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AgVita is pleased to announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition for the Winter 2017 edition of Vitality magazine. Entries were down due to the difficult location but well done to the winners. Our winner took a while to get their entry in, and we suspect Telstra may have had a hand in delayed receipt of the newsletter for some people (our apologies).

The picture was taken in Woolgoolga on the mid-north NSW Coast in a region famous for its blueberry production. AgVita works with several agronomists, consultants and suppliers in this region providing timely and accurate soil, plant and water analysis to help grow the best blueberries in Australia. The water tower is prominently located on the Woolgoolga Lookout, with views in our photos looking south along the Coffs Coast.

An honourable mention goes to Charles in Victoria who correctly deduced that even though he picked the name of the location (first correct answer), he probably won’t win the wine as he doesn’t send any work to AgVita!
A dishonourable mention goes to Cam in NSW who works in this area and who thought he was a chance… good story about plant sampling the wrong paddock for two hours though…

An unprecedented second dishonourable mention goes to Simon in Tassie who clearly had no idea but spun a perhaps quite personally reflective story about how the youth of the area still attend these locations for nocturnal activities involving cars and girls… the fact that he thought it was the Point Cartwright water tower on the Sunshine Coast in Qld indicates his limited skills in a google search….

A runner-up prize goes to Gus in Sydney who was very quick off the mark in identifying the correct location.
Therefore, congratulations to the winner of this newsletter’s main prize….... Kurt from Tasmania. Well done Kurt, your entry was correct and thanks for mentioning that Woolgoolga has a curry Fest every year which does indeed sound awesome. Kurt correctly pointed out that a Tasmanian red will go down well with a curry…. Your prize is coming in the mail to enjoy with some winter scorchers!!!

Well done to Kurt, Gus, and all those who entered. Keep an eye out for our next competition, where we hope to find another Big Thing on our travels.


AgVita is pleased to announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition for the Winter 2016 edition of Vitality magazine. A record number of correct entries were received as expected, since the location was very easy! Our winner replied within minutes of the newsletter going out, but it was a tough decision to award the prizes, as there were no funny stories to ‘enhance’ entries. Our consolation prize was awarded for being the first to name the Big Thing.

The picture of course was taken of Arnold, the Big Murray Cod at Swan Hill in Victoria during our recent travels through much of Victoria. The AgVita staff member in the photo is Technical Manager Darren Hicks, wondering why there aren’t fish this big in the Port Sorell Estuary....

An honourable mention goes to Lee in Melbourne, who correctly guessed the location but failed to get across the line with a good story. There were also correct answers from Vince in Sydney, Andy and Andrew in Tasmania, and Ross and Sam from WA just to name a few.

A dishonourable mention goes to Levi in NSW, who tried to convince us that he’d caught a few fish almost as big.....

Therefore, congratulations to the winner of this newsletter’s main prize…....Craig from Victoria. Well done Craig, your entry was correct and one of the quickest to correctly name the location. Craig posed the very serious question ‘Why isn’t the Big Thing at Swan Hill a Swan on the Hill ???”. Your prize is coming in the mail just in time to enjoy before the season gets too busy!

The consolation prize goes to Russell in Victoria for naming Arnold (well, at least for telling us his name...) and pointing out that Tocumwal also has a big cod but not as big as Swan Hill.

Well done to Craig, Russell and all those who entered. Keep an eye out for our next competition, where the location will be another Big Thing, but not as we know it....


AgVita is pleased to announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition for the Summer 2015/16 edition of Vitality magazine. Several correct entries were received and as expected, some wild guesses were way off the mark! Our winner replied within minutes of the newsletter going out, and was never headed, as there were no ‘crusty’ stories to beat her.

Our consolation prize was awarded for both the excellent story (see below) and the absolutely incorrect but confident guess of the location.

The picture of course was taken of the Big Rock Lobster at Dongara (just south of Geraldton) in Western Australia during our recent travels through much of WA. The AgVita staff member in the photo is Michael Ruffels, mastering the art of taking a selfie. An honourable mention goes to Deb in Manjimup, who correctly guessed the location but failed to get across the line with a good ‘crusty’ story. There were also correct answers from Tony in Victoria and Barry in Tasmania.

