Potatoes in hand

The Tasmanian state government has announced funding for new R&D projects to drive innovation in the state’s potato and blueberry industries.

A number of projects were supported through the Tasmanian government’s Agricultural Innovation Fund including two targeting horticultural crops.

Nearly A$500,000 was allocated to the development of decision support systems for the management of potato diseases and estimating the impact of changing climates.

This project will develop a tool that will allow the potato industry to predict and control disease more effectively. This will increase the productivity and profitability of the industry, while decreasing food waste, pesticide use and environmental impacts. It will also provide a valuable tool for modelling the impact of future climate change.

Just over A$482,788 was distributed to a project that will develop new on-farm strategies for the prevention and control of blueberry rust in Tasmania.

This project will provide the blueberry industry with practical information and precision tools to manage blueberry rust through the evaluation of pathogen survival over winter and defoliation as a potential control measure.