Autumn 2015

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally. 

The days are becoming shorter and colder and rain has been well-received in many regions of the state, but not too much to upset harvest, particularly processing potatoes in the South East.  Read below for some key activities and information.

New Appointments

The Board and Independent Chair of Potatoes South Australia, Brian Cunningham are very pleased to announce two new appointments:
Richard Hamley, Commercial Director - Potatoes for the MGroup was appointed as a Director of Potatoes South Australia last month.  Based in Queensland, Richard brings a wealth of experience to the Boardroom including over 30 years in corporate horticulture and fresh produce.  
Murray Hird has commenced employment as our Project and Partnership Manager. Our strong focus on targeted R&D projects and the importance of collaboration with stakeholders through strong long term partnerships has resulted in this position.  Murray has an extensive background in agribusiness and international trade, particularly in SE Asia, having spent a number of years based in Darwin prior to his recent return to South Australia.
We are delighted to have Murray and Richard join the Potatoes South Australia team.  Read More...

Business SA

Due to a developing partnership, Potatoes South Australia is now a member of Business SA, the voice of business in South Australia.  For over 175 years Business SA has framed the State’s policy agenda and assists organisations of all sizes to manage people and tackle the countless issues faced in today’s competitive business environment. 
As a member of Business SA and part of the Corporate Partnership program, Potatoes South Australia will be able to better help our members face workplace challenges and drive business growth.  We are delighted to be part of South Australia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Not a member of Potatoes South Australia yet? Join here...

Marketing Committee

Due to the urgent need to increase consumption of potatoes in Australia, particularly in the fresh sector, Potatoes South Australia has established a dedicated Marketing Committee, chaired by SA Potato Co’s Steve Marafiote.
Increasing consumption by changing consumer perception and highlighting nutritional benefits is a key priority of the Association.  The Committee will use our 2013 Report, “The Success of Generic Marketing in the Food Sector” as a starting point.
The Committee will meet every four weeks and the development of a Marketing Plan is a priority as a prospectus to industry  Read More...

Fair Work Commission:  The Mitolo Group vs National Union of Workers (NUW) - Loss of Appeal

Potatoes South Australia has continued to work with The Mitolo Group concerning its appeal against Deputy President Bartel’s decision handed down in the Fair Work Commission on the 31st October 2014. 

The Mitolo Group Horticultural Production Employees Collective Agreement 2014 was not approved due to Deputy President Bartel assessing the Storages and Services and Wholesale Award as the applicable award, not the Horticulture Award.  Read More...

Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) - Membership

If you want to actually have influence about how your compulsory levy of 50 cents per tonne is invested, you need to join HIA.Registration is free.
Potatoes South Australia encourages all Potato Levy Payers and representative organisations to register as members of HIA, the new ‘grower-owned’ Research and Development Corporation for Australian horticulture.

Membership is open to active business entities participating in horticulture industries, including those in growing and harvesting, processing, packing, transporting, marketing, wholesaling, retailing and exporting.

Growers are welcome to register as an individual stakeholder should your company already have a nominated representative. However, please note that HIA accepts only one membership per ABN with one nominated representative.

To apply for HIA Membership click here.

Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) Limited Submission

We provided a submission in response to HIA Ltd’s Consultation Paper: “Determining the Strategic Investment Priorities for the Australian Horticulture Industry”. The paper addresses the priorities of water management (cost and availability) and other issues relevant to the industry but fails to prioritise waste as an increasingly critical issue. 

Following discussion with Dr Steven Lapidge, Director Agribusiness SARDI, the submission was based on primary production food losses and transforming this food loss into profit. 

PCN Regulations:  Fresh Potato Exports to WA

Fresh washed potatoes cannot be exported to WA unless PCN-tested.  WA has area freedom for the soil-borne disease.
In April 2014 PIRSA’s Biosecurity SA developed a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) Potato Cyst Nematode ‘Ware Potatoes to Western Australia’.   The Western Australian Government (DAFWA) responded in February of this year requesting more detail concerning the methodology. 
The finding of the South Australian PRA is that washed (free of soil) potatoes present negligible risk of PCN to WA potato production. The PRA assesses the likelihood that PCN cysts will be present in soil adhering to potato tubers that are exported to Western Australia, and subsequently find their way to a location where they successfully reproduce on a susceptible host and create a new infestation. It is based on production and marketing arrangements in South Australia.
Potatoes South Australia has been working with Biosecurity SA and industry to provide responses to DAFWA concerning variability in varieties exported, washing processes and soil types.

World Potato Congress 2015


The World Potato Congress 2015 to be convened in Yanqing, Beijing 28-30 July is themed, “Develop Together for a Better Future”, and close to 1000 delegates including producers, processors, researchers, wholesalers, marketers and exporters are expected to attend.  Read More...

