Off the back of pandemic-induced labour shortages, crops in Carnarvon are being left to rot in paddocks, with no one around to pack them and not enough truck drivers to pick them up.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is on a three-day visit to Indonesia to strengthen relations with the country he called “one of Australia’s most vibrant regional partners”.
Dairy farms and horticulture operations across the South West could benefit from an influx of skilled migrant workers under a deal struck between the Shire of Dardanup and the Federal Government.
The Shire of Waroona has received another application to use gas guns, this time from local melon grower Capogreco Farms.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan has promised she will meet with South West farmers about water security after a contentious irrigation scheme was all but canned late last year.
Not a single country has signed up to a new agricultural visa touted as a solution to filling critical gaps in Australia’s farm labour workforce, despite promises it would be in action by Christmas.
Jack Gramenz & Shannon Verhagen
The detection of an exotic Asian bee on a sea container in Perth has sparked an urgent warning for beekeepers to keep an eye out for the pest which could devastate the State’s $900m horticulture industry.
Western Australia’s biggest mango farm has wrapped up its largest picking season under new management, in what’s hoped to be the beginning of a new chapter for the Kununurra mango industry.
A Federal Government survey has shown horticultural farmers responded to a lack of international workers by increasing their domestic workforce.
The pair — who buy a truckload of biochar a year — believe more farmers should give it a go, saying it is not an expensive or laborious process.
Backpackers who have helped WA growers through “really tough times” are facing a nervous wait over their future as their emergency COVID-19 visas come up for renewal heading into summer.
EXCLUSIVE, Shannon Verhagen
Orchardists in the Perth Hills are calling for a plan to avoid “disaster” and protect growers if a pest outbreak occurs in the food producing regions on the fringe of the city.
Eliminating fruit and vegetable packaging would do more harm than good for the environment and cost WA growers thousands in food waste, according to an industry expert.
Biosecurity, innovation, safety, packaging and social media were discussed at the WA Horticulture Update 2021 on November 4.
Tensions ran high in a packed Harvey Shire Council chamber last week as the fate of a vegetable grower’s contentious application to expand its horticultural operations was deferred until next year.
The extra time spent on the road is costing companies thousands, thrown freight deadlines into disarray and sparked concerns over the welfare of drivers.
Edith Cowan University is poised to launch WA’s only horticulture major next year to bolster education and research in a $2.6 billion industry on the “cusp of a boom”.
The 0.2 hectare trial crop was established at Martu Farm in November 2018, with 40 trees comprising a mix of low chill peach and nectarine varieties
Horticultural expansion in Myalup could see a loss of habitat for more than four endangered and critically endangered native species and draws unprecedented backlash from neighbours.
There are fears for the viability of an important food bowl for the Perth metro area, because of the State Government’s plans to cut local farmers water licence allocations by 10 per cent in 2028.
It has prompted calls for supermarket giants to not saddle farmers already grappling with labour shortages with rising costs and instead ask consumers to pay more.
Shannon Verhagen & Courtney Gould
A shocking photo has emerged showing thousands of avocados rotting at a tip in the South West, with growers warning it is “just the beginning” in a “perfect storm” of a year.
A vehicle stuffed with 40 plants and another carrying 20kg of pine cones were some of the strangest cases WA biosecurity officers encountered while inspecting checkpoints and airports this year.
“Never in my 35 years have we seen crop loses of 70-80 per cent over a five-month period.”
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