A dishonourable mention goes to Owen, who works with this editions winner and no doubt pilfered her correct answer when she wasn’t looking .....

Therefore, congratulations to the winner of this newsletter’s main prize.... Catrina from WA. Well done Cat, your entry was correct and certainly the quickest to correctly name the location and staff member. Your prize is coming in the mail just in time to help rehydrate on a hot Christmas day, enjoy!

The consolation prize goes to Leigh in Tasmania, who wove a brilliant story that made us all laugh, due to both the content and his false confidence in the location.

(see below...)

Click here to see what Leigh submitted


AgVita is pleased to announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition for the Winter 15 edition of Vitality magazine. Several correct entries were received, and interestingly, we didn’t receive any wild guesses with incorrect answers in the week following the newsletter. Sadly, no stories of personal embarrassment were submitted; however our winner has supplied a few laughs.

The picture of course was taken at Waikiki beach, Honolulu Hawaii. The AgVita staff member in the photo is Craig Newman (attending the biannual ASPAC Conference) and he is standing in front of a statue of ‘The Duke” (or the Big Kahuna, the father of surfing). We received several correct entries that stated his name as Duke Kahanamoku – we were hoping for the full name Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku but no one came through.

An honourable mention goes who Andy in Tasmania who replied within 2 minutes of receiving the newsletter. might have caught a swell or two in your younger days AB?

There were also correct answers from Janelle in Kingaroy, Qld, Phil in Tas and Alan in NSW. Good work from Nick in the NT, who had about 4 goes at nailing the name. <./

However, the winner of this newsletter’s main prize is ... Rob H from WA. Well done Rob, your entry was correct and interesting. Your prize is coming in the mail soon, enjoy!

(see below...)

Click here to see what Rob submitted


AgVita are proud to announce the changeover to a more advanced LIMS and reporting system. This development is over a year in the making and offers much greater capabilty and increased flexibility for sample throughput compared to our old system. NU-test results now come directly to clients in our custom report – no more cutting and pasting data from an email in to a template.
This enables us to manage all templates to ensure the most up-to-date desirable levels are used each time a sample result is reported. This new template is different to our existing templates, and there are a couple of simple steps needed to populate the new reports. To help clients not familiar with this new style of reporting, please see the instruction sheet below;

Download the Instructions


AgVita are pleased to announce our attendance at this prestigious event to be held in Cairns, Queensland from June 19th to 21st. For more information please see link below;

Download the Flyer


In early November, AgVita Analytical was honoured to be nominated in the Annual North West Business and Industry and Devonport Awards for Excellence. Upon attending the gala dinner, AgVita Analytical won theIndustry Business Award, recognising excellence and innovation in Industry over the last 12 months. Pictured below accepting the award are AgVita staff (from L-R) Michael Ruffels, Craig Newman, Angela Anderson and Melinda Wright.


AgVita Analytical is proud to receive the awarding of a tender from Protected Cropping Australia to supply analytical services to its members for a two year period. This tender positions AgVita on the stage to provide rapid and accurate analysis of all facets of hydroponic water analysis, as well as our regular suite of plant and soil tests. Below is an overview from the PCA website describing the current state of the protected cropping industry.

Please also see here the press release in the local newspaper The Advocate.

Industry Overview

The Protected Cropping Industry is the fastest growing food producing sector in Australia, valued at around $1.8 billion at the farm gate per annum. This is equivalent to 20% of the value of total vegetable and cut flower production in Australia (RIRDC report HSA-9A). It is estimated that more than 10,000 people are employed directly in greenhouse horticulture throughout Australia, with the industry expanding at between 4-6% per annum.

Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) is the peak industry body representing commercial hydroponic and greenhouse growers Australia wide.

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 technology has emerged as a commercial alternative to soil-based production. Significant crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, lettuce, strawberries, Mediterranean and Asian herbs, Asian greens, Asiatic and Oriental lilies and cut flowers such as roses, gerberas, carnations, lisianthus and chrysanthemums.

