Plant & Food Research Named Researcher of the Year by Potatoes New Zealand

22 November 2010

The award recognises development of the online Potato Calculator that has revolutionised how potatoes are grown. The calculator predicts yields of potato crops and helps growers identify their water and nitrogen needs, and when to irrigate and apply fertiliser. It has improved profitability for growers by increasing yields and reducing fertiliser and irrigation costs. It has also helped reduce leaching.

Dr Hamish Brown, who leads the team, Sarah Sinton and Rob Zykowski attended the dinner and accepted the award.. It is the fruition of a project initiated by Dr Peter Jamieson and Dr Derek Wilson, General Manager of Sustainable Production at Plant & Food Research. Scientists worked with potato growers to develop the calculator that is now marketed by CropLogic ™, a subsidiary of Plant & Food Research.

Dr Wilson says they knew they had good understanding of potato crops that would be useful for growers but a user-friendly tool was needed. “The development of the Potato Calculator has really been a combined effort with growers to produce a tool that is relevant and practical. It is rewarding to see those using it benefiting from efficient and sustainable production.”

Chief Scientist at Plant & Food Research, Dr Ian Ferguson, says the calculator is an excellent example of how we work alongside industry to deliver tools that are practical and help ensure both the profitability and sustainability of our production systems. “We are very proud of the team and the way they have been recognised for their vision and drive, and the teamwork that has seen the successful implementation of this technology.”

Potatoes New Zealand’s bi-annual awards recognise individuals and teams who have made a significant contribution to the potato industry.

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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