GROWER EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCES WITH THE USE OF ORGANIC MULCHES AND SOIL AMENDMENTS IN THE HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRY IN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

J. Biala, M. Milgate
A telephone survey showed that a high proportion of fruit and vegetable growers in Queensland (Australia) use organic mulches and soil amendments. This indicates that growers know about the importance of mulching and soil organic matter. Perennial fruit growers saw improved moisture retention, weed suppression and better crops as the key benefits of using mulches, while vegetable growers saw increased soil organic matter, increased soil nutrients and improved soil structure as major benefits from using organic soil amendments. Although many growers use organic mulches and soil amendments, knowledge gaps became apparent, which could be addressed by providing readily available information about different products, how to use them, and what they can and cannot deliver.
The list of problems growers had experienced with the use of mulches and organic soil amendments, and a relatively large proportion had experienced problems, provides suppliers of such products with a practical guide to enhancing customer satisfaction. The supply of spreadable, i.e., screened products at appropriate moisture levels that are free of weeds and that do not pose a risk (physical/chemical contaminants) to horticultural farm production would meet the bare minimum requirements of growers. Many would also like to have information about nutrient content, quality assurance and the efficacy of products. Product/transport costs and efficacy are problems the mulch and compost supply industry have to address, if they want horticultural industries to use their products.
Biala, J. and Milgate, M. (2014). GROWER EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCES WITH THE USE OF ORGANIC MULCHES AND SOIL AMENDMENTS IN THE HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRY IN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. Acta Hortic. 1018, 473-479
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1018.52
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1018.52
survey, perceived benefits and problems, desired information, vegetable growers, perennial fruit growers
English

Acta Horticulturae