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TAS Country : April 19th 2012
News 4 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 20, 2012 BUMPER CROP: Potatoes are harvested on a property at Gawler. Picture: CHRIS KIDD Paydirt as spuds have day in the sun KAROLIN MacGREGOR 'It's probably one of the best seasons for harvesting conditions and crops yields that we've had' ---TREVOR HALL RELIEVED Tasmanian po- tato growers are enjoying one of their best harvest seasons for years as the ideal weather conditions continue. Harvesting of this year's crop is about halfway through and producers across the growing regions are reporting excellent yields and good quality. This year's bumper har- vest follows last year's dis- astrous season, when re- cord summer and autumn rain destroyed crops and cost farmers huge amounts of money in lost yields. After a warm summer and good rains in recent weeks, farmers finally have something to smile about. Simplot processing po- tato committee chairman Trevor Hall said it was a relief to see this year's crop coming out of the ground. ''It's going very well,'' he said. ''It's probably one of the best seasons for harvesting conditions and crops yields that we've had.'' Mr Hall, who farms near Scottsdale, said reports from around the district were also good. ''Compared with last year, it's fantastic,'' he said. ''Yields are good and quality is pretty good, too, barring a little bit of rot and scab.'' Mr Hall said while con- ditions had been a little bit dry for harvesting by last week, 25mm of rain over the weekend had fixed that. ''It's ideal for digging spuds in are area at the moment,'' he said. ''There's a bit of moisture around, but not too much, which is what we want.'' Mr Hall said conditions throughout the growing season had also been ideal. ''The fact we had a full 'moisture-in-the-soil' pro- file after two wet winters has meant we didn't have to irrigate as much as we normally would,'' he said. ''We had some warm nights through summer as well, which kept them growing, so overall it's To Page 7 TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Tasmanian Alkaloids are expanding our growing area this season. Talk to your local TasAlk Field Officer, or Phone 6393 5202 2058341-120413 If you are a producer looking to diversify your farming business, considering alternative crops or wanting to improve your understanding of markets and supply chains, then you should attend this free information session. You will learn about: What is the structure of the food market? What are the current buying behaviours of customers? What are the types of fresh food products that customers are looking for? How might you pursue a new market opportunity? 10:00 am -- 1:00 pm, Wednesday 9 May 2012 at the Stables, 85 High Street, Oatlands (light refreshments will be provided). This workshop is supported by the Tasmanian Government s Wealth from Water Pilot Program as part of the Economic Development Plan. For more information and to register, contact Business Point on 1800 440 026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Diversifying your farming business? Photo: Simon de Salis TASMANIAN INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE Fungi to hang out with ROGER HANSON MAGALI WRIGHT THE weird and wonderful world of mushrooms, puff- balls, stinkhorns, poly- pores, mildews and moulds will come to life at a two- day symposium on fungi in Hobart from Thursday. Natural Resources Man- agement (NRM) South and Fungimap are holding the fungi symposium at the Old Woolstore in Hobart. It is part of a four-day Tas- manian Fungi Festival. The festival will try to strike a balance between the latest fungal science (fungi and soil health, fungi and carbon seques- tration) while celebrating the joys fungi bring to humans, both on the plate and in our forests. Fungi are critical to the health of plants and soils. Tom May, the president of Fungimap and senior mycologist from Mel- bourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, will be one of the key speakers at the sym- posium. ''While fungi play in- credibly important roles in both the natural world and human agriculture, we still know very little about them,'' Dr May said. ''Scientists believe there could be as many as 1.5 million different types of fungi in the world, but there are more than 90 per cent yet to be identified.'' During the fungi festival Dr Magali Wright will give an overview of fungi in plant restoration and man- agement. Dr Wright has been in- volved in fungal research and education for 11 years. Her interests include the use of fungi in the recovery of native plants and eco- system function. Dr Wright is the biodiversity co-ordinator at NRM South. Registrations for the festival close on Monday, but for the symposium are open from 8.00-8.30am on Thursday. For further de- tails visit www.rbg. vic.gov.au/fungimap/ fungi-conservation-and- management-symposium Pick of the crop for Ausveg AUSVEG has added an- other top speaker for its national conference in Hobart next month. Joerg Ellmanns, manag- ing director of Bayer Aust- ralia and New Zealand, will present ''Cultivating Ideas and Answers''. Mr Ellmanns will reflect on his 25 years at Bayer -- including a period in Brus- sels, where he headed the animal health business group, and in Germany where he was responsible for companion animal business development. The speaker session is on May 11 from 9.20-9.40am. Mr Ellmanns also will join the conven- tion breakfast and agribu- siness leaders panel from 7.30-9am. To register, phone (03) 9822 0388.
April 12th 2012
April 26th 2012