Cairns, Australia – The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) has taken out the John Deere Productivity Partner Award at the 2014 AUSVEG Awards for Excellence – the most respected awards within Australian horticulture. The announcement was made tonight during a gala dinner event at the Cairns Convention Centre, in Queensland.

SARDI received the accolade for their efforts in successfully developing a DNA diagnostic soil test, which enables potato growers to better understand the risk of three major potato diseases developing in their crops. Known as ‘Predicta Pt’, the soil testing service is considered a valuable and cost-effective way for potato growers to manage disease and make informed decisions prior to planting.

The service was launched commercially in August 2013 and has received widespread support from growers, processors and agronomists across the country. The service is likely to include testing for additional potato diseases in the future.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

Supported by John Deere, the Productivity Partner Award recognises a business which has developed a new solution that directly benefits growers by improving their productivity. The business must also have significantly contributed in a positive fashion to the Australian vegetable or potato industries, and shown a commitment to improving the industry’s productivity.

“SARDI has provided tangible benefits to potato growers through the development of the Predicta Pt soil testing service. Their research outcomes have directly benefited the productivity of the industry, and for their efforts, they have been bestowed the Productivity Partner Award,” said AUSVEG CEO, Mr Richard Mulcahy.

The AUSVEG National Convention is the largest event in Australian Horticulture, making the Awards for Excellence the industry’s night of nights.

“These awards celebrate those who lead by example – the achievers whose efforts are too often unrecognised by those outside the Australian vegetable growing community,” said Mr Mulcahy.

For photographs, or to request an interview with award winners, please make contact with the AUSVEG representative below.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Spokeperson, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9882 0277 | Mobile: 0406 836 330 | E-mail: