Cut Flowers Best Practice Guide
The Cut Flowers Best Practice Guide has been produced to improve sustainable farm management and provide information, references and contacts for growers. It is a guide to the farm practices and business operations necessary for cut flower production, outlining options for enterprises to consider depending on their specific circumstances.
Cost and Profit Calculator for Cut Flower Growers
The Cost and Profit Calculator is a decision support tool that will assist cut flower growers to accurately cost their products leading to better financial decision making during the marketing process. View our short video!
Statistics on Australian cut flower and foliage production, exports and imports
Published data statistics on Australian cut flower and foliage production, exports and imports is being examined in a project by the FAQI to investigate the issues and experiences of our industry in relation to the import and domestic production sectors. ….. Read more
WATER & ENERGY
Determining Optimum Irrigation Scheduling Techniques for Key Wildflower CropsThis project investigated the water use requirements and irrigation scheduling of two common plantation-grown wildflower crops, Protea cv. ´Pink Ice´ and Ceratopetalum gummiferum (Christmas bush). A literature review was conducted on existing information and previous research carried out in relation to the water requirements of wildflower crops. A handbook on the irrigation of wildflower crops is also currently being developed.
Using Mulch on Commercial Native Cut Flower Crops
The potential of mulch to improve the water use efficiency and productivity of in-ground native flower production was investigated, using Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) as a case study.
Use of Artificial Lights in Cut Flower Production
As part of the Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP), a student project was conducted to investigate the effects of changes from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps within the cut flower industry. For more infomration read the lighting fact sheet
South East Queensland Irrigation Futures (July 2009 – June 2013)
Through the South East Queensland – Irrigation Futures program (SEQ-IF2), FAQI was established to assist growers to optimise on-farm natural resource management and water use efficiency, particularly through efficient irrigation practices.
Rural Water Use Efficiency (July 2009 – June 2013)
The Rural Water Use Efficiency initiative (RWUE4) was funded by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) to assist flower producers in far north Queensland to optimise water and energy use efficiency.
The Queensland Cut Flower Industry and Climate Change
The debate over whether changes in the earth’s climate are a result of human activity has slowly decreased in intensity as the scientific community, business and governments around the world appear to be reaching a consensus.
A Climate Change publication produced by FAQI considers all areas in relation to cut flower and foliage production focusing on factors that were determined as likely areas that would affect the way flowers are produced and marketed in the future. Energy, water, soils, pests, weeds, product handling and marketing have been identified as the critical factors in the production cycle which may impact on cut flower and foliage farms in the future and are designated chapters within this publication.
If you would like to receive a free copy of the Queensland Cut Flower Industry and Climate Change Publication go to our products page.
PESTS & DISEASES
Western Flower Thrips
Western flower thrips (WFT) is a major pest of vegetables and ornamental crops worldwide. WFT is a serious pest due to its ability to reproduce on a large number of hosts, its rapid developmental cycle, high reproductive rate and tendency to inhabit protected areas of the plant, such as the growing tips and flower buds. An intensive pesticide regime is often implemented to control WFT which has led to varying levels of pesticide resistance across a wide range of chemicals. Therefore, sustainable management practices are required for cut flower crops to manage the pest in the longer term.
WFT pupates in various places including the soil, on foliage or flowers. In this project, WFT pupation behaviour and survival were studied on gerberas, chrysanthemums and roses to examine differences across plant species and in flowering and non-flowering chrysanthemums. Results showed that less than 30% of larvae pupated in the soil for all hosts studied and was often less than 10%. Soil moisture did not effect WFT survival for those thrips that did pupate in the soil. This means that managing the soil phase of the WFT lifecycle is unlikely to be effective as a form of pest control in cut flower crops. WFT survival was comparable on flowering chrysanthemums, gerberas and roses, but was much lower on non-flowering chrysanthemums. This indicates that management of WFT should focus on plant stages just prior to and during flowering, particularly for annual varieties.