South Australian Government Grants Now Open

2015’16 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (RDF) - Register Now For Information Sessions
Information sessions on the 2015-16 round of the Regional Development Fund (RDF) are being held across the State, to provide aspiring applicants the opportunity to discuss the application process with Regions SA staff prior to submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).
The second round of the enhanced Regional Development Fund, managed by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) through its Regions SA division, opened on 9 April offering grants through two separate programs:
  • Major Projects Program – for grants of between $200,000 and $2 million; supporting major economic projects, strengthening regional industries and assisting regional businesses take advantage of new opportunities
  • Community Infrastructure Program – for grants of between $200,000 and $1 million; supporting investment in regional communities to develop their economic infrastructure, and grow their capabilities as a foundation for future jobs and economic growth.

Food South Australia on behalf of Primary Industries and Regions SA is delivering the Agribusiness Growth Program to support small enterprises (with a turnover of $500,000-$1.5m) in the value adding agriculture, food and beverage industries.

The program aims to accelerate business growth, through expert business evaluation and coaching services for activities that will have a direct impact on your growth that would have not otherwise been undertaken.

A comprehensive business evaluation of your current business position and growth plans will be conducted between April and August 2015 giving recommendations for improvement. One-on-one business coaching in the areas of improvement needed for growth will be offered as a direct response to the business evaluation until September 2015.  Read More... 


The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry
  • Intelligence Toolkit and Supply Chain Analysis:  Malaysia and Thailand
To find out more Click here... 


The Association has been involved in the following:

Media Releases
  • “Potato Consumption in Western Australia Grows”, 5 March 2015
  • “Awards and their influence on horticulture”, The Grower/Stock Journal, March issue
  • “Enormous food waste avoidable”, The Grower/Stock Journal, April issue
  • “Potato phosphorous trial harvested”, Good Fruit and Vegetables, 11 February
  • “Potato Consumption in Western Australia Grows”, FreshPlaza,5 March 2015
  • “Potato Consumption in Western Australia Grows”, PotatoPro,6 March 2015
  • “Potato Marketing sees success”, FreshPlaza, 7 March 2015
  • "SA Potatoes for Malaysian and Thailand Supply Chains”, FreshPlaza, 25 April 2015


Not a member of Potatoes South Australia yet?

Online registration and payment is now available on the website or download an application formMembership has many valuable benefits; the most important is being a part of an organisation which has delivered significant achievements for the industry at both a state and national level.  To view a full list of these achievements click here...

Please contact me at any time about your issues or about how we can represent you in a better way.


Elder House
Level 4 27 Currie Street
Adelaide South Australia

M: +61 427 084 319
P: +61 8 8425 4531

SelectAG is a South Australian independent research organisation with qualified agricultural research personnel with the expertise to undertake a wide variety of agricultural research projects within a range of cropping situations.
The business provides quality research program outcomes and field services to a wide range of clients within the agricultural and environmental industries including agricultural chemical companies, fertiliser and organic crop protection manufacturers, local grower groups, engineering consultancies and government agencies.
Our flexible approach to research enables us to adapt to the changing needs of our clients to help them achieve their business goals. We encourage anyone that has a need for independent efficacy research or general product testing to contact us.
One area we are looking at currently is soil borne diseases in potatoes are responsible for economic losses of up to $50 million annually to the Australian potato industry, with reduced yield and increased wastage.  One such soil borne disease that has a major impact is Rhizoctoniasolani, commonly known as ‘black scurf’.   
Black scurf is a fungus that attacks tubers, underground stems, and stolons of potato plants particularly in cool, wet soils.  Poor emergence, stunted plants, a reduction in tuber number and size, are all common characteristics of black scurf which is the most noticeable sign of Rhizoctonia. 
The most damaging phase of the disease occurs underground and often goes unnoticed. The fungus attacks underground sprouts before they emerge from the soil.  Stolons which grow later in the season can also be attacked, with damage varying from minor fungal lesions, or canker that have little effect on plant growth to severe lesions that are large, sunken and necrotic.
Severe lesions can interfere with the functioning of stems and stolons in translocating starch from leaves to tubers. If the fungal lesion expands quickly, relative to the growth of the plant, the stolon or stem can be girdled and killed. At the end of the growing season, the fungus produces its sexual state, on stems just above the soil line. It appears as a delicate white mat.

SelectAG have several sites selected with a historical presence of Rhizoctonia in the soil.  We are commencing our potato planting program, trialling a variety of fungicides which target the control of Rhizoctonia, in May 2015.
Do you have a product in development for the control of Rhizoctonia in potatoes?  Would you like to conduct field trials in South Australia?  If so, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Dale Stevenson
Principal Scientist
0407 654 994




Copyright © 2013 Potatoes South Australia Inc
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences