Home' Grower : February 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- February 2013
Riverland grower set
to double production
By STEPHANIE GROPLER
ASTATE government grant of $106,500
from the Riverland Sustainable Futures
Fund has enabled an accredited potato
seed business at Waikerie to anticipate doubling
Solan Pty Ltd director Ken Morley said his
annual output of 300,000 to 350,000 tubers,
before the funding increased, went to 500,000
"I reckon this year we have the potential to
produce around 600,000 tubers," he said.
"Even though we are of a similar size as before,
we are a lot more efficient."
Mr Morley said his company had better control
of its plants and tissue culture and growing
conditions, cutting down on growing time and
enabling higher yields.
"I think we could grow a fourth crop in the
year now; we never did before," he said.
Mr Morley said the funding allowed the
business to have a good look at where it was
heading, and review goals.
"All companies and businesses, especially
agriculture, have got to really do that and look at
what they are actually doing, look at their end
goal," he said.
"It has also allowed us to look at the project as
a total unit and build it as a total project rather
than in bits and pieces and stages."
The tissue culture facility had new fridges,
lights and air-conditioning put in.
With the extra workload, two more staff joined
the family-run business.
"We have an extra person working within our
plants and tissue culture and we have engaged
another person out in the nursery," Mr Morley
"We may in fact have to employ someone else,
and we are looking at that as well at the
Solan Pty Ltd holds about 150 different
varieties in its collection, and almost all of them
are covered under plant breeder's rights as South
Australia continues to lead the nation in potato
Potatoes South Australia chief executive officer
Robbie Davis said the seed sector was a critical
link and that SA produced about one-third of the
nation's seed requirements.
"South Australia is the nation's largest potato
producer generating about $440 million in
revenue each year to the State's gross food
revenue," Mrs Davis said.
"The South Australian industry is renowned for
its premium quality and this further investment at
the start of the value chain will ensure that the
industry continues to set the benchmark,
domestically and globally."
Solan director Ken Morley says a government grant has given the business
better control of plants, tissue culture and growing conditions.
Production potential doubles
150 varieties in collection
SA meets 30pc of Aust seed needs
The funding has also allowed
us to build it as a total project
rather than in bits and pieces
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