Events Calendar

PCA Workshops 2018

  • All dates and venues are tentative and to be confirmed
  • Workshops are free to most PCA members.
  • $350 Sponsorship and speaking opportunities are greatly appreciated to assist with catering.
  • Please contact Saskia for Expressions of interest to attend and be involved.
  • Saskia Blanch admin@protectedcroppingaustralia.com

 

Sep
29
Fri
2006
2006 Greenhouse Study Tour Canada @ Fairmont Hotel
Sep 29 – Oct 8 all-day

Event Overview

FINAL REPORT: PROJECT NUMBER VG06071

Read the Greenhouse Study Tour Canada Report

 

Project Leader: 
Graeme Smith

Purpose:
The purpose of the project was to assess existing, new and emerging
greenhouse technologies and how they may be integrated in existing
systems in Australia.

Funding Source: ?
Horticulture Australia Limited

Date of Report:
Sept 2007

Tour Participants 
Mark Lines – Holla-Fresh – South Australia
Sue Korevaar – Korevaar Hydroponics – Victoria
Anthony Brandsema – J&A Brandsema – Tasmania
Graeme Smith – AHGA – Victoria (Tour Leader)
Joanne Smith – Hydroponic Designs – Victoria
Mark Millis – Flavorite Tomatoes – Victoria
Chris Millis – Flavorite Tomatoes – Victoria
Horst Sjostedt – Flavorite Tomatoes – Victoria

Summary


This study tour allowed us to view firsthand the Canadian growing methods and glasshouse systems that have been developed over more than 20 years. The Australian protected cropping industry is similar to the Canadian model in growing techniques and technology, therefore we assessed their approach to environmental management and plant physiology, with particular emphasis on their growing techniques and their adoption of new & emerging technologies.

Canada has two main greenhouse growing areas in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) and Leamington, Ontario and both are well supported by industry training facilities that are also modern facilities for R&D.

Our industry suffers an acute shortage of opportunities for professional training and education, R& D in a range of technologies that are unique to the industry. Industry benefits are that skills training at all levels is necessary to underpin industry development & growth. Production and quality increases are necessary to meet the increasing demands of QA systems for both domestic and export markets. Industry skilling has the capacity to meet these needs and match the standards of the competitive imports/exports.

Overseas study is mandatory if we are to match production standards with overseas competitors as well as up-skilling the industry resulting in enhanced productivity and farm viability.

Tour Itinerary


DAY 1 – Friday 29th September 
Australia – Vancouver (The Fairmont Hotel)
Depart Australia and arrive Vancouver 1.52pm (same day!)
Recover from flight

DAY 2 – Saturday 30th September (The Fairmont Hotel) 
Vancouver – Chilliwack
Visit Calais Farms, Abbotsford (peppers) in the Chilliwack agricultural region, Fraser River Valley.
Dinner at Grouse Mountain overlooking the city.

DAY 3 – Sunday 1st October (The Fairmont Hotel)
Vancouver
Tour city of Vancouver, visit Granville Island (inc Fresh Produce Market), Stanley Park, etc.

DAY 4 – Monday 2nd October (The Fairmont Hotel) 
Vancouver – Richmond / Delta region
Morning – Hot House Growers Inc (tomatoes)
Lunch at Fort Langley
Afternoon – Glenwood Valley Farms (cucumbers and packhouse)
Kwantlen University College, Langley

DAY 5 – Tuesday 3rd October (Wyndham Bristol Place)
Vancouver – Toronto
Morning flights from Vancouver (8.20am) to Toronto (Ontario), arrive 3.45pm
6.30pm Dinner with Rijk Zwaan followed by presentations by John DeVries & Frek Knol

DAY 6 – Wednesday 4th October (Wyndham Bristol Place) 
Toronto
All day at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference
www.canadiangreenhouseconference.com/
Meet growers, network, attend workshops, buffet dinner.

DAY 7 – Thursday 5th October (Ramada Inn) 
Toronto – Leamington
Morning at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference
Travel to Leamington (greenhouse capital of North America)
Dinner at Spago’s in Leamington (Italian cuisine)

DAY 8 – Friday 6th October (Ramada Inn) 
Leamington Area
Visit 10ha pepper production & Amoroso tomatoes and other specialty tomato products
(Double Diamond Greenhouses and Prism Farms)
Lunch at Pelee Island Winery and tour of facilities.
Greenhouse & Processing Crops Research Station (Harrow) tour & presentation
Dinner at casino in Windsor Ontario.

DAY 9 – Saturday 7th October (Sheraton on the Falls) 
Leamington – Niagara Falls
Morning in Leamington visiting local greenhouse growers (TBA)
Travel to Niagara Falls for farewell dinner at Table Rock Restaurant

DAY 10 – Sunday 8th October 
Niagara Falls – Kitchener – Toronto – Australia
Travel to Kitchener to tour Mennonite country area (if time permits)
Travel to Toronto international airport for departures (6.35pm)

DAY 11 – Monday 9th October
Lost in Transit

DAY 12 – Tuesday 10th October 
Australia
Arrive Australia (7.55am) and travel to home destinations.

Grower Visits & Technologies Inspected


Irrigation Water Temperature Management
Canadian growers are faced with an unusual challenge in managing the temperature of their nutrient solution due to their climate and water sources. (n.b. Ideally the temperature should be maintained between 18 – 22°C to avoid root-zone problems like poor development and fungal diseases (e.g. pythium, etc).

Greenhouse growers in Leamington, Ontario source their water from Lake Erie that ranges in temperature from 0°C to 27°C over the year, therefore this water needs to be temperated prior to irrigating crops.

The correct water temperature is achieved by using heat exchange units that can either heat or cool the irrigation water, by exchanging energy with a water sink that is either hotter or cooler than the supply water from Lake Erie.

  • Heat Exchanger to temperate greenhouse irrigation water.

    Heat Exchanger to temperate greenhouse irrigation water.

  • Lake Erie feeds Niagara Falls and is water source for greenhouse crops.

    Lake Erie feeds Niagara Falls and is water source for greenhouse crops.

Greenhouse Heating
Canadian greenhouse growers are increasingly turning to alternative energy sources as their primary source (natural gas) continues to increase in price. One such alternative is wood waste that is shredded prior to burning and costs approx CAD$3.50/GJ, compared to CAD9.00/GJ for natural gas.

Energy costs and any savings are considerable as temperatures drop to -15C in winter. One downside is that Carbon Dioxide CO2 is not available from wood waste and must be supplied via a smaller natural gas boiler system or bulk liquid tanks.

  • Typical wood waste boiler.

    Typical wood waste boiler.

  • canada_tour_i05

    Wood waste is automatically fed to boiler via a moving floor.

  • canada_tour_i06

    Raw supply of wood waste prior to shredding.

Crop Viruses
Two crop viruses are endemic affecting both tomato (Pepino Mosaic virus) and cucumber (Pseudo Yellow Leaf virus) crops. As a consequence, a significant effort is made to limit either introduction or spread of viruses by:
1. footbaths at greenhouse entry points
2. sterilising tools and equipment at end of each row and end of day
3. sourcing seedlings from accredited, “clean” nurseries
4. ensuring visitors are dressed in suitable protective clothing
5. quarantining affected areas until end of day

  • Pepino Mosaic Virus (tomatoes)

    Pepino Mosaic Virus (tomatoes)

  • canada_tour_i08

    Pseudo Yellow Leaf Virus (cucumbers)

  • canada_tour_i09

    Footbaths at greenhouse entry

  • canada_tour_i10

    Tools collected at end of day for sterilising

Labour
85% of all greenhouse labour is performed by workers from either Mexico or Jamaica with females responsible mainly for crop work and males assigned to general maintenance and removal of crop at end of season. Labour rates at average of CAD$10.30/hour. Some growers allow workers to utilise growing space above access aisles to produce potted
plants and ferns for private sale to supplement their incomes.

Automatic crop & labour registration systems are used to overcome language problems. These systems utilise RFI interface units to identify workers, tasks, greenhouse areas, pest and disease areas and start/stop times by simply passing a transponder over reader unit at appropriate times. Additionally, some systems use a biometric system to read individual thumbprints.

  • Male workers used in general maintenance.

    Male workers used in general maintenance.

  • Female workers used in general crop work.

    Female workers used in general crop work.

  • RFI units for crop and labour registration system.

    RFI units for crop and labour registration system.

  • Main Input for crop & labour registration (inc biometric thumbprint reader)

    Main Input for crop & labour registration (inc biometric thumbprint reader)

  • Workers potted ferns above access aisle.

    Workers potted ferns above access aisle.

  • Misc greenhouse workers.

    Misc greenhouse workers.

Cucumber Crops
Whilst tomato crops are grown in much the same way as in Australia, there are some notable differences in the way cucumber crops are grown. Australian greenhouse growers commonly plant and harvest 3 crops/year, whereas Canadian cucumber growers can target 4 crops a year by “interplanting” (planting seedlings under a mature crop so that picking begins on the young crop as fruiting finishes on the mature crop).

Alternatively, growers can elect to “layer” the crop using the high-wire system. This allows each crop to continue for extended periods usually resulting in 2 crops/year. Additionally, growers can elect to grow under horticultural lights during the darker seasons, resulting in an increase of around 80 fruits/m2 (from 200 to 280/m2).

  • Layered cucumber crop.

    Layered cucumber crop.

  • Cucumber crop grown under lights.

    Cucumber crop grown under lights.

