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AIFST Fresh Produce Food Safety Summit
Aphids & Viruses
Broccoli Export Seminar
Carabid beetles as sustainability indicators
Clubroot - Nursery Access
Clubroot - Nursery Cleaning
Clubroot - Nursery Contamination
Clubroot - Nursery Design
Clubroot - Nursery Monitoring
Clubroot - Nursery Response
Clubroot - Nursery Sources
Hangzhou Foods
IPM - approach to Potato crops
IPM - approach to practice change
IPM - Potato/Tomato Psyllid
Lettuce Anthracnose Management
Native Plants - Food Safety
Native Plants - Food Standards
NY9406 Downy Mildew on seedlings - factsheet
NY9406 Downy Mildew on seedlings - report
NY9406 Downy Mildew on seedlings - review
NY97011 Downy Mildew on seedlings - extension
NY97011 Downy Mildew on seedlings - notes
Parsley Disease Handbook
Parsnip Variety Trials
Phytochemical composition of food
Phytochemicals and Healthy Foods
Reclaimed water - risk model
Reclaimed water use in Victoria
Recycled Water Quality - Lettuce
Sclerotina - Lettuce Conference 2002
Strategies for Control of Root Rot in Apiaceae Crops
Summer Root Rot in Parsley
Thrips & Viruses
Tobamoviruses
Vegetable Disease Program
Vegetable Diseases in Australia
Vegetables Viruses
VG00013 Leek Diseases
VG00016 Environmental Performance
VG00026 IPM Eggplant & Cucumber
VG00031 Peas - downy mildew & collar rot
VG00031 Peas - Downy Mildew - metalaxyl resistance
VG00034 Capsicum & Chillies - weed control
VG00044 Clubroot - Applicator design
VG00044 Clubroot - Chemical control
VG00044 Clubroot - Implementing a control strategy
VG00044 Clubroot - Managing outbreaks
VG00044 Clubroot - Nutritional amendments
VG00044 Clubroot - Strategic application
VG00044 Clubroot – Introduction
VG00044 Clubroot – Limes and liming
VG00044 Clubroot – Prevention & Hygiene
VG00044 Clubroot – Understanding Risk
VG00044 Total Clubroot Management
VG00048 Alternate fungicides for sclerotinia control
VG00048 Brassica green manure conference paper 2004
VG00048 Brassica Green Manure Update 16
VG00048 Brassica Green Manure Update 18
VG00048 Diallyl Disulphide - DADS - trials
VG00048 Lettuce - Sclerotinia biocontrol
VG00048 Lettuce Sclerotina - Biocontrols
VG00058 Pea - Collar Rot
VG00069 Cucumber & Capsicum diseases
VG00084 Beetroot for Processing
VG01045 Bunching Vegetables - disease control
VG01049 Compost - Benefits
VG01049 Compost - Choosing a Supplier
VG01049 Compost - Getting Started
VG01049 Compost - Introduction
VG01049 Compost - Safe Use
VG01049 Safe Use of Poultry Litter
VG01082 Broccoli Adjuvant Poster
VG01082 Broccoli Head Rot
VG01096 Article - White Rot research
VG01096 Integrated Control of Onion White Rot
VG01096 Poster - Alternative fungicides
VG01096 Poster - Diallyl Disulphide - DADS
VG01096 Poster - Trichoderma biocontrol
VG01096 Poster - Trichoderma optimisation
VG01096 White Rot - Spring Onions
VG02020 Capsicum - Sudden Wilt
VG02035 Capsicum - virus resistance
VG02105 Vegetable Seed Dressing Review
VG02118 White Blister
VG03003 Lettuce - Varnish Spot
VG03092 Lettuce - Shelf Life
VG03100 Retailing Vegetables - Broccolini®
VG04010 Maximising returns from water
VG04012 Hydroponic lettuce - root rot
VG04013 Brassica White Blister
VG04013 White Blister - Control Strategies
VG04013 White Blister - Race ID
VG04013 White Blister - Risk Forecasting
VG04013 White Blister - Symptoms
VG04013 White Blister - Workshop Notes
VG04014 Better Brassica
VG04014 better brassica - roadshow model
VG04014 better brassica - workshop notes
