POTATO farmers in central Victoria are wishing for rain to soothe their thirsty crops.
Low spring rainfall has meant they've had to irrigate earlier than usual.
Ballarat spud farmer Norm Suckling said production costs had gone up due to increased irrigation.
ADVANCES in cool storage technology was the topic of an Apple and Pear Australia Limited seminar on Thursday.
More than 75 growers, researchers, packers, scientists and processors attended the Post Harvest Cool Store seminar in Melbourne to receive updates on the most efficient ways to manage cool rooms and fruit during the post-harvest window.
APAL technical manager Jesse Reader said the industry needed to make sure it maintained the quality of fruit at harvest so it was just as good when pulled out of storage.
"Realistically, the fruit spends more time post-harvest than it does on the tree, so this is an important area," Mr Reader said.
FLAT peaches are in season and are making a name for themselves. They're stackable, sweeter and have a smaller stone than other peaches.
The new Taste Buddies variety has white flesh which blossoms out from the sides around a central, nut-sized seed.
Taste Buddies are smaller than other peaches and have been driven by a demand for "snack" fruit.
Australian-grown Taste Buddies are a cross between a firm-fleshed specialty variety and a saucer-shaped peach that has been popular in Asia for several hundred years.
MEMBERS of the Australian potato industry have shown strong support for the AusVeg Potato Industry Extension Program during its first 12 months, with research and development workshops proving a hit with growers and processors.
AusVeg spokesman Luke Raggatt said it was terrific to see such a positive response from the industry. The national program aimed to raise awareness of industry research and development.
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