Canadian Greenhouses 
These systems range in size from 4ha (relatively large by Australian standards), to a very large 26ha. The size of these systems demand a different approach on how they transport fruit, transport themselves and how to provide suitable comfort & personal hygiene stations, due to the vast distances needed to travel with a greenhouse (sometimes over 1.5km). Additionally, modern fruit grading systems are utilised to speed up grading and ovoid overpacking tomato trays (e.g. Christmas tree graders).

  • Typical large Canadian glasshouse.

    Typical large Canadian glasshouse.

  • Internal distances are significant in large Canadian glasshouses.

    Internal distances are significant in large Canadian glasshouses.

  • Personal chariot to travel around glasshouse.

    Personal chariot to travel around glasshouse.

  • Internal fruit transport system.

    Internal fruit transport system.

  • canada_tour_i24

    Christmas tree tomato grader.

  • canada_tour_i23

    Greenhouse comfort stations at regular intervals.

R&D Centres
As mentioned above, each main greenhouse growing area in Canada has dedicated grower training and R&D centres to support industry development and ensures that new and emerging greenhouse technologies are adapted for local use and demonstrate to growers how they might integrate these technologies into their own systems.

Some trials observed included an innovative foam generation system that introduces foam between the twin polythene roof layers to act as both a solar shield (in the day) and an energy curtain (at night). Other trials included the most efficient way to distribute sulphur power around the greenhouse using HAF fans and sulphur burning pots.

These facilities allow Canadian growers to maximise there opportunities to become the best greenhouse producers in North America and meet the diverse needs of their consumers in terms of production, crops, colours and packaging options. Such facilities are sorely needed in Australia to drive the industry forward.

  • Foam injection system in greenhouse roof layers.

    Foam injection system in greenhouse roof layers.

  • Trial Sulphur distribution system.

    Trial Sulphur distribution system.

  • Diverse range of Canadian greenhouse products and packaging.

    Diverse range of Canadian greenhouse products and packaging.

Tour Outcomes


The tour group was fortunate to experience a wide variety of technologies, crops, and general growing techniques in a relatively short time frame and clearly highlights the strong value of well structured study tours. The benefit of assessing new and emerging technologies and how to integrate these into their own systems is immeasurable as Australia currently lacks R&D and demonstration centres.

The value in meeting and talking to growers who are producing the same crops in similar circumstances is important in enhancing the individual learning for each participant. The information gained is usually freely given as there is no perception of competition from growers from opposite sides of the planet.

It is my common experience that participants experience a kind of “wow factor” by sensing a glimpse into their own future, and at the very least are able to take back a wide variety of growing tips and tricks to help improve there own enterprise back home.

It is my strong contention that this Canadian Greenhouse Study Tour was no exception and delivered many similar outcomes.

Suggestions for leaders of future study tours

Ours is a strongly technology driven industry and when travelling overseas we will see lots of these new and emerging technologies, however it is important to realise that basic principles still apply. (in terms of plant physiology and environmental management). Australian growers are yet to fully comprehend the growing basics and maybe should concentrate on these before necessarily investing in expensive equipment that possibly will not improve production or quality if not used well. The Australian protected cropping industry suffers an acute shortage of opportunities for professional training and education in a range of technologies that are unique to the industry. Overseas study is mandatory if we are to match production standards with overseas competitors as well as up-skilling the industry resulting in enhanced productivity and farm viability.

It was very clear from the start of the tour that obtaining access to the best Canadian growers was almost impossible unless you had an appointment that only major companies (like seed and equipment suppliers) could facilitate. Normal greenhouse access was restricted due to the threat of disease spread (ie Pepino Mosaic Virus) and prior arrangements were always necessary. Do your homework before you travel.

Viruses are rampant in Canada with destructive stains that are not (yet) found in Australia. These viruses (like Pepino Mosaic in tomatoes and Pseudo Yellow Leaf in Cucumbers would be highly infective if allowed to be imported into Australia. These kinds of viruses can easily be transmitted via clothes or shoes and as spoors can remain viable for up to 40 days, it would be prudent to inform travellers to allow for clothes and shoes to either be discarded on there return or sterilised and placed into home quarantine for a period of at least 60 days before worn in any greenhouse.

Reasonable allowances should be made when planning routes. Growers are happy to welcome us into their greenhouses (provided prior arrangement made), but do not appreciate late arrivals as each & every day in the greenhouse is a busy one.

International phone charges (ie. roaming) can be substantial as charges are applied both to & from Australia and even received calls are charged at a premium rate.

Foreign Currency transaction fees add up to substantial figures when using credit cards, though these are considered desirable as they offer a full financial audit trail for tour costs.

Credit cards can be quickly exhausted by hoteliers or hire-car companies, as they typically hold against your card the full rate for accommodation and car hire, then charge the actual rate on top when paying the bill. The booking fees are not released for around 7 days and can be substantial if paying for the entire group!

Excess baggage was a common event charged by international airlines as tour participants often were overloaded due to an array of notes, books, brochures, gifts, etc that were gathered from expo’s, training institutions, etc. Best to weigh suitcases at hotels and share around group if possible.

Technology Transfer
The learned outcomes of this tour have been presented at a number of industry association meetings and include the following:

West Australian Greenhouse Growers Association (WAGGA) Perth July 2007
Hydroponic Farmers Federation (HFF) Growers Workshop Mansfield August 2007
Misc presentations to Victorian TAFE colleges Shepparton/Geelong/Burnley Jan – July 2007
Article in the ‘Soilless Australia’, newsletter of the AHGA
Article in ‘Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouse Magazine’ Casper Publications Jan 2007

To Come:
HFF Biennial Conference (HFF) planned for April of 2008

Published Article


Canadian Greenhouse Study Tour 
SUE KOREVAAR reports on her tour to study the North American greenhouse vegetable industry, including a look at energy, labour and food safety issues.  Click Here to read this article

Budget


Macedon Ranges Travel Service Air Travel & Insurance, Hotel Accommodation (x 4) $46,815
Alamo 2 x Hire Cars $1,511
Fuel Stations Hire Car Fuel $527
Australian Geographic Thank you Gifts (Canadian growers) $234
Restaurants Celebratory Dinners (mid and end tour) $1,362
Conference Conference Entry Fees $486

Misc Fees
Car Parking Fees $133
Photocopying $44
Study Tour CDs $71
International Phone $204
Australia Post $62
Bank Processing & Foreign Exchange $175
Consulting Fees $850
Tour Adverts (Good Fruit & Vegetables) $500

Total Tour Costs: $52,973

Acknowledgements


In my role as Project Leader, I wish to thank the tour participants (refer page 4) for their co-operation and punctuality. Their interest in all things greenhouse and the general spirit of togetherness was most satisfying. I thank them for their friendship. I specially thank them for their contribution to the information included in this report.

Recognition and appreciation is also given to the following for their welcome contribution to ensuring a successful, informative and interesting tour:

Roelf Schreuder Rijk Zwaan Australia
Stephen Goodwin DPI NSW
Marilyn Steiner DPI NSW
Joyce Lam BC Greenhouse Growers Association
Jonathan Bos Hot House Growers
Freek Knol Area Mgr, De Ruiter Seeds
Gus Mastronardi De Ruiter Seeds North America
Shalin Khosla Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
Gary Jones Kwantlen University College
Tiessen Family Prism Farms
Mastronardi Family H&A Mastronardi Farms
Ondejko Family Seacliff Nursery

Graeme Smith
Project Leader

GRAEME SMITH CONSULTING
Hydroponic Consultancy Services
PO Box 789, Woodend, Victoria, Australia 3442
Phone: +61 3 5427 2143
Facsimile: +61 3 5427 3843
Mobile: +61 0427 339 009
Email: hydesign@bigpond.net.au

Oct
26
Thu
2006
2006 Greenhouse Vegetable Study Tour Holland @ Holland
Oct 26 – Nov 8 all-day

Event Overview

FINAL REPORT: PROJECT NUMBER VG05069

Read the Greenhouse Vegetable Study Tour Holland Report

 

Project Leader:
Graeme Smith

Purpose:
The purpose of the project was to assess existing, new and emerging greenhouse
technologies and how they may be integrated in existing systems in Australia.

Funding Source:
Horticulture Australia Limited

Date of Report:
June 2006

Tour Participants
Ian Mortlock – Alma Hydroponics – Victoria
Damian Meeuwissen – Nerrigundah Berries – Victoria
Anne Wilson – Bellarine Hydroponics – Victoria
Ryan Brightwell – Nerrigundah Berries – Victoria
Rick Donnan – Growool Horticultural Supplies – New South Wales
Richard Clough – Living Shade – New South Wales
Graeme Smith – Graeme Smith Consulting – Victoria (Tour Leader)
Marcus Brandsema – J&A Brandsema P/L – Tasmania
Nicole Gallace – Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm – Victoria
Keith Atkinson – Atkinson Hydroponics – New South Wales
Max Horvath – Horvath Hydroponics – Queensland
Sohum Ghandi – AIS Greenworks – New South Wales

holland_tour_i01

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Summary

This study tour allowed us to view firsthand the highly efficient Dutch growing methods and glasshouse systems that have been developed over more than 30 years. The Australian protected cropping industry largely emulates the Dutch model in growing techniques and technology, therefore we assessed their approach to environmental management and plant physiology, with particular emphasis on their growing techniques and their adoption of new & emerging technologies. The industry suffers an acute shortage of opportunities for professional training and education in a range of technologies that are unique to the industry.

A key study was their total uptake of closed systems (full recycling) with very low waste water. This method is strongly recommended by our national industry and will eventually become mandatory, therefore growers needed to study the correct techniques. Professional training was received at a 5-day intensive course at Holland’s main horticultural training institution, PTC+, studying a comprehensive range of greenhouse subjects that are currently not available in Australia.

