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Our Vegetable Knowledge

Our team of Technical Horticultural Representatives works in the field across Auckland, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Canterbury, and Southland supporting potato, onion, carrot and other vegetable growers. We run numerous trials each year evaluating new plant protection, bio stimulant and nutrition products to identify new market options while also benchmarking current industry standards. 

Our team also works with organisations across the industry, such as Potatoes NZ and Onions NZ, providing technical input and guidance on agronomy practices. 

Our Growers | The Young Family

Brothers Norman, Harvey and Ivan Young and their extended family crop around 200 hectares of carrots and potatoes near Raetihi in the central North Island....

Our Growers | McFarlanes Ag

Hamish McFarlane, runs a third generation, mixed farming operation just north of Temuka. There he grows raspberries, blackcurrants, potatoes, carrots, cereals and runs lambs for winter finishing alongside grazing cattle. A busy operation, Hamish values the strong technical support he receives from his local Fruitfed Supplies team.

Vegetable Tech-Know Tips For June

The value of vegetable variety trials

  • Understanding the differences between crop varieties allows vegetable growers to remain competitive and reduce risk of crop failure. Breeders continuously seek to improve varieties in terms of yield, marketable quality, pest and disease tolerance, processability, or suitability for growing in certain seasons.
  • Sometimes, there can also be seed supply issues for certain varieties. By looking at alternatives ahead of time, growers have an insight into the most suitable replacement for standard varieties.
  • Growers can consider hosting variety trials on their own cropped areas. Highly localised data is useful for understanding the suitability of a variety, as performance can vary based on climate, soil type, pests, or nutrient availability.
  • Trials can be laid out in small plots (A) for early assessments or pre-commercial varieties. Commercial scale trials can be split paddocks (B) or arranged in strips (C). (See Figure 1.)
  • When choosing a site to assess varieties, avoid areas with high variability of soil type, shade, cropping history, slope, etc. For the same reason, avoid locating a trial on the perimeter of a paddock, where there could be higher weed, pest or disease pressure, or other edge effects.
  • Decide on what data, such as establishment, days to maturity, vigour and storability, you wish to collect and when data needs to be recorded. Take lots of photos through the process so that they can be reviewed in future.

For further guidance on getting the most out of your own variety trials, contact your local Technical Horticulture Representative.

Knowledge Hub | The Latest Vegetable News