To learn more about the PCA, please refer to the website (www.protectedcroppingaustralia.com)


It is with great pleasure that AgVita announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition from the Winter ’13 edition of Vitality magazine.

We received a variety of correct and incorrect entries in the week following the newsletter. Bonus points were awarded for the few who identified Craig Newman (AgVita’s QA Manager) as the identity in the second picture (along with Darren Hicks). The majority of entries were from Tasmanian clients (must be due to the geographic proximity to the location!)

The pictures of course were taken at the 2013 ISSPA Conference in Queenstown, New Zealand back in April this year (please refer to our previous newsletter).

An honourable mention goes to Liz in Tasmania for her tales of working with "Newmo” several years ago.

A dishonourable mention goes to Phil from Werribee, Victoria (present at the same conference) who correctly pointed out that it was lucky the photo wasn’t taken the night before as we kicked on after the conference dinner (the mechanical bull riding did not go as well as we hoped……!).

But, the consolation prize goes to Richard in Bendigo, Victoria who wistfully pointed out how good the skiing is in winter on the Remarkables in the background of the pictures.

Therefore the winner of this newsletter’s main prize is…….. Claire from Hobart, Tasmania. Well done Claire, your prize is in the mail. Not only did Claire correctly identify both AgVita staff and the location, she even named the street we are standing in….. we’ll make sure the secret location can’t be street-viewed on Google next newsletter!

Well done to Claire, Richard and Liz and all those who entered. Keep an eye out for our next competition, where the location will most likely be back on home turf.


AgVita are pleased to announce our attendance at this prestigious event in late May.
For more information please see → the attached information sheet.


It is with great pleasure that AgVita announce the winner of the ‘Where’s AgVita been now?’ competition from the Summer/Autumn ’13 edition of Vitality magazine.
We were swamped with entries, all correctly identifying the picture as being Big Lizzie situated in Red Hills, Victoria a few kilometres from Mildura. Bonus points were awarded for the few who identified Barklay Square as the exact location.

However, there were two stand-out entries ... → read more here

Congratulations to Sam in Bunbury, W.A. for his correct answer to our recent “Where’s AgVita been now?” competition in the Vitality Spring 2012 newsletter, and thankyou for the many entries received.  Your bottle of Tassie’s finest is in the mail, just in time for Christmas.
The location of course was the Umpherston Sinkhole in Mt Gambier, South Australia (also known as the Cave Gardens) and the staff member in both photos (which proved harder to pick than we expected) was Brenton Fletcher, our database and analytical results go-to man.
Funny stories were also scarce, but cheers to Julie in Tasmania for her story of losing her dignity (that’s dignity) by falling over temporary barriers at the sinkhole back when she was just a wee lass. Also, apologies to Jarrad, but we can’t give you the prize because you worked for many years only 10 minutes drive from the sinkhole, despite recently moving to Victoria!.
Thanks all, keep an eye out for the next newsletter, where we will again test your geographic knowledge.


AgVita are pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Darren Hicks, AgVita’s Technical Manager, to the AUSVEG Industry Design Team “Farm Productivity, Resource Use & Management”.
Three design teams have been created from recommendations in the recently released Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP).  Each design team will guide funding for R&D based on criteria in the SIP, with the Farm Productivity, Resource Use & Management Team to investigate on-farm R&D solutions and technologies for growers to further improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations.


AgVita are also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Craig Newman, AgVita’s Lab Manager, to the role of Tasmanian Representative on the APSAC Executive Committee. This appointment runs for 2 years, during which Craig will be adding his considerable experience to promote the adoption of:

  • Appropriate field sampling protocols
  • Uniform and reliable soil and plant analytical methods
  • Sound interpretation guidelines, and
  • The most reliable and appropriate advice to clients.

ASPAC also brings together individuals and groups from industry, public institutions and independent laboratories in Australia, New Zealand and nearby overseas countries to share information and technology on soil and plant tissue analysis.