Extension activities for the Australian potato industry – literature review and survey (PT16000)
What was it all about?
This investment was tasked with identifying and documenting potential opportunities for improving Australian potato seed quality and handling practices, to ultimately support growers in the adoption of improved, sustainable best practice for the delivery of high-quality seed.
The project began with a review of international research and best practice on seed handling, including post-harvest handling, storage and seed piece treatments, as well as the effect on final crop outcomes of physiological age of seed, seed piece size, and whole versus cut seed. This was followed by grower surveys, both online and through phone and face-to-face interviews.
The surveys were designed to look at and quantify industry practices – for example, cut seed has a significant potential impact on seed quality, so how important is cut seed use in the industry, what percentage of the national seed supply is cut, and what is the primary reason to cut seed? Other questions were aimed at understanding how quality is managed and regulated. Growing location, seasons when crop is grown and storage questions were also asked, aimed at understanding potential stress loading on seed.