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Agriculture stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Agricultural sector:

Fields of green

Edition 198_RedCow

Lured by Tasmania’s lush green pastures, the Jackman family gathered up their herd of gentle red cows, and headed south to set up a dairy farm.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Kelp crop for salmon farmer

Tassal produces some of the world’s best salmon, but now it is also producing world-class giant kelp. In November the company expects to harvest its first seaweed crop, which has been growing next to fish pens at Oakhampton Bay on Tasmania’s East Coast. Tassal says the kelp crop reduces the company’s environmental footprint, as it helps balance the delicate marine environment. Tassal Head of Environment explained to The Mercury that emissions from salmon farming were soluble nutrients and giant kelp uses those nutrients for growth. Tassal’s move into seaweed is also motivated by a desire to regenerate Tasmania’s famous – but fast disappearing – kelp forests. Giant kelp is one of the quickest growing plants in the world. It can grow up to 50 centimetres a day and reach heights of 30 metres. The giant kelp forests on the Tasman Peninsula are one of the state’s biggest diving drawcards, and Tassal has also been involved in their preservation. It is forecast that by 2020 the world’s seaweed industry will be worth around $20 billion, and giant kelp from Tasmania’s clear, nutrient rich waters, is amongst the most highly valued in the world. As well as being edible, alginates from processed kelp are a key in numerous manufacturing processes, such as in the food industry where alkalines are used as thickeners.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

January end for fruit fly

Tasmania is expected to be fruit-fly free by January, according to the State Government. However, Primary Industries Minister, Sarah Courtney cautions that, “a number of factors will come into play to determine this, including finding no further fruit flies in spring, and importantly our trading partners accepting that Queensland Fruit Fly is no longer present in Tasmania". She added that the Government is also “supporting affected fruit growers to prepare their businesses for the coming season, until our pest free area status is officially reinstated and control zones can be lifted". A 15-kilometre exclusion zone was put in place around Spreyton, in the north-west, after the discovery of fruit fly larvae in January. The zones around George Town and on Flinders Island also remain in place.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

The insect rebellion

Edition 197_Insects

Fried crickets sprinkled on tostadas. Insect infused elderberry sauce. Snapper topped with mealworms. These are just some of the ‘Rebel Foods’ appearing on Tasmanian menus, as locally-farmed insects push food frontiers.

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Tassie’s avocado magic

Edition 197_Avoland

Tasmania’s next boom crop may well be none other than that much-loved tropical fruit – avocados.

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Taste of the Tarkine

Edition 196_HillFarm

Artisan food crafted on the edge of the Tarkine wilderness is in big demand the world over, and further evidence that the north-west really is ‘Tasmania’s Pantry’.

11 July 2018, Edition 196

World’s best – again

Edition 196_Lubiana

An incredible hat-trick for Tasmania’s Stefano Lubiana Winery, which has just won world’s best bio-dynamic wine at a prestigious London show – for the third year in a row.

10 July 2018, Edition 196

Farmers have your say

The call has gone out for Tasmania’s farmers and producers to have a greater voice in the future direction of the state’s vitally important agricultural sector. Interested parties are encouraged to take part in a major survey that is being conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). The TasAgFuture survey has already completed 100 in-depth interviews, but now organisers are keen to add another 1,000 opinions to this list. The survey will help the TIA map out the future focus for the sector; how to create value; best ways to support sustainable growth; and ways to ensure the sector remains competitive into the future. The TIA is confident the survey will also help develop a greater understanding of the drivers of change for Tasmanian producers and farmers, as well as examining the changing needs of research and development. If you would like to have your say and fill out a survey just visit: www.utas.edu.au/tia/tasagfuture.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

James is pick of the crop

James Clements, 41 years old, is the ‘pick of the bunch’ having just been named young grower of the year by Fruit Growers Tasmania. The Derwent Valley farmer told Tasmanian Country: “To be regarded at the same level as some very experienced, successful orchardists is quite a compliment.” Mr Clements manages a 60ha cherry farm for Wandin Valley Farms at Rosegarland, and also said a new 25ha cherry block he helped develop would have contributed to his win: “We had been looking for a suitable block for a while. We managed to find one literally across the road…We put a lot of effort into surveying the block so that we got all the drainage and water systems right from day one.” The new block was planted in 2017 and Mr Clements expects the first significant crop to be harvested by 2022.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

December fruit-fly target

Fruit fly restriction zones in the north are expected to be in place for at least another six months. Fruit Growers Tasmania said mid-December is the earliest date that Tasmania would be able to regain its fruit-fly-free status, with president, Nick Hansen, saying this would depend on a number of factors. He told ABC News: “Fruit fly at present is in a winter hiatus, in that there is no field work progressing because [of] the temperature and the conditions within the Tasmanian winter. Programs will be in place in the spring to continue the ground work when temperatures start to increase.” He added if everything went well in spring, and no detections were incurred within the control area, then “re-instatement can be applied for to the Commonwealth government.” A 15-kilometre exclusion zone was put in place around Spreyton, in the north-west, after the discovery of fruit fly larvae in January. The zones around George Town and on Flinders Island also remain in place.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

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Edition 198_PrinceOfWales

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16 September 2018, Edition 198

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