Australian potato growers keen to learn about the latest research for managing key pests and diseases on potato farms have an opportunity to listen to leading experts at a Potato Industry Research and Development (R&D) Forum in Melbourne this week.

The Potato Industry R&D Forum is being run by RM Consulting Group (RMCG) as part of a strategic levy investment using the Hort Innovation Fresh Potato and Potato Processing Funds, and will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 26 June from 9am until 2pm.

Growers will be provided an opportunity to hear from researchers, agronomists, industry experts and international speakers about the latest pest and disease research, as well as learn from other growers’ experiences in managing key pests and diseases. Topics and speakers include:

Topic Speakers
Tomato-potato psyllid Dr Paul Horne (IPM Technologies), Alan Nankivell and Callum Fletcher (AUSVEG), Darryl Smith (grower) and Chris Claridge (Potatoes NZ)
Biosecurity Dr Victoria Ludowici (Plant Health Australia)
Managing disease risk Mike Rettke (SARDI), Frank Mulcahy (Simplot)
Soil health Dr Chad Hutchinson (University of Florida), Carl Larsen (RMCG)
Soilborne disease Prof Richard Falloon (Plant and Food Research NZ), Prof Calum Wilson (TIA), Dr Tonya Wiechel (Agriculture Victoria), Mee-Yung Shin (researcher)
Integrated pest management (IPM) Dr Paul Horne and Jessica Page (IPM Technologies), David Oddie (agronomist)
The future Kristen Stirling and Dr Doris Blaesing (RMCG)

Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with their fellow growers, as well as follow-up with the Forum’s presenters and industry experts, at a potato industry networking function after the event.

“The Potato Industry R&D Forum is a good opportunity for growers across Australia to get together to discuss key pests and diseases that have the potential to significantly impact Australian potato production,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.

“The potato industry is currently facing significant challenges with pests and diseases. It is important that growers are aware of key management strategies to mitigate the risk of pests and diseases on their product and safeguard their profitability.

“Growers will also have the opportunity to discuss other key challenges that their businesses are facing, and discuss ways that the industry can fund research to help growers on their journey to operate a profitable and competitive business.”

The Forum is being held alongside Hort Connections 2019, the fresh produce industry’s leading conference, where growers and other industry members can learn about the latest industry R&D and services at the Trade Show and the many forums and speaker sessions on offer.

Hort Connections 2019 is the premiere event for the horticulture industry, encompassing the vegetable, fruit, nut, cut floral and nursery sectors. Registrations are still open and those who are interested in attending any of the three days can also register in person at the event. For more information please visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: