Growcom’s horticulture best management practice (BMP) program, Hort360 was developed to assist horticulture growers manage risk and identify opportunities for the growth and durability of their agribusiness. Hort360 provides a structured risk-based approach to assist in decision making that can have long term benefits for grower capacity and also act as a benchmarking tool to measure improvements.  

It is not expected that your farming enterprise will be perfect. Hort360 is designed to assist you identify areas where you may be able to make improvements and thus, increase profitability. Specific best practices will vary between farms depending on a wide range of factors. Hence, it is necessary for individual growers to identify their own best practices. This is normally achieved through benchmarking existing performance and working towards continual improvement.  

Hort360 is primarily facilitated one-on-one by Growcom and partner organisation extension staff so that a more effective outcome is reached, and growers fully understand what they need to achieve. It also allows the extension officer to initiate and be aware of further responses needed.  

Hort360 greatly improves the specificity of the extension effort directed to growers enabling them to quickly see which aspects of their operation need improvement. Whilst the one-on-one facilitation is resource intensive it enables any follow up to be better targeted at the growers’ risks and has streamlined extension delivery activities.  

From a Growcom perspective, Hort360 enables us to benchmark the horticulture industry in terms of current practices at multiple scales, provide improved delivery targeting specific needs assisting growers to meet / exceed BMP and develop new projects specific to industry need. The ability to benchmark the horticulture industry across a range of scales also enables Growcom to report the effectiveness of current programs.  

Benefits: Growers 

  • Builds a health check for your farm business. 
  • Simple and easy tool for growers to benchmark their farming and business practices and compare against peers. 
  • Creates an action plan with clear objectives and timelines. 
  • Ability to track changes over time to manage performance and effectiveness. 
  • Access to information and resources to improve farming practices. 
  • A platform to market a clean and green product. 
  • Be on the front foot when incentives and other funding becomes available. 

Benefit: Industry 

  • Enables industry to identify knowledge gaps.  
  • Tailor training and extension needs to specific commodities and regions. 
  • Creates opportunities for on-ground activities. 
  • Help to reduce any unnecessary red tape into the future. 
  • Promotes horticulture in a positive, proactive and innovative light. 

Yellow Silk commented: “Support from Growcom has been valuable – funding projects to help us preform best practice methods like the fertigation project for our orchard – supported by Growcom is so important to keep us moving forward. 

Les Williams commented: I found Hort360 very easy to use, it did not take up much time. It helped me identify gaps in my processes and gives me a clear road map on what to fix. The Hort360 team are great to work with to help my business be fill the gaps.” 

Mt Alma commented: You need to be able to have a benchmark for everyone’s own business as we are all at different stages of constant improvements. Hort360 is an easy way to get a base line of your business and plan to focus on the direction for our business practices and our business choices are economically, environment, sustainability and socially sound.”