- McGowan Government rebuilding irrigated agriculture R&D in Gascoyne Irrigation Area
- Infrastructure upgrades assisting Gascoyne growers to optimise production
Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis today toured the reinvigorated Carnarvon Research Station to discuss advances in sub-tropical fruit and vegetable production in the Gascoyne Irrigation Area.
The McGowan Government's significant investments in the station's controlled environment and protective cropping infrastructure has spurred research to improve growers' crops.
New irrigated agriculture opportunities and growing techniques relevant to other regions are also being explored.
The new Retractable Roof Production System - which creates a microclimate to evaluate crop management strategies - hosts a range of crop trials to assist local growers to optimise crop potential, including capsicums, tomatoes and zucchinis.
The potential to diversify production systems through new perennial crops is being investigated using the new net house, including high density mangoes and persimmons on trellis.
In 2022 the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and eight seed companies grew demonstration trials at the station to evaluate 102 tomato varieties, 85 capsicum and chilli varieties and 102 melon varieties.
Jackfruit trellis and variety trials are also underway, as part of a national research collaboration examining strategies to improve cyclone resilience and diversify crop production.
Department staff at the station work hand-in-hand with the local industry, while also cultivating the next generation of growers through its collaboration with Central Regional TAFE.
The station is also home to trials of sterile Leucanena and Moringa plant material, as well as grains industry disease trials screening for rust in new cereal breeding lines.
The Gascoyne Irrigation Area makes an important contribution to the State's fresh food supply and the economy, worth $110 million in wholesale value per annum.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:
"The Carnarvon Research Station is now well equipped with the 803-metre square retractable roof greenhouse and the 1.3 hectare net house, with an upgraded misting and irrigation system, as well as refreshed maintenance facilities.
"The station has the capacity to host a diverse range of small to large trials and demonstration sites, assisting local growers to see first-hand research applied under local conditions to optimise production and new agricultural opportunities."
Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral MLC Peter Foster:
"I am really excited about the great work being done at the station by DPIRD to support our local Carnarvon growers.
"I look forward to seeing how the 170 plantations nestled along the fertile delta of the Gascoyne River continue to grow and thrive into the future."
Minister's office - 6552 6200