New Zealand plant breeder Peter Falloon has created a variety of asparagus that he says is resistant to phytophthora disease, which strikes in wet spring conditions and weakens plants until they are rundown. "The biggest cost for a grower is the cost of establishing a crop. If he has to do it only every 15 or 20 years instead of every 10 or 12 years, he's much better off," he said.

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