A-Gas Rural Wins Top Honour at Vegetable Industry Awards
A-Gas Rural has won the Researcher of the Year honour at the AusVeg National Vegetable Awards for Excellence for its work in developing a new fumigant to control slugs and fungal infections in crops. In trials on bellpeppers in South Australia involving the growers’ association the HortEx Alliance and Braham Produce, the new fumigant led to yields increasing threefold and significant reductions in water consumption and fertilizer use.
A-Gas Rural General Manager Matt Stein said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious honour. The results of the trials were amazing and I am indebted to HortEx and Braham Produce for helping us push the boundaries to achieve these excellent outcomes. We have a dedicated team working on the project and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work. This trial was all about developing a system which drives exceptional soil health and in turn produces good crop returns.
“One of the reasons that we are so passionate about this new fumigant is that it directly affects the livelihoods of growers. Their profits are impacted by soil health and by using this new fumigant the shelf-life of the bellpepper crop in the trials was increased by five to six days which is an enormous factor for growers who are looking to open up new markets.”
The Aus-Veg National Researcher of the Year Award is given to the individual or team with the best track record in developing a product or a system leading to long-term benefits in agriculture and the advancement of science. The new fumigant from A-Gas Rural had previously won the Researcher of the Year Award at the South Australia heats of the Aus-Veg Awards. Matt Stein was presented with the honour at a gala dinner in Adelaide.
The trials for the new fumigant took 18 months to complete at Braham Produce in the Northern Adelaide Plains.
Matt Stein added: “Work on the new fumigant will continue and the next range of trials will be on potatoes.”
Picture caption: A-Gas Rural Operations Manager Ben Dewit, Matt Stein and Bayer Horticulture Grower and Channel Services Marketing Manager Peter Sullivan.