A-Gas Rural
01 November 2017

A-Gas Rural to host trials of new fumigation techniques

A-Gas Rural will be organising trials with potato growers to test new fumigation and DNA soil testing technology. This follows a visit to the US and Canada when representatives from A-Gas Rural joined potato growers from Australia and New Zealand to see how Chloropicrin soil fumigation techniques are employed. The trip – a result of a partnership between A-Gas Rural and Potatoes South Australia – showed how growers are using soil fumigation to control soil pests and diseases.

The ANZ potato delegation which visited Maine and New Brunswick learned how potato yields can be doubled and the quality of the tubers improved to premium levels. A-Gas Rural technical manager Bryan Robertson said: “The trip proved to be most worthwhile for ANZ growers. All parties agreed to work together so that an exchange of ideas and management practices can happen. North American specialists will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand to offer their expertise to help growers.”

On the visit the ANZ delegation was told that soil fumigation is a relatively new management technique for potato growers but since it was introduced the results have been impressive. “Fumigation trials will be established in South Australia so that potato growers can see at first-hand the benefits of new fumigation products and techniques available. The lessons learnt will allow growers to be more cost competitive and have a diversity of income streams from high quality tubers,” added Bryan.

Chloropicrin is seven times more effective in dealing with CO2 compared with unfumigated soil. Unlike Methan Sodium it does not wipe out Trichoderma which is beneficial for soil health and increases the ammonia levels in the soil available to plant roots. Chloropicrin also prevents the generation or stimulation of Common Scab.

The delegation was hosted by TriCal USA which undertakes soil fumigation in North America for growers. A-Gas Rural was represented by Bryan Robertson and operations manager Ben Dewitt.

A-Gas Rural representatives joined potato growers on a trip to North America to learn about new fumigation techniques.