Industry benefits are that skills training at all levels is necessary to underpin industry development & growth. Production and quality increases are necessary to meet the increasing demands of QA systems for both domestic and export markets. Industry skilling has the capacity to meet these needs and match the standards of the competitive imports/exports. Overseas study is mandatory if we are to match production standards with overseas competitors as well as up-skilling the industry resulting in enhanced productivity and farm viability.

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Tour Itinerary

October
Wed 26th Australia Travel to Holland (depart 3.30pm)
Thu 27th Amsterdam (8.50am) Cuijk 10ha Caransa/Mecano tomatoes & Euphoria cucumber, Honslelerdijk Delft Visit demonstration nursery.
Fri 28th Delft Bergschenhoek Visit de Ruiter Seed, inspect Funky capsicum, Trica tomatoes.
Sat 29th Delft Meerle national Belgium strawberry research centre. (inc trials of tomatoes & capsicum)
Sun 30th Delft Ede Tour Delft village & travel to Ede.
Mon 31st Ede PTC+ (1st training day).
November
Tue 1st Ede PTC+ (2nd training day).
Wed 2nd Ede Amsterdam PTC+ (3rd training day) & Travel.
Thu 3rd Amsterdam Hortifair (NTV).
Fri 4th Amsterdam Hortifair (NTV) + Priva Workshops.
Sat 5th Amsterdam Travel on Priva Bus Tour (latest g/h tech).
Sun 6th Amsterdam Ede Tour Locally.
Mon 7th Ede PTC+ (4th training day).
Tue 8th Ede Amsterdam PTC+ (5th training day) & Travel home.
Wed 9th & Thu 10th Australia Arrive Australia (05.25am).

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Grower Visits

Grower of Meccano tomatoes

holland_tour_i02

  • Mixture of glasshouses, old and new.
  • 2 hectares.
  • Density: Start 1.8m2 – 2 heads on each plant – 3.3m2.
  • Grafted plants: double blocks 2 plants per block, 4 plants per slab.
  • Yield: 56 – 57 kg m2
  • Loose truss market – 6kg collapsible crates.
  • No screens, no need only one or two days per year with light levels too high.
  • Light levels range between 50J/cm2 – 3000J/cm2, very rare.
  • Recirculate all nutrients, disinfect with UV.
  • Labour: Approx. 10 people plus students in summer.
  • Staff multi skilled do all jobs.
  • Pay wages not piece work.
  • Very practical approach to work
  • start by picking up leaf and keeping everything clean but once it gets busy just leave it till the autumn.


Ten hectares Caransa
Grafted – mostly for economic reasons, save money on seed/seedlings. Everyone forced to graft for extra vigour to help plants cope with Pepino Mosaic Virus.

Tear leaves rather than cut, leave significant tear wounds on plant but no stubs. Do this to save time. No leaf pruning in p.m. High pipe temp after pruning. All leaf on floor for season.

holland_tour_i06-edit

  • Wind plants.
  • 20cm wide slabs – 2 plants either end. Then doubled after 3rd truss.
  • Picking straight into trays on trolleys then train to take it out to packhouse.
  • Connected trolleys, not mechanised.
  • Loose truss pack. 5kg Cardboard trays.


Cucumber – long English.

  • High temperatures: 17-18 degrees pre night, 19-20 night, 24-26 afternoon.
  • Labour: 1hr per m2 per year $16per m2 labour
  • 190 cucumber per m2 – Average weight 400gm.
  • $7 energy per m2
  • Co energy generation puts energy back into the grid.
  • Huge buffer/storage tanks for storage of waste heat.
  • Recirculating: bringing back in at 1 EC and fresh water.

Individual nutrient tanks injecting in individual elements as required. But next year will be changing back to A & B tanks other system too complicated. UV disinfection.

holland_tour_i07-edit

  • Uses white plastic stem guides to avoid kinking (pictured)
  • Individual knives per row to avoid disease (pictured)


Tomato Grower, Variety

  • Tricia on maxifort root stock
  • Greenhouse: 5m high
  • Yield: 67 kg/m2
  • Grafted plants: making two plants from each seedling.
  • Winding not clipping, but fewer winds on plant, roughly only 1 wind between trusses.
  • Only 3 to 4 trusses left on plant, fruit still good size.
  • Plants healthy.
  • Leaf on floor for season, also some rotting fruit – looked messy but no disease evident.
  • Grow pipe.
  • CO2
  • Contracting labour for plant training.
holland_tour_i11-edit



Grower – Vreugdenhil

  • Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper) “Funky”
  • Area: 4.15ha
  • Greenhouse: 5.5m
  • Plant early Dec. take through till middle of Nov. 2 weeks to cleanup and change crops.
  • Seedlings 6 weeks when planted in greenhouse.
  • Take 3 stems from one plant.
  • Yield: 30.5 kg/m2 – red. (2.5 green, Total 30.5kg/m2)

Fantastic logistics system:

holland_tour_i14-edit

  • Conveyor belts under gutters
  • Trolleys with chutes into which picked capsicums are dropped, these go onto conveyor belts which are continuously moving towards the walkway.
  • Here they drop onto wider conveyor belt travelling along beside the walkway.
  • Then delivered directly to the packshed.
  • Unique trolley system which spans two rows under the gutters, dual purpose – picking & plant work.
  • 14 trolleys & 14 workers in greenhouse do all tasks.
  • System designed by two young growers who also work in crop.


Metazet Demo Nursery (limited photos allowed)

  • 5,000m2 (flowers, vegetables, pot-plants)
  • Various systems (harvesting, internal transport, cultivation, plant lighting, etc)
  • Wire mesh benches
  • Chain path system
  • Suspended chain rails
  • Hanging plants
  • Wire monorail systems
  • Tube rail supports
  • Harvesting carts
  • Walking plant system
  • Hanging gutters
  • Pumps
  • Paints
  • Climate control
  • Harvesting & processing. etc.
  • Form Flex: Supported and Hanging gutter systems
  • Crop Support Systems: ladder tape with metal clips attached with a “gun”.
  • Systems for lifting pipe rails when changing floors. etc.
  • Hooks under pipes to lift then wire and pulley system.
  • Pallet wrapping: easy wrappers, portable systems.

holland_tour_i16



Train track system:
– Chain in steel track set into concrete path
– Front of trolleys has “bar” that goes into slot & is picked up by the chain which is constantly moving.
– Safety stop bar on the front.

holland_tour_i15 holland_tour_i17

Metazet Trolley: high work trolley (www.metazet.com):
– Slotted steel with cross support bars
– Bars support platform but also form ladder for accessing platform.
– Tubular steel structure of platform sits over slotted steel
– Very simple & height variable to approx 20cm variations and can go quite low.
– English brochure.

National Strawberry Research Centre – Belgium

holland_tour_i18

– Total recirculation of all nutrients is required by law.
– Uses slow sand filter and UV.
– Many types of growing systems including soil, glasshouse, haygrove tunnel, hanging gutter, etc

holland_tour_i19 holland_tour_i20

Any drain water not used goes through reed bed and lava bed to reduce nitrates before it can be released into the sewer. Gov’t checks and traces back to growers, penalties for growers who breach regulations.

holland_tour_i21 holland_tour_i22

The research centre is also used by the major European seed breeding companies to trial new varieties of both tomato and sweet pepper (capsicum) before final commercialisation.

holland_tour_i23 holland_tour_i24

Banker plants (ie wheat) are used at the end of growing rows to introduce beneficial insects (wheat quickly dies, insects move out to crop in search of food).

holland_tour_i25

Assimilation & supplementary lighting is being trialled in tomato crops to increase photosynthesis (growth), with light ballasts separated from globes to introduce heat at fruit level and avoid natural light shading.

holland_tour_i26 holland_tour_i27

Practical Training Centre
This centre in Ede (Holland) specialises in horticultural training (being close to Wageningen, the centre of horticultural research in the Netherlands). PTC+ has purpose built greenhouses to demonstrate technology & put into action their slogan “Learn by Doing”. They annually train 40,000 graduates (in 5 campuses), have 450 employees and annual turnover of US$28million.

 holland_tour_i30

The group completed the “Advanced Horticultural Course on Greenhouse Management” (computerised environmental control, substrates, water & fertiliser management, greenhouse structures & cladding, crop protection). As part of the course, the group developed and tested an effective crop spray trolley suitable for tall greenhouse crops (tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, egg plants, etc). The resultant design is pictured below:

holland_tour_i31 holland_tour_i32
holland_tour_i28

 

Media-Based Nutrient Recirculation System
Water is the life-blood of all horticulture and access to quality water should be the goal of all greenhouse managers, however the inherent low buffering of hydroponic systems demands a higher level of water management than soil based systems. Even media based systems allow root-zone conditions to change rapidly if not well managed. This aspect can be both our strength & weakness. “Strength” in un-equalled control of plant performance if achieved, “weakness” is lower yield & quality if not well managed.

Hydroponic systems can deliver substantial reductions in water usage compared to traditional farming activities (as much as 75%), and also increase yields per m2. The challenge for growers is to continue to reduce water consumption and to responsibly discharge wastewater to minimise environmental impacts.

Growers in the Netherlands are all obligated by legislation to recycle their drain water due to a high water table, as a large proportion of the country is flat and 4 – 6m below sea level. As a result they have been successfully recirculating their nutrient for some time after many years study on the recalculation of the nutrient load to maintain a healthy crop balance. They also capture high quality rainwater off the glasshouse roof into lined dams (called basins).

