Sensors for Summerfruit project leader, Research Leader Crop Physiology at Agriculture Victoria Dr Ian Goodwin, spoke with ABC Victorian Country Hour about the innovative new technologies being trialled as part of the 2.5-year $1.1m Food Agility project.
"It's a reasonably big project, and it's all about trying to improve the technology and devices that growers and packers can use to determine when fruit is ripe and when to pick it. At the moment [the technology] is in its infancy in terms of being used by the industry, but we hope that in the future they can be used together."
Listen to the interview here or through the picture below, starting at 18 minutes.
Sensors for Summerfruit project is led by Agriculture Victoria in collaboration with RMITUniversity, Summerfruit Australia Ltd, and Australian technology companies Green Atlas and Rubens Technologies. The project will trial three different sensors. Two of the sensors, RMIT’s Bistatic LiDAR and Green Atlas’ Cartographer, will operate in the orchard helping to assess health status and predict fruit size, yield and maturity. A third sensor, Rubens™ Fluorescent Spectrometer, will be put to work in the packing sheds to detect sweetness, firmness and robustness for transport.
The project aims to help growers trailor their practices to grow the fruit consumers want, triaging fruit in packing sheds, and only exporting those robust enough to make the journey to valuabale overseas markets.