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Growers come from far and wide to see sustainable vegetable production research

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article image Pacific Seeds' Maree Crawford and Clause Seeds' Eamon McEwan collaborating in the name of vegetable health
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Pacific Seeds  organised a vegetable and biofumigant field day at their Gatton Research Station for vegetable growers.
About 40 vegetable growers and 20 industry workers from across the state converged on Gatton last week to see the latest research on sustainable vegetable production and to view new vegetable varieties.
The field day, which included a presentation and field walk, was part of a collaborative effort between vegetable seeds company Clause Seeds and broadacre company Pacific Seeds, which entered the horticulture market in 2005.
Pacific Seeds Biofumigant Manager, Maree Crawford said that the day was extremely successful and was part of a wider and ongoing collaboration between Pacific Seeds and vegetable industry leaders in seed and technology fields.
Ms Crawford explained that the program delivered new information for growers on their Fumig8tor product and the management considerations to obtain maximum efficacy from its use in rotation with key vegetable crops.
According to Ms Crawford, many growers were unaware of this new innovative product that will enhance their soil health capabilities and contribute to increased nutrient uptake and decrease levels of pests and diseases. Growers were able to see it in action in the vegetable trials conducted by Clause Seeds, facilitating valuable information exchange all round.
Fumig8tor is a variety of biofumigant plant released by Pacific Seeds in 2005; it can be grown, cut and incorporated into the soil to suppress pests and diseases, and is recognised for providing a more sustainable approach to soil health.
The plots featured vegetables such as beans, cauliflower, broccoli and cos lettuce and were separated into treated and untreated sections. Clause’s new varieties of vegetables were planted into the soil rotated by Fumig8tor as part of a trial, and the difference in quality could be clearly seen across the treated and untreated plots.
Ms Crawford observes that the vegetables planted with biofumigant-rotated soil saw increased establishment and reduced mortality of seedling transplants. Transplants showed exceptional early vigour and developed at a good rate, resulting in healthier vegetables and excellent overall yield.
Lettuce plots were the most impressive among all plants in the trials. Though lettuce is extremely sensitive to aleleopathic compounds and diseases such as sclerotinia, there was no residual impact on lettuce when planted in the treated soil, and it remained disease-free.

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