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Organics and biosecurity at Plant Protection Conf


Media Release July 28, 2000

Organics and biosecurity at Plant Protection Conference

At a time when there is an even greater need for sustainable plant protection and biosecurity methods of control, it looks as if options are being limited, according to Max Suckling, president of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society.

"An increasing rate of biosecurity attacks are occurring, with greater requirements than ever for proof of the environmental safety of newer pesticides, even tougher scrutiny before release of biological control agents, and a moratorium on field testing of pest resistant transgenic plants. It looks to us like options for sustainable plant protection are being limited when they are most urgently needed," Dr Suckling said.

These topics and many others will be on the programme at the 53rd New Zealand Plant Protection Conference in Christchurch August 8 - 10.

A special organics day Plant protection Problems in Organic Production, on August 7, to be opened by organic farmer and MP, Ian Ewen-Street, will precede the main conference.

The organics programme includes market signals, practical problems, cost-benefit analyses for case studies, information needs of growers, and transition problems. Speakers will represent organic fruit and vegetable sectors, as well as the needs of processors and those needing organic pastoral weed control.

Dr Suckling said, "Organic production is of increasing economic importance to New Zealand, and our researchers have an important role to play in ensuring that the technical challenges faced by growers can be overcome. Organic production has a role in the "knowledge economy", with solutions based on research that listens to market signals."

The three day conference (August 8-10) following the organics day will cover forestry, control of horticultural, pasture and vertebrate pests, biological control of insects, fungi and weeds, and other developing control technologies.

Dr Suckling added that: "The NZ Plant Protection conference has an important role as a reality check of what science and technology can actually deliver to horticulture, agriculture, forestry, and the natural estate in a difficult policy and trade environment."

More information including registration details is available at

www.hortnet.co.nz\publications\nzpps

words 330

Conference details contact: Dr Mike Butcher, Sec. NZPPS, Lincoln Ventures, PO Box 84, Lincoln University, Tel: 03 325 3748. Fax 03 325 3725 Other information contact: Dr Max Suckling, HortResearch, PO Box 51,Lincoln, Canterbury, Tel: 03 325 6609. Fax: 03 325 6600. Mobile 025 284 5839 or Liz Brook, Communications Manager, HortResearch, Tel: 06 351 7000 Ext 7749 Fax: 06 351 7038 Mobile: 025 505 912 A/h: 06 328 9836 Email: lbrook@hort.cri.nz

Liz Brook Communications Manager HortResearch Corporate Office Private Bag 11 030 Palmerston North New Zealand

Tel: +64 (6) 351 7000 Ext 7749 Fax: +64 (6) 351 7038 Mobile: 025 505 912


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