The ability of commercially available thrips predators to reduce WFT was examined on gerberas, chrysanthemums and roses. Three foliage predators were found to have the greatest potential to manage WFT. Two predatory mites and a pirate bug reduced thrips numbers by about 30 to 99%, depending on the stage and location of thrips. Results indicated that soil predators rarely reduced the number of WFT on foliage and flowers and, when combined with foliage predators, did not reduce the number of WFT more than the foliage predators alone.
Further research is required to determine the most cost-effective rates of release of foliage predators in cut flower crops. However, a structured monitoring program, perhaps in tandem with an integrated pest management (IPM) consultant or other experienced IPM practitioner, should assist growers who seek to use biocontrol to manage WFT.
PRODUCTION & POSTHARVEST
Cut Flower and Foliage Industry Pesticide Gap Analysis
The availability of safe and effective crop protection products for minor uses in the cut flower and foliage industry was explored, in particular, ‘reduced chemistry’ options. The project has led to a better understanding of the chemical requirements of the cut flower industry and an increased awareness of grower priorities.
Vase Life Testing and Benchmarking Cut Flower Freshness and Quality
Vase life is an important characteristic of cut flower and foliage products. As part of the Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP), the Flower Association of Queensland Inc. in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sponsored an Environmental Science student from Griffith University to undertake a vase life testing trial. The aim of the project was to conduct preliminary vase life tests on chrysanthemum, rose and lisianthus flowers under controlled conditions whilst also incorporating time lapse photography to demonstrate the rate of decline in flower quality.
Plant Health Australia (PHA) has been commissioned by FAQI to develop a Cut Flower and Foliage Industry Biosecurity Plan (IBP), with assistance and input from key industry representatives. The IBP will allow for the formal identification, assessment and prioritisation of the industry’s biosecurity risks and will provide a framework for biosecurity planning and preparedness. ….. Read more
Published data on cut flower and foliage imports and exports is being examined in a project by the FAQI to investigate the issues and experiences of our industry in relation to the import and domestic production sectors. ….. Read more
In conjunction with the re-development of the FAQI website, a new Knowledge Centre platform is being created which will eventually become a repository of nationally-relevant cut flower and foliage industry information. This will be a searchable resource for all sectors of the industry, giving users access to an extensive library of research, technical and industry information. ….Read more
Queensland Cut Flower Industry Development Unit
The Industry Development Unit focusses on three main areas: project management, information products and services, and interactive group activities. Denyse Corner leads the Industry Development Unit and is Executive Officer of the Flower Association of Queensland Inc (FAQI). The activities of the Unit can be reviewed on FAQI’s Facebook page.
Building the capacity of the cut flower and foliage industryThis project was funded for communication, market development and capacity building activities that will inform industry members about how to improve production and quality and stimulate demand for flowers, foliages and flowering plants for the advancement of the floriculture industry in Queensland and Australia (where feasible and practical)…..Read more
Australian Flower Council
FAQI is a collaborator on the Australian Flower Council (AFC), which was formed in 2011 and is committed to building strong industry capacity which is necessary to make a real difference to the sustainability of the Australian cut flower and foliage industry.
Australian Flower Industry Magazine
The Australian Flower Industry magazine is exclusively published for the floriculture industry in Australia and New Zealand and is the flagship publication of FAQI. It contains a range of articles and information written by recognised industry experts specifically addressing the needs of the Australian cut flower and foliage industry.
Cut Flower & Foliage Industry Careers Guide
A Careers Guide publication has been developed to provide information for school leavers and new industry entrants on career opportunities associated with the diverse Australian cut flower and foliage industry. To get your free copy of the Career Guide go to our products page.
Related article “Grow your future in the floriculture industry”, AFI magazine Issue 37, December 2012.
View our short video!
Know it to Grow it #Commference
Communication and marketing were the topics of lively discussion at the Know it to Grow it #Commference, hosted by the Flower Association of Queensland Inc. (FAQI) on the 19th and 20th of June 2014. Growers, florists, wholesalers, suppliers, educators and marketing experts gathered together at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre to share their ideas about methods and tools for connecting with their customers and improving their businesses….. Read more