Crop management and protection practices that help prevent soil-borne diseases in potato crops will be the key focus of a special potato research and development (R&D) workshop to be held in Berrigan, NSW.

The R&D workshop, part of the Potato Industry Extension Program run by AUSVEG, will be held on Tuesday 5 August from 10:00am – 1:00pm at the property of local potato grower, Mr John Doyle. The workshop will be attended by potato levy payers and other industry representatives including processors, agronomists, researchers and supply chain representatives.

“The workshop will provide local producers with the opportunity to hear about modern growing practices, management techniques and technologies that could benefit their operations long into the future,” said Acting Special Projects Coordinator, Alexander Miller.

AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticultural body representing more than 2,000 potato growers.

“This is another example of Australian potato growers being proactive in ensuring their industry stays innovative and continues to produce to a world-class standard with exemplary disease management,” said Mr Miller.

Topics to be covered at the workshop will include nematode management, DNA testing for soil-borne diseases and best practices in crop management.

Queensland-based Research Director, Dr Graham Stirling from Biological Crop Protection, will provide insight into the latest R&D findings in nematode management, while Mr Michael Rettke from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) will discuss the revolutionary DNA diagnostic soil testing service ‘PredDicta Pt’. The PreDicta Pt test can be used to identify soil-borne pathogens that present a risk to potato crops prior to planting.

“These industry experts will not only help growers by identifying diseases and risks facing the industry, but will also outline the best resources available for effective management and avoidance of disease,” said Mr Miller.

Agronomist Mr Russell Fox of I.K. Caldwell will also present on crop management practices, focussing particularly on Target spot, Potato moth and Potato Virus Y. Mr Alistair Crawford from global crop protection company, Adama, will speak about issues with crop rotations with potatoes.

“By providing growers with the latest R&D outcomes and potato crop management techniques, AUSVEG is helping to secure the future of the Australian potato industry and ensure it continues to hold its place among the world’s best,” said Mr Miller.

The workshop will be catered and is free to attend for all potato levy payers and other industry stakeholders.

The Potato Industry Extension Program aims to raise awareness of R&D findings and agronomic activities that could deliver strong benefits to growers and processors. The program has been funded by HAL using the National Potato Levies and matched funds from the Australian Government.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alexander Miller, AUSVEG Acting Special Projects Coordinator, Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0418 480 432, Email: