New project puts Tassie potato growers on the map
The potato industry has been a hugely important part of Tasmanian agriculture since the first crops were planted in 1803. Protecting crops from pests and diseases is vital to ensuring the longevity of the industry, and is something that is at the forefront of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association‘s (TFGA) newest project.
The project sees TFGA working alongside Biosecurity Tasmania on a project funded by the Tasmanian State Government, that aims to raise awareness of farm biosecurity in Tasmania across all farming sectors, including potatoes.
A large and important aspect of the project is mapping, with selected commodities throughout the state to be mapped, allowing for a greater understanding of where farms are, and where these commodities are grown throughout the state. This will not only provide a greater outlook of where food is being produced, but can allow for greater communication in the event of a pest or disease incursion.
While a number of commodities are intended to be mapped over the course of the project, the first on the list is potato growers across the state. Potatoes were selected because of the current threat of diseases on the Australian mainland, including Tomato Potato Psyllid, as well as the economic value of potatoes to Tasmania.
A variety of stakeholders will play a key part in the creation of a map and database of potato farms. Once the map is complete the information can be used, when needed, to inform producers of any pest or disease threats.
To find out more about the mapping project, please visit the TFGA website.