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A Day in the Orchards

Over 50 people attended the AgTech Event: A Day in the Orchard on 25 March 2022.

The day showcased innovation in the horticulture sector. Activities included:

  • Tour the SmartFarm’s world-first sundial orchard, an innovative testbed for growers looking to increase their yield
  • Presentations from startups investigating and solving on-farm challenges
  • Networking with other Ag innovators in one of the first face-to-face events for the sector in the last two years

Located onsite at Agriculture Victoria’s Tatura Campus, in the Goulburn Valley, near Shepparton the Tatura SmartFarm site is Australia’s leading horticulture research facility and is linked to another SmartFarm site at Mildura.

The farm is using research and innovation to deliver high-quality fruit from orchard to export market. New applications of AgTech are being developed, used, demonstrated, and evaluated by industry to achieve to achieve increases in marketable yield, product value and production efficiency in pears, apples, stonefruit and almonds.

They are also looking at novel integrated pest and disease management strategies, high-density almond production, new rootstocks and cultivars and new irrigation and sensor technology to support. industry to adapt with impacts of climate change.

This world first Sundial multi-directional experimental orchard, which is highly sensorised and includes orchard design and training systems for stonefruit and pomefruit.

They are also looking at the integration of solar panels and energy generating into the orchard infrastructure, evaluating the impacts on fruit production, protection, fruit quality and income generation.

The day also featured a robot developed by Plunkett’s Orchards to improve fruit picking efficiency, comfort for fruit pickers and care of fruit during this process.

You can read more about the AgVictoria’s Smart Farm Project here.