As 2018 comes to a close, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the year just passed and start planting the seeds for the work we face in the year to come.

It’s timely, then, that the latest edition of the levy-funded Potatoes Australia magazine combines some detailed looks at recent and historical research and development (R&D) with a collection of articles about some of the leading stakeholders in Australian seed potato production.

In the new R&D space, industry members will benefit from the creation of a new levy-funded role taking a program approach to pest and disease potato industry investments. In the magazine, we break down how RMCG’s Kristen Sterling and Doris Blaesing are stepping up to coordinate industry R&D and make sure that research turns into extension and communication so that the full benefits from levy-funded research can flow through to potato growers.

We’re also continuing to cover international R&D that has relevance to Australian growers, like a recently completed project from the United Kingdom that’s tracked slug populations in commercial potato crops to find ‘hotspots’ – places where slugs tend to congregate in high densities, enabling more efficient and direct treatment of problem populations. This research is profiling the characteristics of hotspot locations to help growers more easily identify where and how to focus their control efforts.

As noted, this edition looks at various players in Australia’s seed potato sector, from Agronico’s business growth in Tasmania (including the launch of its new coolstore last year) to AuSPICA’s work certifying potato seed and a tour of the Toolangi Research Station. We also talk to Nellie Malseed (pictured above), who works at AuSPICA as Compliance Officer to ensure that the organisation has robust processes and procedures.

As always, our magazine team shares the stories of growers around the country. This magazine’s grower profile talks to Jon Hill and his son Ryan, from New South Wales’ Hill Family Farming, about the history of their farm and their plans for the future.

While there’s many more articles in the magazine, there’s one last piece that we think is important for all growers to read: a reflection from Western Australian grower Darryl Smith on his experience as the first potato grower to discover tomato-potato psyllid on his property back in February 2017. Darryl spoke at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s Forthside Open Day about his experience, including what he’s learned about the importance of biosecurity.

To read this latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine, visit the publications section of our website! You can also always subscribe to receive free hard-copy editions of AUSVEG’s industry magazines by filling out our simple online form.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 18 December 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!