VSU Rice FestivalThe Australian Government through its Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the New South Wales Government through the Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) conducted on August 13-16, 2013 the HORT2012/020 Vegetable Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Workshop at the Audio Visual Room of VSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Extension (OVPRE).

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is the largest provider of science and research services within the NSW Government. The Department undertakes strategic science which underpins the growth, sustainability and biosecurity of primary industries in NSW.

Participated in by some 40 researchers who are involved in the Integrated Crop Management Project in the Philippines and Australia with focus on tomato, eggplant, sweet pepper, ampalaya or bitter gourd, and leafy vegetables, the four-day workshop aimed to develop participants’ confidence in conducting the grower benchmark surveys and crop surveys consistently across all sites, familiarize the concept of ICM and have a basic understanding as to what it means across each of the vegetable commodities, and have some clear roles and identify steps in implementing the program.

To update the participants on what are the activities happening in the field, the Philippine project collaborators presented a 10-minute progress report. The participants were enlightened with various topics discussed by the experts such as insect pest management, integrated disease management, weed identification and management, good agricultural practices, monitoring and sampling protocols, crop scheduling varieties, fertilizer review, and preparation and presentation of AESA. All lectures were supplemented with workshops either in the laboratory or in the field.

The workshop concluded with a presentation and discussion of ICM demonstration site plans and planning for the next project activity.

The Australian counterparts who were around included: Sandra McDougall, ICM Project Leader; Les Baxter, Research Program Manager Horticulture in the Philippines; Len Tesoriero, collaborator NSW DPI; Mike Titley, collaborator AHR; John Oakeshott, Manager Horticulture Philippines; with Mara Faylon, ACIAR Assistant Manager, Philippines. JFMBaldos