Exciting advancements in potato research and development (R&D) will be on show this week at the biggest annual Trade Show event in Australian horticulture, with a dedicated R&D booth to feature at the 2014 AUSVEG National Convention Trade Show, at the Cairns Convention Centre 19-21 June.

Cutting-edge disease prediction technologies, virus identification tools and novel farming practices to improve soil health will be amongst the valuable information disseminated at the Potato Industry Extension Program booth.

“The Potato Industry Extension Program exhibit will feature a raft of informative material on new potato R&D outcomes, which if utilised, could help Australian potato producers to increase the efficiency and productivity of their operations,” said AUSVEG Special Projects Coordinator, Luke Raggatt.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 2,000 potato growers.

“The exhibit will feature special appearances from some of Australia’s leading potato experts, who will discuss a range of important R&D initiatives directly with Trade Show delegates,” said Mr Raggatt.

Senior Consultant at RMCG, Dr Doris Blaesing, will join the booth on Day 1 of the Trade Show (Friday 20 June), to talk about factors for maintaining high quality seed potatoes throughout the supply chain.

“With extensive experience heading-up key R&D projects in Australia and overseas, Dr Blaesing will be an invaluable source of information at the booth for delegates eager to learn more about potato R&D findings.”

Joining the exhibit on Day 2 of the Trade Show (Saturday 21 June) is Plant Virologist at the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), Ms Brenda Coutts, who will be on hand to discuss some important research projects she has led on the highly destructive Potato Virus Y (PVY).

“PVY is one of the most serious plant viruses affecting potato production worldwide. It can cause yield losses and tuber quality defects in commercial potato crops, and can lead to the rejection of seed potato lots from certification. Ms Coutts’ research in this area will undoubtedly be a valuable point of discussion for potato industry members who visit the booth at the Trade Show,” said Mr Raggatt.

Around 1,000 delegates from across Australia and abroad will take part in the 2014 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence, with around 80 exhibition booths on display at the Trade Show component of the premier three-day event. Leading agri-businesses, research organisations, retailers, and farming equipment manufacturers, will be amongst those taking part.

“The Potato Industry Extension Program exhibition booth will be an effective way to communicate information about a range of key R&D activities being undertaken for the industry,” said Mr Raggatt.

“I would encourage all potato industry members attending the AUSVEG National Convention Trade Show to stop by the booth to hear about some of the exciting research underway.”

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Potato Levies and matched funds from the Australian Government.

MEDIA CONTACT: Luke Raggatt, AUSVEG Special Projects Coordinator Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0403 827 822, Email: luke.raggatt@ausveg.com.au