Internationally acclaimed potato researcher, New Zealand’s Professor Richard Falloon, will present to Western Australian potato growers this evening at a research and development (R&D) workshop to be held in Pemberton.

Arranged as part of the Potato Industry Extension Program, managed by AUSVEG, the workshop will be held at the Pemberton Sports Club from 5:00pm – 7:30pm and is free to attend for all potato levy payers and other industry stakeholders.

“We are very pleased to have Prof. Falloon participating in the workshop tonight to speak with members of the WA potato industry about strategies that could reduce the impact of a major potato disease that is certainly no stranger to the WA sector,” said AUSVEG Special Projects Coordinator, Luke Raggatt.

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

Prof. Falloon will outline the latest findings from a collaborative research project that has been undertaken in New Zealand and Australia, regarding a key potato disease known as Powdery scab. The soil-borne disease causes significant financial and crop losses to the industry annually.

“This workshop will be an extremely valuable opportunity for potato growers, processors, agronomists and other members of the WA industry to hear about new research findings that are likely to deliver strong benefits to the sector,” said Mr Raggatt.

Attendees of the workshop will also hear from other industry experts who will present on a range of issues relevant to WA potato producers. Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) researcher, Ms Brenda Coutts, will discuss a recently-completed research project on the management and detection of Potato virus Y (PVY), while Mr Matthew Wetherall, from horticultural supplier Yara Australia, will outline methods to improve potato skin quality.

“By facilitating workshops such as this, the Potato Extension Program is helping potato growers and processors to better understand the practical and financial benefits that industry R&D outcomes, if utilised, could have for their businesses,” said Mr Raggatt.

Prof. Richard Falloon is a plant pathology scientist at Plant and Food Research NZ, as well as Deputy Director at the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University. He was recently elected Fellow of the International Society for Plant Pathology at the 10th International Congress of Plant Pathology in Beijing, China.

Part of Prof. Falloon’s research on Powdery scab disease is linked to the Australian Potato Research Program Phase 2 (APRP2), undertaken for the Australian processing potato sector.

“The Potato Extension Program is working to ensure that our industry has a bright future,” said Mr Raggatt.

Those interested in attending the workshop should contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 to register.

This communication has been funded by HAL 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: