How to use this resource

As growers explore each information module the idea is to gain knowledge and identify possible beneficial changes in their farming practice. This resource can be used in several different ways:

1. Reviewing and changing your overall production system
2. Solving a pressing problem in an existing crop
3. Comparing your costs and yields with another grower, and comparing the costs and potential benefits of changing how you grow.


1. Reviewing and changing your overall production system.

The Primary Fact Sheets in Module 2 & Module 3 and related video clips track an expert grower and his approach to preparing, planting and managing a capsicum crop. This provides a framework for considering key practices and challenges as they relate to each stage of the crop cycle. This can be followed up with more in depth technical information in Module 1 (Essential Knowledge) and then Module 4 (Cost-Benefit Calculator) which can help with making decisions from an economic point of view.

To complete a comprehensive review of your production system the following steps are recommended:

1. Look at About this resource to get an understanding of the purpose and resources in this package
2. Look at the profile of Phuong's farm to get an overall idea of his production system and major improvements he has focused on.
3. Work your way through the 3 primary fact sheets in Modules 1, 2 & 3 and related video clips from Phuong's farm. Note key topics of interest and any relevant information or ideas that could be helpful
4. Go to Module 4, the Cost-benefit Calculator, to see if Phuong has dealt with similar issues, and note the cost and benefit changes he encountered
5. After identifying any relevant changes confirm their relevance by seeking advice from relevant experts and conducting any recommended tests (soil, leaf, disease or pest ID etc.)
6. Organise any actions decided upon depending on cost, estimated benefit and a logical sequence for implementing and managing changes to avoid unnecessary problems and expenses - first things first!


2. Solving a problem in your current crop

You can use this resource to help with analysing and addressing the problem. In this case the best place to start will be the Primary Fact Sheets in Modules 1, 2 & 3. The video segments will not be as relevant as the other resources, but they are still very valuable for future reference. The next crop is not far away!

The technical information covers the following potential issues - and many more.

Example of a concern & where to look:

> I know my soil has significant problem(s) - Module 1 and 2 (structure, salinity, organic carbon levels, drainage)
> My plants are weak or don't look healthy - Module 1 and 3 (plant nutrition, salinity, disease)
> My plants are too strong and not flowering - Module 1 and 3 (light, plant nutrition)
> My flowers are not setting or are aborting - Module 1 and 3 (light, plant nutrition & watering)
> My fruit quality is poor (small, thin, no seeds, blossom end rot, cracking) - Module 1 and 3 (salinity, calcium, watering, ventilation)
> I have persistent disease problems - Module 1, 2and 3 (prevention & control)
> I have persistent pest problems - Module 1and 3 (prevention & control)
> I have salinity issues - Module 1 and 2 (water quality, irrigation & leaching)

Or click here to go to the Home Page and select modules you want to look at.

The following steps are recommended for tackling an existing problem:

1. Choose an issue that you think is costing you too much money or reducing your yields/quality
2. Go to the Primary Fact Sheet in the relevant modules for that issue and look at the topics that seem relevant
3. Look at any relevant additional resources listed in the Primary Fact Sheet or in the resource master list on the home page
4. Match your issues with possible remedies from the case study or other sources.
5. Check with an independent expert and conduct any recommended testing (soil, leaf, disease or pest ID etc.) to confirm possible causes.
6. Take relevant indicated by test results and additional expert advice on the results.


3. Comparing your costs and yields with another grower, and comparing the costs and potential benefits of changing how you grow

Module 4 - the Cost-Benefit module includes the following topics and resources:

1: Background to improved production and economics (introductory fact sheet)
2: Capsicum Calculator - use the excel table provided to enter your current practices, associated costs and average yield achievements.
3: Compare your current production per plant and per m2 with Phuong
4: Phuong's improvements as Fruit per Plant and Kg per m2 - a close look at the economics of changes Phuong's has made to his farming practices click here for a spreadsheet summarising his inputs and yields.
5: Estimate cost & benefits of making changes to your farm - enter any practice changes you are interested in making, ranging from refitting or modifying your greenhouse to changing how you prepare, plant and manage your crops. Then enter associated changes in cost and estimated yield improvements.

Or to just go to the Cost Benefit Calculator and decide what you want to do.

It is recommended that you look at another more generic economic scenario calculator created under the vegetable levy called Veg Tool. To go to Veg Tool click here.

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