Growing

Melon cover crops

Cover crops are an essential part of best management practice for horticultural cropping systems in the Northern Territory, particularly in the Top End. They are typically grown during the wet season to protect soil from erosion and to improve the structure, chemistry and biological health of soils.

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Melon prices 2011

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Rockmelon prices 2011

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Neonicotinoids FAQ

Information about bees and neonictinoids in the United States.

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Best Practice Manual for no-till permanent beds

Practical guidelines for the implementation of a permanent bed system for vegetable production.

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Best Practices for Irrigation and Fertiliser Management on sandy soils

Guidelines for managing irrigation in windy conditions on sandy soils.

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Biochar – implications for agricultural productivity

This report presents findings of a desktop review into biochar, covering potential applications, benefits, costs and risks, and future research required to realise the agricultural productivity improvement and environmental sustainability potential of biochar. This report focuses on production and application of biochar to soils to improve soil function and the ancillary benefits that may arise. Use of biochar as a way to abate greenhouse gases and sequester carbon is discussed in only general terms.

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Carbon amelioration in horticulture

Biochar is a new, high-carbon soil amendment that has shown promise in improving soil and increasing yields in crops. Biochar is created by heating organic biomass, such as chipped tree prunings, garden waste, chicken manure, rice husks and other agricultural by-products at high temperatures and with no oxygen. Preliminary research into biochar application to soil has found improvements to soil structure, fertiliser and water efficiency. Biochar increases soil carbon immediately after addition, and studies have estimated that biochar will remain in soil for hundreds of years.

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Comparison of biodegradable mulch products

A number of products have been evaluated during this project, to identify potential replacements for polyethylene mulch films in irrigated vegetable production. These replacement films need to have the same desirable traits, with the benefits of no disposal issues and costs.

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Critical Temperature Thresholds in Horticulture

A review of the temperature thresholds for a number of major horticultural commodities. Understanding the specific impact of temperature change on horticultural commodities is a necessary step in providing growers with the decision making tools to manage and adapt to climate change.

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No-till permanent beds for vegetable production

A no-till farming system has been developed for horticultural production, utilizing permanent beds that are not cultivated after initial land preparation.
Cover crops are established on beds, grown to maturity, killed and then flattened into an organic mulch. Commercial crops are directly sown or transplanted into this cover crop residue. This system aims to increase sustainability in relevant horticultural industries through the long-term maintenance of soil health and stability, as well as eliminating reliance on plastic mulch, which is difficult to dispose of, in an environmentally responsible fashion.

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Pollination Aware -Melons

An explanation of the pollination requirements for the Australian melon industry.

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Protected cropping for melons

As a response to markets demanding greater diversity of this commodity, growers have experimented with growing a greater variety of fruit types. Galia melons have been evaluated in field crops in North Queensland but yield and quality were reduced by variable climate conditions, foliar diseases, and decaying fruits in contact with soil. Overseas, it is common practice to grow some of these melon types using protective cropping systems. These systems involve growing plants under a frame structure covered with a film or screen material.

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Screening Vegetable Varieties from Asian Companies for Australian Markets

Field trials with new tomato, melon and watermelon varieties in south-east Queensland over 2 years (2011/12 and 2012/13) clearly demonstrated the value of running local variety trials before committing to the large-scale import of seed of new fruit and vegetable varieties. Around 40% of imported melon varieties were not resistant to local races of powdery and downy mildew diseases. A number of other watermelon, melon and tomato varieties proved to be poorly adapted to the new environment here and so were less productive than expected.

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Comparison of Farm Management Software

Comparison table of farm management software

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Effect of grafting on quality

Presentation from the University of Florida

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Electricity savings in packing sheds

Saving costs with grading and packing lines

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Electricity Tariffs

Explaining the differences in electricity tariffs.

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Horticulture Spray Risk Survey

Examines the risk of spray drift for horticultural industries. The report found that a key issue that needs to be addressed in many areas is land use planning because urban encroachment into rural areas can have impacts on spraying activities, even if only through perceived risk of chemical exposure and complaints of nuisance from noise and machinery.

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Lighting in packing sheds

Lighting is a vital part of packhouse and grading operations. On average, lighting uses 3% of total electricity. Audits identified that whilst there are opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of lighting, savings will be small.

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Managing cucurbits during wet weather

Waterlogged soils are deficient in oxygen as the oxygen between soil particles is replaced by water. Oxygen is essential for healthy root growth and the lack of oxygen in soils over a period of time results in root and eventually plant death. As flood damaged crops may have extensive root death, irrigation timing is vital to recovery and to avoid ongoing plant stress.

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Managing the pressures of farming

Understanding the pressures on farmers after disasters strike.

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Melon Card

An explanation of the Melon Card, a workplace health & safety program for farm workers.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 2

Deciding whether melons are the crop to grow.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 3

Frequently asked questions about growing practices.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 4

Growing the crop.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 5

Key issues.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 6

Problem solver.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 7

Contacts and references.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 8

Visual guide to crop stages.

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Rockmelon and honeydew information kit Part 9

Manual update.

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Saving energy in cool stores

Refrigeration is the biggest energy cost for fruit production, storage and packing businesses. On average, 64% of the audited businesses’ electricity was consumed by refrigeration, costing $85,000 a year. However, energy efficiency of refrigeration systems can be improved and costs saved.

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Soil erosion and repairing water storages on farm

Guide to repairing on farm structures after flood events.

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Agronomy of rockmelons

A concise guide to growing rockmelons, focussing on maintaining sugar levels in fruit.

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Post-harvest management of vegetables

Good post-harvest management extends the time vegetables stay fresh and alive by avoiding damage, limiting water loss and reducing metabolic activity. Poor post-harvest management leads to premature deterioration, and therefore waste and extra costs

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Post-harvest pathology of melons

Explains some of the post-harvest diseases affecting melons.

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Using compost safely

This guide describes how fresh produce growers can use compost without affecting their food safety assurance program.

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Main melon varieties in Australia

Main Australian watermelon, rockmelon (cantaloupe), honeydew melon and other types as at June 2017

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Watermelon pollinators

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