Award winning scientist leads NZ Avocado’s Futures project

New Zealand scientist Dr Philip Elmer has won the kiwifruit industry’s top innovation award for his contribution to the fight against diseases and the industry’s efforts to become more sustainable (read more here).

Dr Elmer will head the team from Plant and Food Research that will be leading NZ Avocado’s Sustainable Farming Fund project – Avovantage. Avovantage involves a three year long orchard comparative study of grower practices, with a particular focus on sustainable disease control for fruit rots.

Dr Elmer brings knowledge and experience from various successful ‘Futures Project’s’ across a broad range of horticultural products. Futures projects have common themes; they are responsive to sector industry needs, have a strong focus on integrated disease management and extension. An example is the GrapeFutures project that aimed to get botrytis crop loss below wineries threshold for penalties (≤ 5%) and to get pesticide residues out of the wine. A NZ Wine survey has shown that over 70% of Growers had changed their practices as a result of the GrapeFutures project, something we hope to emulate with Dr Elmers help and Avovantage.

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