AU: International scientists collaborate in potato research

The Australian Potato Research Program Phase 2 Symposium was held in Melbourne on the 18th and 19th of September. It is the processing potato industry’s flagship Research and Development (R&D) program and is one of the largest investments for Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL). The program brought together researchers from across Australia and internationally who are working collaboratively to improve the sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of the Australia Potato Industry.

The aim of the Symposium was to present technical updates on their research to producers, agronomists, processors, members of the scientific community and industry stakeholders, in addition to practical information on how research findings could be implemented at the primary production level.

Robbie Davis, CEO of the peak industry representative body, Potatoes South Australia Incorporated, attended the event; the successor to APRP1 which was finalised in 2009. “This $13.7million program has now completed its third year of delivering soil and plant health outcomes to industry and it is a fantastic example of co-investment and partnering to achieve very significant outcomes. National and international scientific collaboration of this kind must continue, connecting the best minds and also encouraging the next generation into this exciting field of horticultural research," Ms Davis said.

Research topics covered the management of Rhizoctonia, Powdery scab, Common scab, Potato early dying (Verticillium), Bacterial Wilt and other disease threats. Key international researchers included Dr George Lazarovits (Canada) and Professor Richard Falloon (New Zealand), who discussed cutting-edge research into soil health issues.

“The potato industry can only maintain its competitive advantage if targeted co-ordinated research like this continues to be funded," she added.

For more information:
Robbie Davis, Chief Executive Officer
Potatoes South Australia
Tel: 0427 084 319


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