One of the prime reasons for our study tour was to study recirculation systems, the physical requirements (valves, tanks, pumps, piping, etc), and the technical methods of balancing the nutrient solution to a level suitable for the crop.

holland_tour_i33

Figure 1: shows a typical media based “Free-Drainage” system used in Australia today. This simple schematic shows a pump drawing raw water from a supply tank to fill a batching tank. On the way a fertiliser injection system adds the nutrient to an EC & pH set-point. The greenhouse irrigation controller calls for a feed and a second pump draws from the batch tank to feed the crop. Any waste water (typically 20 – 30%) is then collected and disposed of or used on a secondary crop (eg. pasture improvement). Some systems utilise a direct injection system to the crop and do not have a batch tank, however the principle and outcomes are the same.

Growers strive to maintain around 20 – 30% free drainage to balance out root-zone conditions in the media and environmental impacts, however this relatively low figure makes our media management that much tighter, hence a higher degree of control is necessary.

holland_tour_i34

Figure 2: shows the Dutch recirculation system, which is collected in a small transfer tank, pumped via a filter (to capture organic wastes), to a drain tank.

This nutrient is then pumped to a second “recycle” tank via a disinfection system. This recycled, disinfected water is then introduced into the raw water pump via a proportional 3-way valve that is adjusted to supply an output EC target (eg. 1.0). This 3-way valve can be manually or automatically adjusted to maintain the required set-point to the pump. This tomato example then shows that our fertiliser injection system only needs to supply an EC of 1.6 to deliver our required 2.6 to the batch tank. (1.0 recycle water + 1.6 injected = 2.6EC).

We have now seen the basic mechanics of a recirculation system.

Growers in this system typically aim for a 40% drain solution as it delivers them a more stable media condition and they are not losing any precious resources (water or nutrient) to the environment. This 40% drain matches the recycle EC (2.6 / 1.0); therefore our zero waste system is in balance!

Grower’s outcomes are 40% saving in fertiliser, 40% water saving, and are environmentally sound and responsible!

Nutrient analysis of the recycle tank is initially required every 2 weeks to convert the nutrient load to a standard reference, which in turn is used to modify the injection recipe. This recipe modification takes account of the individual nutrient ions already present and adjusts these ions if necessary to maintain a reasonable balance at all times. We can also allow for different recipes at different crop stages (eg. tomatoes – filling bags, starter mix, 3rd, 5th, 10th & 12th + truss stage), to meet changing crop demands for maximum yield & quality.

Analysis frequency can be dropped to approx 3 – 4 weeks once the system is stable.

The Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Association is keen to encourage all greenhouse growers to adopt the above “closed” system principles as a basic tenet of a code of conduct (yet to be developed). This code is intended (in part) to further minimise any impacts on the natural environment.

The knowledge gained has been part of the industry presentations (see technology transfer on page 21) to encourage grower adoption nationwide.

Priva Bus Tour
Penning Freesias
– 3.7ha (growing, breeding, research, cooling)
– Developed 30 new varieties over 30 years
– Currently aim for 2-3 new varieties annually
– Leading supplier of corms & cormlets (local & export)
– New 1.2ha for propagation, commercial testing & showing new varieties
– Polystyrene beads introduced into the growing media to both cool & warm in summer/winter.
– Innovative “ground loop” system to both heat & cool crops using 2 adjoining bores via a heat exchanger.

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SION Orchids

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– Total 5ha (2 sites) of Phalaenopsis orchids
– Sion supplies groups of 1 – 3 spikes/pot
– Breeding program to increase spikes & buds/spike
– 26 weeks @ 28°C, auto sorted, 26 weeks @ 28°C, 20 weeks @ 19°C (total 72 weeks)
– 25,000 in & out each week (1.8million)
– Sell $7 – $70 each (minimum $12.6 million)
– Site fully automated
– Ground-Loop system (heat & cool)
– Only 4 manual tasks throughout production
– Robots & cameras do most work
– Cladding – 8mm twin-walled Plexiglas acrylic (high light transmission & 30% thermal efficiency)
– 2 levels over 6,500m2 (lights in finishing area underneath can be dimmed)

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Hortifair
Also included was 2 days at Hortifair (NTV) at the RAI. This Expo is the worlds largest in the protected cropping industry and showcases the latest (existing, new & emerging) technologies. The area is so large that 1 day is required to have an overview of what is available, and the second day is to target the products of most interest.

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The 900 booths showcases many items, that if not yet in common use in Australian greenhouse systems, we can expect adoption in the near future as they have assisted Dutch growers earn a strong reputation for being the most productive and efficient.

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Some full sized units on show included CHP systems (combined heat & power) that allow growers to produce greenhouse heat and sell any surplus energy to the power companies.

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With the continuing adoption in glasshouse (over poly greenhouses), special cleaning technologies were on display including glass cleaning machines and crop spray systems that travel on heating pipes.

A piece of boiler maintenance equipment was of special interest to Australian growers who used waste-oil fired boilers that often required cleaning of the boiler tubes due to relatively poor combustion.

The equipment consisted of a long shaft with a metal head brush that was driven by a heavy-duty drill that allowed easy cleaning of the tubes. In addition the unit had a commercial vacuum cleaner to trap dust particles (these particles can contain heavy metals injurious to human health)

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Specialist insect screening for glasshouse ventilators was demonstrated. These screens were available in grades to suit different insects and air-exchange rates.

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Under-bench heating coils to supply direct rootzone heating for various systems (inc pot culture).

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These systems are in common use in seedling nurseries, etc.

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Tour Outcomes

The tour group was fortunate to experience a wide variety of experiences in a relatively short time frame, with none more so than the time spent at PTC+.

The trips main focus was a 5-day intensive training course at PTC+ (Practical Training Centre – Ede – Holland), on greenhouse management, plant physiology, computerised environmental control, substrates, water and fertiliser management, greenhouse structures and claddings and crop protection.

On the completion of the course, each participant was presented with a completion certificate entitled “Advanced Horticultural Course on Greenhouse Management”.

PTC+ has well developed training facilities that include classrooms connected to a glasshouse (divided into 8 different compartments for 8 different crops), that allows us to immediately put into practice the theory learnt.

The course entry level is aimed at greenhouse managers & consultants, however ample time was allocated to ensure all participants’ needs were met. The course modules covered are subject to feedback from participants and can be tailored to best meet any group’s needs.

Our main instructor was Ben van Onna who comes with great credentials and was well received during his all-states visits & workshops for the 2003 AHGA national conference.

PTC+ is not just a training institute but also offers a number of other roles that have been identified by the Australian protected cropping industry as constraints to industry development. These roles include:

Centralised Training Facilities
A location that delivers industry specific training in both theory and practical.

Demonstration Facilities
To showcase both existing, new and emerging technology and how to integrate into growers systems.

Dedicated R&D Facilities
To ensure our technology driven industry adapts to Australian conditions and crops

Field Grower Incentives
Demonstrate alternative production techniques to traditional Australian
farmers.

Model Business Plans
Developed using centre’s growing technology for each crop.

Minor-Use Program
A location to assist with efficacy trials on new greenhouse products.

Bio-control Facilities
Potential area to develop or trial new greenhouse bio-controls.

Energy & Water Efficiencies
Centre for industry research into resource utilisation and efficiencies.

A National Greenhouse Training Institute
– Has capacity to lift entire industry through targeted education and research
– Assist in overcoming grower reluctance to invest in unfamiliar (yet proven) technology.
– Sets industry standards and targets (both quality & production)
– Demonstrates best-practice growing techniques for Australian greenhouse crops
– Centre for Asia/Pacific education and training in greenhouse crops and technologies (targeting Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, New Zealand and other regional growers.)
– Partnership with PTC+ to develop & deliver specialist industry training.
– Based on PTC+ model (theory & practical)
– Include classrooms, growing systems, structures, common technology, caf�, catering, admin, student accommodation?, etc
– Crops targeted – tomatoes, capsicum, strawberry, cucumber, lettuce & herbs, rose, gerbera ++
– Located for best industry return (TBA?)
– Funding sources: industry and commercial partnerships, government, course fees from participants, produce sales, breeders trials, etc
– Capital infrastructure costs (yet to be determined?)

A National Greenhouse Training Institute can meet a significant number of identified industry failures and industry is urged to investigate this proposal.

We emulate Dutch growers in terms of technology and varieties, however if we aim to match their quality, efficiency & productivity, then industry up-skilling is mandatory. An institute can offer this and more.

PTC+, Ede, Holland (potential model for National Greenhouse Training Institute)

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Suggestions for leaders of future study tours
Ours is a strongly technology driven industry and when travelling overseas we will see lots of these new and emerging technologies, however it is important to realise that basic principles still apply. (in terms of plant physiology and environmental management).

Australian growers are yet to fully comprehend the growing basics and maybe should concentrate on these before necessarily investing in expensive equipment that possibly will not improve production or quality if not used well.

The Australian protected cropping industry suffers an acute shortage of opportunities for professional training and education in a range of technologies that are unique to the industry. Overseas study is mandatory if we are to match production standards with overseas competitors as well as up-skilling the industry resulting in enhanced productivity and farm viability.

It was very clear from the start of the tour that obtaining access to the best European growers was almost impossible unless you had an appointment that only major companies (like seed and equipment suppliers) could facilitate. Normal greenhouse access was restricted due to the threat of disease spread (ie Pepino Mosaic Virus) and prior arrangements were always necessary. Do your homework before you travel.

Whilst European distances are relatively short (compared to Australia), larger traffic volumes greatly affect road travel times and reasonable allowances should be made when planning routes. Growers are happy to welcome us into their greenhouses (provided prior arrangement made), but do not appreciate late arrivals as each & every day in the greenhouse is a busy one.

International phone charges (ie. roaming) can be substantial as charges are applied both to & from Australia and even received calls are charged at a premium rate.

Vehicle parking & rates in Europe are substantial and can be as much as $35 per night per vehicle (even when parking at the hotel you are staying at). Also allow for parking a significant distance away from your hotel (ie larger centres like Amsterdam, etc). Best to ask about parking availability & costs when booking rooms.

Foreign Currency transaction fees add up to substantial figures when using credit cards, though these are considered desirable as they offer a full financial audit trail for tour costs.

Credit cards can be quickly exhausted by hoteliers or hire-car companies, as they typically hold against your card the full rate for accommodation and car hire, then charge the actual rate on top when paying the bill. The booking fees are not released for around 7 days and can be substantial if paying for 12 people or more!

Excess baggage was a common event charged by international airlines as tour participants often were overloaded due to an array of notes, books, brochures, gifts, etc that were gathered from expo’s, training institutions, etc. Best to weigh suitcases at hotels and share around group if possible.

Technology Transfer
The learned outcomes of this tour have been presented at a number of industry association meetings and include the following:

Greenhouse Constructions Australia (GCA) Workshop – Brisbane Jan 2006
Tasmanian Association of Greenhouse Growers (TAGG) – Launceston Feb 2006
West Australian Greenhouse Growers Association (WAGGA) – Perth July 2006
Virginia Horticultural Centre (VHC) – Adelaide Feb 2006
Hydroponic Farmers Federation (HFF) Biennial Conference – Geelong July 2006
Misc presentations to Victorian TAFE colleges – Shepparton/Geelong/Burnley Jan – July 2006
Articles in the ‘Soilless Australia’ – Newsletter of the AHGA

To Come:
Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Group (BFVG) – Planned for latter half of 2006.
Greenhouse Vegetables NSW (GVNSW) – Planned for latter half of 2006.
Article in ‘Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouse Magazine’ – Casper Publications Australia.

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Published Article

European hydroponics – what Australia can expect of the future
BY SUSAN HUDSON (Vegetables Australia)

For those involved in greenhouse production in Australia, an escorted tour of Holland and Belgium to witness the state of the art in the industry might seem like a two-week sojourn in heaven.

And it fulfilled all expectations. Tour participants from around Australia joined this Pathways to Production tour in October 2003 to study at the acclaimed Practical Training Centre Plus at Ede, and to view “walking plant systems”, where plants are tended on conveyor belts that come to the grower instead of the other way around. They visited the only double storey automated and robotized greenhouse in the world, where 25,000 orchids are cultivated and later exported every week.

With funding from Horticulture Australia Limited, the tour was organised by president of the Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Association, Graeme Smith.

“We saw something of what Australia can expect in the future,” Graeme told Vegetables Australia recently. “Although some Australian growers are already on the right track and not too far behind production methods being used in Europe.”

Graeme, who now runs Graeme Smith Consulting, studied at PTC+ in 2002, gaining a postgraduate diploma in greenhouse management. So he was well aware of what the highly competitive European market had to offer our growers in terms of knowledge and expertise.

“Sadly there has been a lack of formal opportunities in Australia for training in this highly specialised field of vegetable production,” he said. “Although this is changing quite rapidly.”

After arriving in Holland the group visited the National Greenhouse Research Centre in Naaldwijk and the Strawberry Research Centre at Meerle in Belgium, before joining a 5-day intensive training course at the PTC+ in Ede where they were tutored in the management of energy, water, fertilizers and humidity control.

Their principal tutor, Ben van Onna, is well known to many Australian growers after attending the National Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Association Conference staged in Melbourne in 2003.

The institute at Ede is unique in that as well as classrooms, there are large greenhouses on campus displaying different crops and cultivation technologies. Students attend this centre of excellence from all over the world.

The group then spent two days at Amsterdam’s Hortifair – the world’s largest expo in the protected cropping industry, showcasing new and emerging technologies.

Tour participants were able to view a diverse range of goods and equipment, including glasshouses, and shade screens.

Representatives from a number of Dutch companies had also generously agreed to meet with our growers to talk about technology, and issues and problems affecting the European greenhouse industry generally. Growers in Holland are facing a major virus threat from the Pepino Mosaic.

Other topics discussed were labour methods, new technologies and new and old crops and the protected cropping of tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, aubergine and strawberries generally.

Graeme’s next conducted tour will be to Canada in Sep/Oct 2007, where he will conduct another educational tour for growers wanting to attend the national greenhouse conference to be held in Toronto in October.

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Budget

Macedon Ranges Travel Service: Air Travel & Insurance $29,421
Practical Training Centre: Specialist Course Fees $28,131
Accommodation: $16,771
Hertz: 2 x Ford Transit Vans $6,025
Fuel Stations: Hire Car Fuel $700
Australian Geographic: Thank you Gifts (European growers) $324
Villa Brutus: Celebratory Dinner (end tour) $400
British Airways: Excess Baggage (books, notes, etc) $523
Hortifair: Expo Entry Fees $686

Misc Fees:
Train $29
Internet Access $36
Study Tour CD’s $46
International Phone $568
Drivers (tour chauffeurs) $500
Bank Processing & Foreign Exchange $574

Total Tour Costs: $84,734

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Acknowledgements

In my role as Project Leader, I wish to thank the tour participants (refer page 4) for their co-operation and punctuality. Their interest in all things greenhouse and the general spirit of togetherness was most satisfying. I thank them for their friendship. I specially thank them for their contribution to the information included in this report. Recognition and appreciation is also given to the following for their welcome contribution to ensuring a successful, informative and interesting tour:

Arie Baelde Mgr – Rijk Zwaan Australia introductions to European growers & locations.
Marcus van Heyst – Powerplants Australia
Dennis van Dijk – Area Mgr De Ruiter Seeds
Jan Hanemaaijer – De Ruiter Seeds Netherlands
John Verbruggen – Rijk Zwaan Netherlands
Peter Reinders – Rijk Zwaan Netherlands
Philip Lieten – Belgium National research centre – Strawberries
Ronald Tukker – Priva Hortimation BV
Kurt Parbst – Ludvig Svensson Inc
Ben van Onna – Senior Trainer PTC+
Peter van Oene – Coordinator PTC+
Marc Vijverberg – Metazet Demonstration Nursery

Graeme Smith
Project Leader

GRAEME SMITH CONSULTING
Hydroponic Consultancy Services
PO Box 789, Woodend, Victoria, Australia 3442
Phone: +61 3 5427 2143
Facsimile: +61 3 5427 3843
Mobile: +61 0427 339 009
Email: hydesign@bigpond.net.au

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Jun
24
Sun
2007
2007 National Industry Conference of the AHGA @ Launceston, Tasmania
Jun 24 – Jun 27 all-day

Event Overview

Moraitis Hydroponics 2007 Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Industry National Conference

Launceston, Tasmania
24-27 June 2007

Oct
4
Thu
2007
2007 European Greenhouse Study Tour @ Europe
Oct 4 – Oct 18 all-day

Event Overview

On the morning of the 4th October 2007, 15 growers and 1 ‘ring in’ (me) from Australia rendezvoused at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Some had come direct from Australia, others like me had been lucky enough to spend some holiday time in Europe before being part of the 2007 European Greenhouse Study Tour.

This was the 3rd such study tour of Europe organised by Graeme Smith – known to us all as the principle of Graeme Smith Consulting; as long-serving President of the AHGA; and, for the sixteen participants (and others who have previously joined one of Graeme’s tours) now famous as the perfect host and tour leader.

For two weeks the group experienced the latest in Dutch and Belgian research; viewed state of the art growing facilities; undertook 5 days of specialist greenhouse training at the Practical Training Centre Plus (PTC+) in Ede; as well as, two days at one of the largest horticultural trade shows in the world – Horti Fair.

For me, after working in horticulture for over 25 years, it was the experience of a lifetime, and being able to share it with an enthusiastic group of tomato, herb, lettuce and rose growers was a privilege.

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Research

During our tour we visited the Greenhouse Improvement Centre an industry funded research facility of around 11,000sqm under glass divided into 11 compartments where a variety of trials operated at any one time. Current trials included a tomato production trial to achieve 100kg/sqm in 12 months. At the time of our visit they were on target to achieve this goal through supplementary lighting and a closed greenhouse system. The Centre also featured an aquaponics trial utilizing waste water from fish production as a nutrient source for tomato production.

At Steenbergen we visited the Rijk Zwaan demonstration greenhouse where some of the latest tomato varieties bred by Rijk Zwaan are assessed and trialed. It was interesting to be able to taste test many of the varieties and observe their various attributes. The Research Station for Vegetable Production (RSVP), formerly the Belgium National Research Centre for Strawberries also conducts variety trials in tomatoes, capsicum and strawberries. RSVP also research and trial in the areas of cultivation techniques, new growing systems, disease and pest management, as well as waste management.

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Growing Systems

The future of greenhouse production is clearly linked to the implementation of appropriate and sustainable technology. In Barendrecht we viewed a “mobile gully system” for hydroponic lettuce developed by Hortiplan. The system enables the seedling crop – planted in gutters – to move in a loop via a chain drive system from one corner of the greenhouse to the other. Eventually the loop is completed within the greenhouse where the mature crop can be harvested and packed in the adjoining packing area. The quality and uniformity of the crop was impressive as we were able to track all stages of growth.

World famous Penning Freesias in Honselersdijk featured a unique ‘ground-loop’ system which stores excess heat or cooled water in subterranean wells to be used on demand. The stored energy can then be converted via a refrigeration/condenser unit to maintain optimum root zone temperatures for in ground freesia and amaryllis production.

Themato in the Westlands with their ‘never say never’ approach, was a fascinating study of how a good grower’s skills can be readily adapted to a totally new crop, based on sound principles.

The Themato greenhouse and hanging gutter system was originally designed and built by Innogrow in conjunction with Priva for Roma tomato production. The greenhouse is a 1.4 ha structure converted to a ‘closed’ system, utilizing stored energy from subterranean wells, similar to Penning Freesias. Because the system is so efficient in relation to energy loss and heating, a further 4 ha ‘open’ greenhouse was heated with the excess energy.

Market forces lead the family owned business away from tomatoes to strawberries. The greenhouse environment and growing system rewards the grower with significant reductions in energy costs through this unique heating and cooling system; condensing transpired air (to reuse in irrigation); and, concentrating CO2 by only venting when absolutely necessary.

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Horti Fair

Horti Fair runs over four days in the RAI Exhibition and Conference Centre, Amsterdam. It is one of the largest horticultural trade exhibitions in the world, with around 87,000sqm of exhibition space. Over 980 exhibitors took part and attendance was close to 47,000 people.

As we made our way to the RAI, our instructions from Graeme were clear: “Use the first day to get around and try and see everything on display, then on the second day stop and talk to exhibitors”. Sound advice! On day one I followed Graeme’s advice. I was systematic, paced myself, didn’t stop too much for idle chats and by around 4:30pm, a little weary, but satisfied I started to make the long walk to a familiar exit – only to stumble across a whole hall that I hadn’t seen!

Day 2 was less hectic and a great opportunity to talk to industry people from around the world, visit some of the specialist lectures that were offered and generally look in awe at the length and breadth of our industry. There was everything on display from the latest releases in floriculture to biodegradable tomato clips to massive boilers and power generation units. My favourite piece of equipment was a robotic arm that was capable of taking 1,000 to 1,500 cuttings per hour, that were annoyingly uniform and then accurately placed into propagation containers (in this case 175mm squat pots) in a predetermined pattern.

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PTC+

The Dutch horticulture industry is well established and has a long history; however after the devastation of World War II the parallel development of its education and training system has enabled it to become not only the leader in horticultural produce, but a leader in horticultural technology and innovation. PTC+ in Ede is one of 5 campuses of agricultural and horticultural training that has its foundations in the years of rebuilding directly after WWII.

As an educator involved in horticultural training, PTC+ was my main reason for joining the tour. After discussing the attributes and physical layout of PTC+ many times with Graeme, I thought I was well prepared for what I was about to experience.

The site at Ede has student accommodation, canteen and purpose-built greenhouses and classrooms to enable training and practical experience in all aspects of greenhouse management. The trainers have strong industry experience (some still working in the industry and teaching part time) and the well-equipped facilities enable immediate access to real practical learning. In the short time we were there, we experienced training that didn’t just show us how a system or piece of equipment worked, but we were challenged to understand the principles behind the technology and look at the ‘what if?’ type scenarios. This is what good education is all about.

The other strength of PTC+ is their strong links with industry and up to date research. For the Australian greenhouse industry to develop and prosper it is important that the industry commit to and support education and training, as well as recognising the important role that research plays (especially in an Australian context) in improving what we do.

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Conclusions

The Horticulture Industry in the Netherlands provides us with many lessons for the future of our industry. Even for the Dutch, horticulture is a fiercely competitive industry – but the generosity and openness that we experienced in information sharing from growers, researchers and educators must be its greatest strength. The future of horticulture in Australia is developing, adopting, adapting and sharing information and technology to suit our unique circumstances.

The future is also equipping ourselves with knowledge. This can come from industry conferences, recognised training, short courses, industry focus groups or study tours.

It’s important that we look at what’s happening in other countries and learn. The European Greenhouse Study Tour provides us with that opportunity. Thanks to the foresight of people like Graeme Smith; the support of our industry association AHGA; and, funding from Horticulture Australia Ltd another 16 people had an enormous door opened to a room full of ideas, contacts and possibilities.

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Jul
19
Sun
2009
2009 National Industry Conference of the Australian Hydroponic and Greenhouse Association @ The Sydney Showground
Jul 19 – Jul 22 all-day

Event Overview

The 2009 National Conference of the Australian Hydroponics & Greenhouse Industry to be held at the Sydney Showgrounds from 19–22 July 2009 will undoubtedly be the largest industry conference and trade exhibition of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region for 2009. The Conference and Exhibition is expected to attract 400–450 commercial growers and allied industry delegates from around Australia, New Zealand, throughout Asia, and elsewhere in the world. The large, fully integrated trade exhibition will provide a unique opportunity for businesses associated with commercial hydroponic and greenhouse crop production to showcase their products. The Conference and Exhibition will provide sponsors the chance to forge closer links with commercial growers and industry specialists.

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Event Organiser

Conference Design Pty Ltd
228 Liverpool Street
Hobart 7000 TAS
03 6231 2999
03 6231 1522
email Conference Design Pty Ltd

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Event Schedule

Sunday 19th July 2009

  • Registration open. Trade Exhibition set-up & public viewing
  • Welcome Reception, AHGA AGM

Monday 20th July 2009

  • Opening Plenary Session
  • Concurrent Sessions for Lectures
  • Industry Workshops
  • Trade Exhibition

Tuesday 21st July 2009

  • Concurrent Sessions for Lectures
  • Industry Workshops
  • Trade Exhibition
  • Conference Banquet Dinner

Wednesday 22nd July 2009

Tours of high-tech greenhouses, floriculture & vegetable, soilless farms and R & D facilities.

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Detailed Program

Sunday 19th July 2009

1.00 – 5.00 pm Trade exhibition open to public & delegates
1.00 – 6.00 pm Registration
1.30 – 1.45 pm Official opening trade exhibition – Exhibition Area, Badgery Pavilion
5.15 – 7.00 pm AHGA AGM, discussion on future directions of the industry – Southee North
7.00 – 8.00 pm Welcome cocktails – Exhibition Area, Badgery Pavilion

Monday 20th July 2009

5.00 – 8.30 am Bus visit to Flemington Market and market breakfast
8.00 – 9.00 am Registration & trade exhibition open
9.00 – 10.00 am Welcome, official opening, presentation of awards & scholarships – Southee North
10.00 – 10.40 am Keynote address Future vision
expected impacts of climate change on intensive horticulture Gerard McEvilly, E3international
Southee North
10.40 – 11.30 am Morning tea – Exhibition Area
11.30 am – 12.10 pm Concurrent Session 1

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • ‘Improving yields and quality by managing plant vegetative/generative balance’
    Ben van Onna, PTC+, The Netherlands (also on Tuesday) – Sponsored by Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE
    Southee North
  • ‘Biochar as an hydroponic growing medium’
    Mike Nichols, Massey University, New Zealand – Sponsored by Casetech
    Southee South
  • ‘Greenhouse technology and management – getting started’.
    Geoff Connellan, University of Melbourne, Burnley (also on Tuesday)
    Southee 3
  • ‘Bacterial canker management’
    Leanne Forsyth, NSW Department of Primary Industries (also on Tuesday)
    Southee 5
12.15 – 1.05 pm Concurrent Session 2

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • ‘Alternative greenhouse crops’
    Mike Nichols, Massey University, New Zealand  – Sponsored by Casetech
    Southee 3
  • ‘The challenge for protected cropping in semiurban areas- new opportunities’
    Stephen Goodwin, Biocontrol Solutions (also on Tuesday)
    Southee North
  • ‘Spots, wilts and rots – disease threats from overseas’
    Len Tesoriero, NSW Department of Primary Industries (also on Tuesday)
    Southee South
  • ‘Innovations in greenhouse construction’
    Henk van Tuyl, Kubo Greenhouse Projects, The Netherlands (also on Tuesday)
    Southee 5
1.05 – 2.30 pm Lunch – Exhibition Area
2.30 – 3.10 pm Concurrent Session 3

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • ‘Good hygiene cuts costs’
    Jeremy Badgery-Parker, NSW Department of Primary Industries (also on Tuesday)
    Southee 3
  • ‘Up close and personal with common pests and how to manage them’
    Leigh Pilkington, NSW Department of Primary Industries (also on Tuesday)  – Sponsored by Biological Services
    Southee North
  • ‘Developments in greenhouse cooling’
    Geoff Connellan, University of Melbourne, Burnley & Graeme Smith, Graeme Smith Consulting (also on Tuesday)
    Southee South
  • ‘Future availability and price of hydroponic fertilisers’
    Trevor Dennis, Haifa Australia
    Southee 5
3.15 – 3.55 pm Concurrent Session 4

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • ‘World economic trends – what should growers know?’
    Frank Drum, National Australia Bank
    Southee South
  • ‘The importance of measuring and managing actual plant temperature’
    Ben van Onna, PTC+, The Netherlands (also on Tuesday)  – Sponsored by Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE
    Southee North
  • ‘Waste not, want now – delivering biocontrol agents on target’
    Marilyn Steiner, Biocontrol Solutions (also on Tuesday)  – Sponsored by Biological Services
    Southee 3
  • ‘Improving nutrient management through (a) using on-farm meters & (b) interpreting nutrient analysis’ (also on Tuesday)
    Sophie Parks, NSW Dept of Primary Industries & Rick Donnan,  Growool Horticultural Systems
    Southee 5
3.55 – 4.30 pm Afternoon tea – Exhibition Area
4.30 – 5.10 pm Concurrent Session 5

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • ‘Biological control – past and present’.
    Donald Lester, JH Biotech, United States of America – Sponsored by Zadco
    Southee North
  • ‘5 ways to grow your business’.
    Marcus Kroek, Action Coach
    Southee 5
  • ‘Managing leaf diseases in your crop’
    Kaye Ferguson, South Australian Research & Development Institute (also on Tuesday)
    Southee 3
  • ‘All that jazz – fundamentals of managing hydroponic systems’
    Rick Donnan, Growool Horticultural Systems (also on Tuesday)
    Southee South
5.10 pm Monday program finishes. Evening free.

