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Media release. Wade Mann. 2015 Scholarship winner

Media release. Wade Mann. 2015 Scholarship winner

Wade Mann, from Lake Haven in New South Wales, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship supported by Nuffield Australia.

He will research Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies for greenhouse hydroponic production of berry crops.

Wade is managing director of Roses 2 Go, a commercial greenhouse hydroponic rose cut-flower production facility he runs with his wife Nicola. Up until this year, their mix of Hybrid-T and Intermediate roses returned an annual yield of over a million stems. They recently diversified half their total greenhouse area to the commercial production of hydroponic blueberries, with a small-scale trial of hydroponic raspberries within the same unit. The majority of their rose production is channelled through their own two retail outlets based on the Central Coast, NSW.

Wade’s primary role is production-based, which includes crop and variety selection, agronomic practices, climate control, irrigation scheduling, post-harvest and cold-chain management and quality control.

With the recent push into berries, Wade will use his scholarship to investigate how to overcome a lack of chemical options to control pests in the berry crops.

“Commercial pollinators have been used to successfully transport and disperse microbial inoculum as an environmentally and ecologically sound method of biocontrol.

The challenge in Australia is to successfully implement this technology using commercially available honeybees as an alternative to bumblebees, which are globally acclaimed as superior pollinators but forbidden entry on our shores,” he explains.

To research the topic, Wade will visit Canada, USA, the Netherlands, China and the UK.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. The next groups will be travelling through New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Mexico, the UK, South Africa, Kenya and Europe in March-April 2015.

Wade is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0404 913 209

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