The fresh potato and potato processing industries currently fund a levy-funded project to turn previous research into practice improvements that will benefit these industries through extension activities.

This project is split into two aspects being delivered by two separate service providers, with these separate initiatives tackling key areas of interest for the industry.

Literature review and survey

Research provider AgAims is working to identify and document potential opportunities for improving Australian seed potato quality and handling practices. It will then take this information to growers to support the adoption of improved, sustainable best practice for the delivery of high-quality seed.

The project began with a review of international research and best practice on seed handling, including:

  • post-harvest handling, storage and seed piece treatments; and
  • the effect on final crop outcomes of seed age, piece size and whether or not it is whole or cut.

This review has since been followed with a survey that looked at industry practices to understand how and why standard practice in the industry has been developed.

Together, this review and survey information have been developed into a draft report, which will soon be shared with industry.

For questions on this part of the project, contact Peter Philp from Philp Horticultural Services on 0419 654 245 or at

Pest and disease app

Since September 2017, this project has been working to develop a potato disease, disorder and pest app for Australian potato growers and others in the industry.

Led by the Victorian Certified Seed Potato Authority (ViCSPA), the project team has been working to bring together information to create this handy new tool for growers, and to evaluate its design and functionality with the industry.

When completed, the application will provide a visual reference of pests and diseases affecting potato quality, to help in-field detection and diagnosis.

As both of these areas of research progress, we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

This information first appeared in Hort Innovation’s quarterly Hortlink publication, available in full online. Stay in the loop by becoming a member of Hort Innovation – paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a member, but signing up is free and easy on the Hort Innovation website.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 24 July 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the fresh potato and potato processing research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.