Tuesday 21st July 2009

8.00 – 9.00 am Registration & trade exhibition open
9.00 – 9.40 am Choice of one of two concurrent workshops

  • Practical business opportunities and support, including:
    Succession planning – Chris Fry, NAB. Export opportunities – Rod Commerford, Austrade.
    Southee South
  • Getting the best out of your technology, including
    Practical energy saving – Marcus Brandsema, Tasmanian tomato grower
    Southee North
  • Herb and spice workshop on industry matters – Sponsored by Barden
    Southee 5

 

9.40 – 10.20 am Morning tea – Exhibition Area
10.20 – 11.00 am Choice of one of four concurrent workshops

  • Flowers – what’s new ? including:
    Post harvest accountability underpins vase life guarantees Brian Freeman, Chrysal International. What’s new in IPM options? Gary Leeson, Organic Crop Protectants
    Southee North
  • Lettuce and Asian greens – Sponsored by Lefroy Valley, including:
    Effect of EC on nitrates in Asian veg, Sophie Parks, DPI. Grower perspective on Asian veg in NFT, Damian Lin
    Southee 3
  • Vine vegetables – Sponsored by Lefroy Valley, including:
    The consultation process for the fresh tomato industry, Jonathan Eccles, consultant.
    Southee South
  • Herb and spice workshop on industry matters (continued) – Sponsored by Barden
    Southee 5

 

11.05 am – 12.05 pm Major workshop – Pesticide and food safety issues – Sponsored by Australian Pesticides &
Veterinary Medicines Authority
Southee North
12.05 – 1.30 pm Lunch Exhibition Area
1.30 – 2.10 pm Concurrent Session 6

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • All that jazz – fundamentals of managing hydroponic systems
    Rick Donnan, Growool Horticultural Systems
    Southee South
  • Crunch time – how greenhouse technology and climate affects cucumbers
    Sophie Parks & Jenny Ekman, NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Southee 5
  • Bacterial canker management
    Leanne Forsyth, NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Southee 3
  • Taking the plunge – two growers’ experience of making a major hydroponic investment
    Robert Hayes, Freshzest & Ann Wilson, Bellarine Hydroponics
    Southee 4
2.15 – 2.55 pm Concurrent Session 7

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • The challenge for protected cropping in semiurban areas – new opportunities
    Stephen Goodwin, Biocontrol Solutions. Sponsored by Freshzest Pty Ltd
    Southee 4
  • Good hygiene cuts costs
    Jeremy Badgery-Parker, NSW Department of Primary Industries. Sponsored by Freshzest Pty Ltd
    Southee 3
  • Improving nutrient management through (a) using on-farm meters & (b) interpreting nutrient analysis
    Sophie Parks, NSW DPI & Rick Donnan, Growool Horticultural Systems. Sponsored by Freshzest Pty Ltd
    Southee 5
  • Greenhouse technology and management – getting started
    Geoff Connellan, University of Melbourne, Burnley. Sponsored by Freshzest Pty Ltd
    Southee South
2.55 – 3.40 pm Afternoon tea (Trade exhibition concludes)
3.40 – 4.20 pm Concurrent Session 8

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • Innovations in greenhouse construction
    Henk van Tuyl, Kubo Greenhouse Projects, The Netherlands
    Southee 5
  • Managing leaf diseases in your crop
    Kaye Ferguson, South Australian Research & Development Institute
    Southee 3
  • The importance of managing actual plant temperature
    Ben van Onna, PTC+, The Netherlands
    Southee South
  • Up close and personal with common pests and how to manage them
    Leigh Pilkington, NSW Department of Primary Industries  – Sponsored by Biological Services
    Southee 4
4.20 – 5.00 pm Concurrent Session 9

Choose one of the following sessions:

  • Spots, wilts and rots – disease threats from overseas
    Len Tesoriero, NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Southee 3
  • Developments in greenhouse cooling’
    Geoff Connellan, University of Melbourne, Burnley & Graeme Smith, Graeme Smith Consulting
    Southee 5
  • Improving yields and quality by managing plant vegetative/generative balance 
    Ben van Onna, PTC+, The Netherlands – Sponsored by Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE 
    Southee South
  • Waste not, want now – delivering biocontrol agents on target 
    Marilyn Steiner, Biocontrol Solutions – Sponsored by Biological Services
    Southee 4
5.10 pm Tuesday program finishes

Wednesday 21st December 2011

7.00 – 7.30 pm Pre-dinner drinks
7.30 pm Conference banquet dinner – Southee North

Thursday 22nd December 2011

8.15 am Buses depart Novotel Hotel, Homebush
9.45 – 11.15 am Morning tea and inspect Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
Highlights:

  • Research comparing biological control agents on diseases in a leafy hydroponic crop
  • EC management of Asian vegetables and demonstration of on-farm nutrient meter
  • Tour of Plant Health Diagnostic Laboratory and talk
1.00 pm Visit cut flower farm
Highlights:

  • View greenhouse production areas and automated packing shed
1.15 – 2.45 pm Lunch and visit tomato farm.
Highlights:

  • View greenhouse tomato production technology
  • Technical talk on managing bacterial canker
  • Industry lunch – Lebanese feast
4.00 pm Buses arrive at Homebush or Sydney Airport

Please note will have a bus dropping delegates at Sydney Airport around 4.30pm.

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Venue

The Sydney Showground

The Sydney Showground is operated by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) on the basis of a 99-year lease (with a further 99-year option) with the NSW Government. The RAS is a not for profit organisation formed in 1822 to raise the standards of agriculture in NSW and Australia. Today, the RAS continues to support and promote agricultural excellence and innovation through events, competition and education.

  • Over 30 hectares, 20 pavilions and 100,000sqm of space for hire
  • The Dome and Exhibition Halls 2,3,4 offer 22,000sqm of clear span space
  • Multi-award winning in-house catering
  • Maximum capacity cocktail function in The Dome 6,000
  • Maximum capacity conference in The Dome 5,000
  • Home of the Sydney Royal Easter Show – the largest event in the Southern Hemisphere Average 1.5 million visitors per annum
  • Easy direct transport access to all pavilions
  • 30 mins from CBD

Parking is easy with 10,000 car parking spaces available at Sydney Olympic Park.
Two hour free parking is located on Showground Road, Grand Parade, Olympic Boulevard and Dawn Fraser Avenue.

View Cityrail info

Getting to Parking

Sydney Showground Site Map.
Sydney Olympic Park Parking and Driving Approach Map.
Sydney Olympic Park Precinct Map.

Cost

Casual parking is available for $4 per hour or $20 per day maximum. Please note certain major events at Sydney Olympic Park incur a flat fee of $15 for parking. Bring change for coin operated parking machines.

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Accommodation Overview

All rates are per room, per night and do not include breakfast unless otherwise specified. No booking will be confirmed without a credit card guarantee or a pre-payment.

Accommodation Guarantee
You will need to supply credit card details to guarantee the booking. Your credit card details will be forwarded to the hotel to secure your reservation. If you do not have a credit card you will need to pre-pay your accommodation to confirm the booking.

Accommodation Pre-Payment
You may pre-pay one room night or the total room cost. Please email and how much you wish to pre-pay. You need to pay any incidental expenses incurred during your stay (for example, mini bar, telephone or dry cleaning) when checking out.

Accounts
All accommodation accounts must be settled on checkout. If you wish to receive an account you must organise this directly with your hotel before you arrive. Contact details for your nominated hotel will be supplied with your confirmation.

Accommodation Cancellation
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Conference Design at least 7 days prior to your arrival. Cancellations received within 7 days of arrival or ‘no-shows’ will attract a penalty of at least one night’s accommodation.

Hotels & Rates

All the following hotels are in the heart of the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, surrounded by 640 hectares of parklands with over 20 kilometres of walking tracks. Relax at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre pool and gym, unwind at the Golf Centre’s driving range or putt-putt course, book a court at the Sydney International Tennis Centre, try the Monster Skate Park, hire a bike to explore the parklands, try Archery or Trapeze, or relive your favourite sporting memories with an ANZ Stadium tour.

Pullman Hotel at Sydney Olympic Park

Olympic Boulevard,
Sydney Olympic Park,
Homebush Bay NSW 2127
Phone: +61-2-8762 1700
Fax: +61-2-8762 1263
Email:  h6411@accor.com

Superior room $275
Non-smoking hotel
The Pullman Hotel is an eco-friendly with solar hot water and power saving devices throughout the hotel. It offers restaurant, wine bar, fitness centre, broadband internet access, business centre. All rooms include an I-Pod docking station. Full breakfast buffet is available at $35 and parking is $35 per day.


Novotel Sydney Olympic Park

Cnr Olympic Boulevard & Herb Elliot Ave,
Sydney Olympic Park,
Homebush Bay NSW 2127
Phone: +61-2-8762 1111
Fax: +61-2-8762 1211
Email:  h2732@accor.com

Standard room (Q + Sofa or 2D) $215
Smoking rooms available.
The Novotel offers bars and restaurants, wireless/broadband internet access and in-house movies.  Full breakfast buffet is available at $25 and parking at $25 per day.


