Victorian potato growers will be treated to a travelling exhibition of the latest industry research and development (R&D) at a series of workshops in local regions starting this week.

Held as part of AUSVEG’s Potato Industry Extension Program, the workshops will be held in Ballarat and Warragul on 30 September and 7 October respectively and will have a key focus on pest and disease management.

“The workshops will give potato growers the opportunity to hear about the latest local research into managing potato diseases and minimising the threat of pests and viruses,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Alexander Miller.

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

“By providing growers with the latest R&D information, AUSVEG is working to ensure Australia’s potato growers get the most out of their crops and maximise productivity and profitability,” said Mr Miller.

A key presentation at the workshops will be provided by Dr Dolf de Boer, Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), on exciting new Potato cyst nematode (PCN) and Late blight research.

Biosecurity will also feature, with AUSVEG National Manager – Scientific Affairs, Dr Jessica Lye, discussing management techniques for pests and viruses including the Tomato potato psyllid and Zebra Chip.

“Zebra Chip poses as a potentially disastrous risk for the Australian potato industry, having cost New Zealand many millions of dollars in recent years. It is paramount that the local industry does all it can to keep Zebra Chip off our shores,” said Mr Miller.

“By providing growers with the latest R&D information and pest and disease management techniques, they can put measures in place to ensure they do not experience potentially risky incursions.”

Also presenting will be representatives from crop protection agribusinesses, Bayer and Syngenta, who will discuss the latest developments in Rhizoctonia control and innovations in weed management.

“The R&D workshops will cover a range of information and best practices from growing a crop in the ground to managing the environment around it. Attendees will be able to ensure that they are controlling their crop from start to finish to grow the highest quality potatoes,” said Mr Miller.

The workshops are free to attend for all Australian potato levy payers, agronomists and other industry stakeholders, with dinner and refreshments to be provided. Growers are encouraged to register their attendance with AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or at as spaces are limited.

The program has been funded by HIA using the National Potato Levies and funds from the Australian Government.

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