implementation and review.
Through an EMS, a business sets environmental policies and targets; identifies, prioritises,
manages and monitors environmental impacts; and documents environmental
management activities.

ISO14001 is the international process standard against which any business can have its
EMS audited and certified.


Getting involved & finding out more

If you would like to find out more about the case study or EMS in general or if you would
like to contribute to the case study, please contact QFVG

Jane Muller                                   David Hine
Environment Program Manager                   NQ Banana Liaison Officer
Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers          Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers
Phone 07 3213 2483                            Phone 07 4068 2255
Email jmuller@qfvg.org.au                     Email dhine@qfvg.org.au
     Attachment 8: QFF Draft objectives for a long term strategy for
                                   integrated natural resource management


QFF seeks a partnership with the Queensland Government to develop a long-term
strategy to address integrated natural resource management reform. QFF is seeking to
address six strategic areas of interest:

Π  Integration of natural resource management reforms within policy and planning
    frameworks
Œ   Revised policy to address farmers’ rights of access to natural resources together with
    their obligations regarding the use of these resources.
Π  Development and implementation of programs to progressively improve the science
    underpinning reforms.
Π  Development and implementation of regional natural resource management plans
Π  Delivery of a farm based best management practice programs in stages by rural
    industry as an alternative to compliance with regulatory requirements.
Π  Development of strategic and farm level strategies to address ongoing development
    and use of resources.
Attachment 9: Slides to illustrate the concept of the long term
            plan for integrated natural resource management

								
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