Ibis Hotel Sydney Olympic Park

Cnr Olympic Boulevard & Herb Elliot Ave,
Sydney Olympic Park,
Homebush Bay NSW 2127
Phone: +61-2-8762 1111
Fax: +61-2-8762 1211

Guest room (Q or K Single) $149
Smoking rooms available
The Ibis is recently refurbished and has Internet access, blackout shutters, in-house movies. It is part of the Novotel & Ibis complex. A full buffet breakfast is available at $25.


Formule 1

8 Edwin Flack Avenue,
Sydney Olympic Park,
Homebush Bay NSW 2127
Phone: +61-2-9648 3862
Fax: +61-2-9648 0427

King Zip $119
Non-smoking hotel
The Formule 1 is a budget hotel. There is internet access available, television and radio, launderette and vending  machines. A  continental breakfast is available for $7 and there is limited parking at cost.


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Exhibitors Information

Contact Information
If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference please contact Conference Design.

Ben Thiessen
ben@cdesign.com.au
Natalie Sproule
natalie@cdesign.com.au

Information for Exhibitors

Allocation of Booths
The Committee will allocate site positions after taking into account each organisation’s sponsorship, the date of confirmation of participation, preferences, proximity to competitors and any other relevant matters.

Exhibition Floor Plan
The Committee reserves the right to alter the floor plan.
See ‘Downloads & Delivery Labels’ on this page.

Booth Construction & Display Equipment
Moreton Hire will be supplying the booths:
Booth Size 3.0m x 2.0m
Walls 2.4m high velcro compatible panels, Fascia 30cm high velcro compatible fascia board, across aisle frontages
Signage one corflute sign (1800mm long x 200mm high) per booth.
Computer cut vinyl lettering (max. 26 characters)

Satchel Inserts
For all sponsors who have a satchel insert included in their sponsorship package, please use Agility Fairs and Events in order to ensure delivery of your inserts prior to the start of the conference. You can find the Agility Transport Request Form in the Sponsors and Exhibitors download list.

Bump In:
Sunday 19 July
Set-up of booths: 0900
Set-up to be completed by: 1300

Bump Out:
Tuesday 21 July
Bump-out begins: 1630
Bump-out to be completed by: 1900
See the program for further details.

Delivery Labels for Display Equipment
The labels below MUST be used to send ALL booth equipment to the venue. Deliveries sent without these labels will not be accepted. You will also need to email Conference Design the courier, dispatch date and consignment number so we can provide the venue with a full delivery list BEFORE the conference.

See ‘Downloads & Delivery Labels’ on this page.

Registration for Company Representatives
A form must be completed for each company representative. All people attending the conference must register before the conference. A conference name badge will be required to access the exhibition area.

Delivery of Goods
“Delivery of Goods” will not be accepted by the venue, unless you will be on site on Sunday 19th July to receive your goods. Agility Transport can arrange delivery on Sunday 19th July to your booth, please refer to the information under ‘downloads’.

See ‘Downloads & Delivery Labels’ on this page.
Download the ‘AHGA Exhibitor List‘.

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Industry Overview

Hydroponics is the production of crops in isolation from the soil, either with or without a medium, with their total water and nutrient requirements supplied by the system. Production takes place either in a greenhouse or outdoors and systems can recirculate or allow nutrients to ‘free drain’ for reuse on other crops (eg. trees, pasture improvement, etc). The industry is highly efficient in its use of inputs including water, fertilisers, labour, land and energy. Hydroponics and greenhouse have emerged as commercial alternatives to soil-based production. Significant crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, lettuce, strawberries, Mediterranean and Asian herbs, and cut flowers such as roses, gerberas, carnations, lisianthus and Asiatic and Oriental lilies. Successful commercial production is undertaken by corporates with investors who are not active in day-to-day management and by families producing for boutique markets, as part of a larger growing and marketing cooperative and by corporates with investors who are not active in day-to-day management. The industry is capital intensive and capital costs are anywhere between $100 and $300 plus per square metre (m2), depending on the sophistication of the greenhouse and the level of equipment being included. Viable production units are a minimum of 1,500m2. Commercial success is linked to:

  • Establishment of the venture in a realistic economic framework;
  • Attention to market requirements before production commences;
  • Realistic expectation of price, yield and labour requirements;
  • Experience in horticultural production prior to entry into hydroponics; and
  • Undertaking further improvements to knowledge through training.

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General Information

Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney is one of the most multicultural cities in the world with people from 180 nations, speaking 140 languages.

With a population of 4 million, is a major Asia Pacific city. It is the capital city of New South Wales, the most densely populated State of Australia. On the south-east coast, it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, national parklands and coastline to the north and south, and the spectacular Blue Mountains to the west. Sydney experiences a year-round temperate climate.

Sydney’s mean summer temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. Sydney’s mean winter temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. Sydney boasts an average 342 days of sunshine a year; the average rainfall is 1216mm, heaviest between February and July.

Dress
Dress throughout the conference is neat casual. Dress for each function is indicated in the function description.

Privacy and Delegate List
Conference Design Pty Ltd will gather and record personal information necessary for your attendance at the Conference. Personal information will be gathered, stored and disseminated in accordance with the National Privacy Principles.

Delegate List
A delegate list with name, organisation, suburb, state, country and email address will be supplied to all Conference attendees including exhibitors and sponsors. Please email Conference Design if you do not wish to have your details included on the delegate list.

Photocopying at the Conference
There are no photocopying facilities at the conference venue, so please ensure your bring a sufficient number of any handouts.

Smoking
The conference and social functions are non-smoking.

Name Badges
Name badges will be issued when registering at the conference. For security purposes the conference name badge must be worn at all times during the conference and social functions.

Baby Sitting
Please contact your chosen hotel to arrange a baby-sitting service. If you have any queries please contact Conference Design.

Accommodation Accounts
All accommodation accounts must be settled on check-out. The organising committee and Conference Design will not be responsible for
accommodation accounts.

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Online Registration

Registration is now closed.

Download the National Industry Conference Brochure

Registration Costs

Full Registrations received before 1 July 2009

Full Registration – Early Member $600
Full Registration – Early Non-Member $700

Full Registrations received after 1 July 2009

Full Registration – Early Member $700
Full Registration – Early Non-Member $800

Other Registrations

Exhibitor – Additional $400
Day Registration $400
Student $400
Grower – Additional
(maximum of four per farm business)
$450

Social Functions

The following Social Functions are inclusive for Full registrations.

Welcome Reception
Sunday 19 July 2009
Inclusive for full registrations.
Additional tickets $50 x ____ $_______

Conference Dinner
Tuesday 21 July 2009
Inclusive for full registrations
Additional Tickets $95 x ____$ ______

Sydney Basin Farm Tour and Luncheon (optional event)
Wednesday 22 July 2009
Tickets $55 x___ $______

Sydney Market Tour and Breakfast
Monday 20 July
Tickets $20 x___ $______

Payments
All payments must be received prior to the Conference.  If payment from your organisation is not received prior to the Conference you will be asked to provide your personal credit card details to guarantee payment.  This card will be debited if alternative payment is not received within 14 days.  All accommodation accounts must be settled on checkout.

Confirmation of Registrations
All registrations will be sent a confirmation/tax invoice. If you supply an email address the confirmation will be sent to that address as a formatted message. The tax invoice will also be attached in HTML format in case your email messages are received as text only (i.e. unformatted).

Tax Invoice and GST
A tax invoice will be emailed once your registration has been confirmed.  You can also download a tax invoice in PDF format from the Delegate Zone.  All prices are quoted in Australian Dollars (AUD$) and include GST.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations notified in writing by 1 June will be eligible for a refund less $150. Cancellations notified after this date will not be eligible for a refund but another person may attend the Conference.

Payment Options

1. Credit Card Payments

The conference accepts Visa or MasterCard. Credit payments will appear as ‘Conference Design Pty Ltd’ on your statement.

2. Cheque Payments

Please send your cheque made payable to Conference Design (AHGA) with a completed registration form or invoice number.

3. EFT Payments

Please send your Electronic Funds Transfer to the account below and fax or email remittance advice when the payment has been made.

  BSB: 017 324
  Account #: 1085 82575
  Account Name: Conference Design (Conference Account)
  Bank: ANZ, Sandy Bay Branch
  Swift Code: ANZBAU3M

Download the National Industry Conference Brochure

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2009 AHGA Industry Awards & Scholarships

2009 AHGA Industry Awards will consist of the following categories:

  • Most Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Industry
  • Researcher of the Year
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Industry Training Award
  • Best Exhibit

Encouragement Award is now closed.

The AHGA has three scholarships available in 2009.

Please refer to the attached documentation for further information.

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Oct
1
Thu
2009
2009 European Greenhouse Study Tour
Oct 1 – Oct 14 all-day

Event Overview

Click here to read the Soilless Vol 4/09 Euro Tour Report by Saskia Blanch document.

 

Contact:
Graeme Smith
president@ahga.org.au or
Ph: 0427 339 009

Mar
17
Wed
2010
2010 Free Wastewater Recycling Workshops for Greenhouse Growers Nationwide
Mar 17 @ 9:00 am
Jun
30
Wed
2010
2010 Hydroponic Farmers Federation Conference – Growing to Protect Our Future @ Chisholm TAFE, Cranbourne Campus, VIC
Jun 30 – Jul 2 all-day

Event Overview

Download the Hydroponic Farmers Federation Conference document.

Jul
20
Tue
2010
Australian Herb and Spice Industry Levy Proposal
Jul 20 all-day
Oct
3
Sun
2010
2010 North American Greenhouse Study Tour @ North America
Oct 3 – Oct 17 all-day

Event Overview

Download the Overseas Study Tour document.