VG04014 Clubroot Guidebook
VG04014 Clubroot Poster
VG04015 Benchmarking water use
VG04016 Celery leaf blight - Poster
VG04016 Celery Septoria
VG04019 Nitrate & Nitrite in Leafy Veg
VG04021 Vegetable Seed Treatment
VG04025 Parsley Root Rot
VG04059 Diagnostic test kits
VG04061 White Blister - alternative controls
VG04061 White Blister - Workshop 2007
VG04062 Beetroot Study Tour
VG04067 IPM - Lettuce Aphid
VG05007 Onion White Rot - post plant fungicides
VG05008 IPM - Cultural Controls
VG05014 IPM - Native vegetation pt1
VG05044 IPM - Consultants Survey
VG05044 IPM - Grower Survey
VG05044 IPM - Lettuce Aphid Trials
VG05044 IPM - Lettuce Disease Poster
VG05044 IPM - Predatory Mites
VG05044 IPM - Project Summary
VG05045 Parsnip Canker
VG05051 Climate Change
VG05053 Rhubarb Viruses
VG05068 Baby Leaf Salad Crops
VG05073 Mechanical Harvesting
VG05090 Green Bean - Sclerotinia
VG05090 Rhizoctonia Groups
VG06014 Revegetation for thrip control
VG06024 IPM - Native vegetation pt2
VG06046 Parsley Root Rot
VG06047 Celery - Septoria Predictive Model
VG06066 LOTE Grower Communications
VG06086 IPM - Potential & Requirements
VG06087 IPM - Lettuce Aphid
VG06087 IPM - Toxicity testing
VG06088 IPM - Lettuce Aphid trials
VG06092 Pathogens - Gap Analysis
VG06092 Pathogens of Importance - poster
VG06140 Beetroot - colour quality
VG07010 Systemic aquired resistance
VG07015 Curcubit field guide
VG07070 Conference Notes 2008
VG07070 Foliar diseases
VG07070 Nitrogen & lettuce diseases
VG07070 Predicting Downy Mildew on Lettuce
VG07070 White Blister - Chinese Cabbage
VG07070 White Blister - Cultural Controls
VG07070 Workshop Notes - 2008
VG07070 Workshop Notes - 2010
VG07125 IPM - soilborne diseases
VG07126 Biofumigation oils for white rot
VG07126 New approaches to sclerotina
VG07127 White Blister - Alternative Controls
VG08020 Optimising water & nutrient use
VG08026 Pythium - field day
VG08026 Pythium - workshop 2010
VG08026 Pythium control strategies - overview
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint - workshop
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 1 - definitions
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 2 - issues
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 3 - calculators
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 4 - estimate
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 5 - users
VG08107 - Carbon Footprint part 6 - options
VG08426 Parsnip - Pythium Notes 2010
VG09086 Evaluation of Vegetable Washing
VG09159 Grower Study Tour- Spring Onions & Radish
VG96015 Carrot Crown Rot
VG96015 Carrot Defects - Poster
VG97042 Export - Burdock, Daikon and Shallots
VG97051 Pea - ascochyta rot
VG97064 Greenhouse Tomato and Capsicum
VG97084 Green Bean - white rot
VG97103 Celery Mosaic Virus
VG98011 Carrot - Cavity Spot
VG98048 Lettuce - Adapting to Change
VG98083 Lettuce - rots & browning
VG98085 GM Brassicas
VG98093 Microbial hazards - review
VG98093 Safe vegetable production
VG99005 Quality wash water
VG99008 Clubroot - rapid test
VG99016 Compost and Vegetable Production
VG99030 Globe Artichokes - value adding
VG99054 Onions - Theraputic Compounds
VG99057 Soil Health Indicators
VG99070 IPM - Celery
Victorian soil health
VN05010 Folicur - alternative carriers
VN05010 Onion White Rot - Fungicides
VN05010 Onion White Rot - summary
VX00012 Metalaxyl breakdown
VX99004 Clean & Safe Fresh Vegetables
Whitefly & Viruses
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Victorian soil health

