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Lockyer Valley in spotlight at Ausveg

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article image Pacific Seeds biofumigant manager Maree Crawford
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Several agricultural companies and growers from the Lockyer Valley represented the region at this year’s Ausveg National Convention held recently on the Gold Coast over the weekend.
About 1,000 delegates attended the Ausveg National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence at Jupiters to discuss horticulture. All attention was focussed on the area often referred to as southeast Queensland’s ‘salad bowl’ at the gala dinner when a grower from the region, Director of Rugby Farms Mark Hood took home the convention’s most prestigious honour, the 2013 Ausveg Grower of the Year Award.
Pacific Seeds biofumigant manager Maree Crawford observes that the recognition is well-deserved as the Lockyer Valley is home to some of the best soils in the world, which is reflected in the quality of the vegetables grown there by some of the greatest farmers.
Ms Crawford said the area’s soils and climate provide the perfect testing ground for horticultural products. Pacific Seeds operates research facilities at their Toowoomba headquarters and across the country; however many of their breakthrough crops have come from trials conducted at the Gatton research station.
Pacific Seeds has been in the broadacre market for over 50 years, and entered the horticultural market in 2005 with a breakthrough summer biofumigant product based on the crop research conducted at Gatton and Bundaberg.
Conducting research at these sites in collaboration with Monash University and Copenhagen, Pacific Seeds identified a crop that could be grown in the paddock to reduce the impact of nematodes and boost economic productivity. Ms Crawford said when growing corn, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, wheat and ornamentals such as cut flower varieties, nematodes enter and feed on the roots of these plants, resulting in losses.
Biofumigation provides a sustainable answer to the nematode problem. While biofumigant is not promoted as a direct replacement for conventional fumigation, the plants are recognised for providing a more sustainable approach to soil health by suppressing pests and diseases.
Pacific Bio Fumig8tor contains specialised biocidal production capabilities that suppress specific species of parasitic nematodes and soil borne pathogens.

The Ausveg convention brought to light the impact that growers and researchers from the Lockyer had on the horticulture industry.

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