CRC projects on the agenda at 2022 PCA Conference in Coffs

The annual gathering of Australia’s protected cropping industry in Coffs Harbour includes presentations highlighting a slate of CRC projects in this space.

These include a Hort Innovation-helmed project with Protected Cropping Australia and UNE, mapping PC facilities nationwide; a project exploring the rhizobiome of hydroponically grown tomato plants involving UNE researchers and major horticultural producer Costa Group; and a NSW-DPI collaboration with researchers at WSU seeking to optimise the nutritional profiles of polytunnel-grown blueberries.

Western Sydney University’s Foundation Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, Priti Krishna, CRC Industry PhD Gareema Pandey and NSW DPI’s Dr Sophie Parks, all engaged on the CRC’s ‘Blueberry nutrition optimisation’ project, will present different perspectives on their research, the aim of which is to find easy, cost-effective ways to produce more nutritionally potent blueberries in polytunnels.

University of New England’s Dr Gal Winter, and industry-embedded Masters (soon-to-be-doctoral) student Phil Thomas will talk about findings from their groundbreaking ‘Tomato rhizobiome’ project with industry partner Costa Group, one of Australia’s largest growers of horticultural produce under cover. The project, the first of its kind, is designed to help Costa optimise fertiliser applications to tomatoes grown hydroponically within the Group’s vast Tomato Exchange glasshouse facility in Guyra, NSW.

And UNE’s Craig Shephard will present initial findings from the national PC mapping project, a significant initiative in which the CRC is a supporting partner.

CRC CEO David Eyre and Comms Manager Merran White will be attending as delegates and look forward to catching up with many of our participants in Coffs between 29 and 31 March.

View our event listing for the PCA Conference.

Lead image: Gareema Pandey, who is undertaking her PhD studies at Western Sydney University working on the ‘Blueberry nutritional optimisation’ project under the supervision of project lead Professor Priti Krishna. The project is a collaboration between WSU crop scientists and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) under the CRC. Both Gareema and Priti will be presenting findings from the project at this year’s PCA Conference. Credit: NSW DPI