Vitality Newsletter – Spring 2021

Now that Spring has finally arrived, there’s no better time to get up to date with the latest soil and plant testing news.

 

What’s inside this edition?

  • Meet our new movers and shakers
  • How we’re winning with our AgVita carbon footprint
  • Are you getting the best value from your fertiliser?
  • NU-test desirable levels: here’s what our review found
  • What’s the National Soil Strategy and what’s in it for you?

 

Meet our new movers and shakers

While much of the country has been struggling with lockdowns, we’ve been busier than ever looking after our valued clients. To meet this demand, we welcome Duane Kelly into the team as our new Lab Supervisor. Duane brings his wealth of experience in analytical techniques after working for several years with an innovative Victorian laboratory.

We also welcome Jessica Pena as our newest Laboratory Technician. Jessica has fitted into our team seamlessly with her endless enthusiasm and previous experience in commercial laboratories.

We still have all the familiar faces. But you may notice that Melanie Nugent is now front and centre as our Administration Officer. Mel is our first point of contact for all enquiries, account and data queries.

Last but not least, Angela Anderson has handed over her seat to Mel and moved into a new role as Data Technician. She’s now our go-to person for any sample and reporting enquiries.

 

How we’re winning with our AgVita carbon footprint

It isn’t enough to be supporting our national growers. We also do what we can to minimise our local environmental impact.

But, since our building was commissioned in 2009, we quickly filled the existing capacity of our spaces. New analytical equipment in the lab has meant tweaks to the layout. And our sample prep has expanded to accommodate more efficient processes.

All this added up to a bigger drain on energy resources.

So, in late 2018, we invested in a 54kW solar panel system.

And, despite the naysayers writing off Tasmania’s sun, we’re thrilled to see 100% of our daytime electricity consumption offset by solar throughout summer.

Plus, our solar system can supply up to 60% of our electricity needs in the cooler months.

Not only that, but we’ve also upgraded all our lighting to LED, further reducing our energy usage by 7%

Have you looked at your business carbon footprint lately?

 

Are you getting the best value from your fertiliser?

Most of the country enjoyed an excellent growing season in 2020.

And demand for fertiliser is rising in almost all sectors in Australia as growers aim to produce another bumper crop while water’s not a limiting factor.

But, the truth is, fertiliser prices are up. Again.

Recent reports by Rabobank paint a grim picture of significant price hikes and reduced availability of crucial bulk inputs in Australia this season.

So, what’s going on?

Issues with international freight are now compounded by China’s decision to ease exports as they protect domestic agribusinesses.

As a result, our growers are staring down the barrel of record prices.

 

Here’s a better solution:

Why not use the proven science of soil and plant testing to manage fertiliser requirements? It means you’ll only ever pay for the input your soil needs, and nothing it doesn’t.

Here at AgVita Analytical, we offer a full range of accredited agricultural tests.

Best of all, we deliver the fastest lab turnaround times in the country. So, for any water or sap tests, you’ll have your results the same day your sample arrives.

Don’t rely on guesswork and risk overspending on fertiliser this season.

Get in touch to organise a test today.
(03) 6420 9600

 

NU-test desirable levels: here’s what our review found

We’ve recently finished our two-yearly roundup of all NU-test desirable levels available to clients. The result is a detailed review of the latest varieties, management practices and growth of users.

These updates are already incorporated into our system, so you can be sure your NU-test report will be sent with the most up-to-date guidelines.

New crop additions include linseed, okra, radish, sweet potato, and a new watermelon variety. Also a couple of blends (such as tomato fruit and raspberry varieties) to simplify reporting.

You can download the latest NU-test crop sampling and growth stages to help with your Sample Submission form.

It’s an easy way to check if guidelines are available for particular crops. Plus, entering a growth stage on your form means we can send out your report with relevant guidelines.

Any questions? We’re here to help.

 

What’s the National Soil Strategy and what’s in it for you?

We’re more than halfway through the International Year of Soil.

And, although details are scant, we’re inspired by the renewed focus on soil health in the 2021 Federal Budget.

Soil is a big focus of the Government’s agriculture spend, with almost $200 million committed over four years to implement the National Soil Strategy.

Here’s what we know about the strategy so far:

  • Two-year pilot to provide rebates for farmers who share the results of soil testing, including purchasing privately-held soil data
  • A further $59.6 million committed to trial low-emissions feed supplements for livestock
  • A National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge is expected to help lower emissions through soil management
  • An additional $32 million will go to the national Agriculture Stewardship program to promote on-farm biodiversity

Let’s all watch this space.

 

PS. What do you think of our facelift?
You’ve just finished reading our much-anticipated new format of Vitality on our revamped website. We’d love your feedback and any content suggestions.

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