This report has been prepared to provide a baseline for soil health work in DPI with respect to the use of terminology, a general understanding of soil health within agro‐ecosystems and some frameworks that can be used in future work.

Soil health is an essential aspect of environmental health as it supports a range of ecosystem services.

This is a complex topic and a single report can do little more than indicate useful sources of literature and an outline to provide context.

There is a wealth of literature on soil health and soil quality but terminology and definitions sometimes differ and therefore waylay the unwary reader.

Some aspects have been dealt with in more depth than others but I have attempted to provide a balanced and comprehensive overview of soil health from a scientific point of view.

The focus is particularly soil health for agriculture, but the implications of soil health for environmental health and for provision of ecosystem services are also discussed.

The international context for soil health has been summarised with key references provided.

Priorities for soil health are presented through a general framework that is used in landscape research and decision making.

Author : R. J. MacEwan

Soil Health for Victoria�s Agriculture Context, Terminology and Concepts - 2007
Download 518kb

Conclusions :

  • Soil health is a concern worldwide and affects matters of food security, environmental protection, water quality, and infrastructure.

  • Examples of policies and programs for soil health exist in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the European Union.

  • Terminology has been explained and should be used consistently in future work, using the definitions here as a basis.

  • Scientific literature on soil health is substantial and many key sources have been cited in this report.

  • There are also many frameworks that can be used to organise complex components of knowledge associated with soils and some examples of these have also been given.

  • The agro‐ecosystem framework for soil health and the landscape design research framework, are the most important in this respect.

  • The DPI initiatives in soil health represent a significant contribution to the efforts that are needed to address improvements in soil management in the dryland cropping areas of the Mallee, Wimmera and south‐west Victoria.

  • Experience gained in, and evaluation of, these projects should serve to support expansion of soil health activity in other parts of Victoria and for other agricultural industries.

  • Environmental implications of soil health and the wider provision of ecosystem services need to be considered in the development of initiatives that will augment and complement those in agricultural production.

  • Empirical research into the interactions between soil and management practices is critically needed in particular with respect to soil functions, soil biology and the agro‐ecosystem.

  • Questions are frequently asked about the impact that herbicides, fungicides, nematocides and insecticides may be having on soil biology, and whether these inputs compromise soil health. At this time there is insufficient knowledge of this subject to provide satisfactory answers.

  • There have been many changes in agricultural management in recent decades, and while these have resulted in very positive soil health outcomes there is still a need to broaden the adoption of practices that protect and improve soil.

  • In particular, reduction in tillage, retention of organic residues and control of traffic play key roles in improving soil structure and hydrological properties as well as maintaining or increasing yields.

  • Adoption of these practices more widely will be supported by better information but there are areas where long‐established practices work against these principles.

  • Cultivation to ‘ridge’ soils and protect them from wind erosion and cultivation to control summer weeds are widespread practices in the north west of the state and advocated as best practice by some DPI agronomists.

  • While this may work from an enterprise perspective there are no gains being made in soil improvement through such practices.

Acknowledgements :

The Agriculture pision of DPI Victoria is acknowledged for funding this project.

Additional funding was received from DSE, North Central Catchment Management Authority and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority to support other aspects of soil health review or research associated with this project.

Several scientists in DPI contributed directly to the project through advice, analysis or written contributions.

Pauline Mele (DPI Rutherglen) is acknowledged for contributing a soil biology perspective on soil health and James Nuttall (DPI Horsham) for his review of remote sensing as a surrogate for plant and soil health.

Nathan Heath (DPI Wodonga) is acknowledged for providing a case study for soil extension based on experiences in North East Victoria.

Keith Reynard (DPI Bendigo) carried out a review of data for soil and land in the North Central CMA region.

Joanne McNeill and Doug Crawford compiled and analysed soil and land data for the West Gippsland CMA region, using the Land Use Impact Model (LUIM) to develop a regional soil erosion management plan.

Doug Crawford (DPI Werribee) and Nathan Robinson (DPI Bendigo) carried out a review of DPI soil datasets and this is provided as a separate report.

Jim Allinson (consultant) and Stuart Boucher are acknowledged for their contribution in preparing a review and report for DSE on the case for investment in soil health.

Other DPI staff; Michael Crawford, Mark Imhof, Mark Allaway, Kimberley Dripps, Melva Ryan and the participants in DPI soil health workshops provided direct and indirect help through activities associated with the development of DPI’s strategic framework for Soil Health.

Dr Samantha Baxter from Reading University (UK) was supported by this project for a visit to DPI for three weeks and made a significant contribution to the analysis of data and supervision of staff in the use of geostatistics.

Steve Williams (DPI Bendigo) is acknowledged for his significant contribution to discussions about data, information and knowledge management.

DSE staff; Adam Hood, Shayne Annett, Kim Lowe, Matt White and David Cummings are acknowledged for discussions and advice regarding DSE’s interest in soil health.

During the course of this project, team members were involved in DPI workshops related to policy and project development, with CMAs in the development of soil health strategies and in presentations at public and scientific forums on soil health.

Related projects have also helped with formulation of some of the ideas presented in this and the associated reports.

In particular, the ORL ‘Our Landscape’ project (MIS 05188) through which the framework attributed to Carl Steinitz has been applied, and the GRDC subsoil constraints project (MIS 07541) which entailed related data analysis for soils in South East Australia especially for functional aspects of subsoils.


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