Kevin Lacey recognised by citrus industry

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DPIRD technical officer Kevin Lacey has been recognised by WA Citrus for his contribution to the development of the citrus industry. Picture: DPIRD

KEVIN Lacey, who is involved in a trial at west Gingin looking at the effect of wind damage on trees has been recognised for his contribution to the development of the state’s citrus industry.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development technical officer was presented with a service to industry award by WA Citrus recently.

Irrigated Agriculture executive director John Ruprecht said Mr Lacey had spent more than 20 years working closely with the citrus industry and his expertise was highly valued.

Mr Ruprecht said Mr Lacey had been one of the key departmental links to the WA industry and was a recognised source of knowledge of best orchard practice and a great advocate for excellence in the industry.

“The department supports the industry through initiatives including co-funding industry development, exploring export development opportunities and benchmarking fruit quality,’’ he said.

Mr Ruprecht said during his time with the department, Mr Lacey had been involved in a number of key industry programs including trialling new citrus varieties, evaluating salt-tolerant root stock and assessing fruit quality.

“Kevin is currently working on a new project in collaboration with WA Citrus looking at the impact of wind damage on trees, with trials underway in Harvey and west Gingin.”

Mr Lacey started with the department in 1979 at Stoneville Research Station working on fruit tree crops including pome, stone and citrus.

He transferred to Manjimup in 1985, where his work included pome and stone fruit evaluation but focused mainly on apple breeding.

He has worked in various locations since, including the Midland and South Perth offices.

The WA citrus industry produces 18,000 tonnes of fruit annually from around 1000ha valued at $27 million in 2015-16.

WA produces oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangelos available as fresh produce throughout the year, with the largest volume available from June to September.