Leading Australian agtech company, The Yield Technology Solutions, today announced a three-year deal with Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) for the commercial roll out of their Sensing+ solution across vineyards in Australia and New Zealand.
The announcement follows a two-year pilot program conducted by The Yield on Penfolds Magill Estate in South Australia and participation in Food Agility’s Predicting Harvest Timing and Yield in Intensive Cropping project in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney.
"We worked together [with TWE] for a couple of years, and we also had a research project with the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre, so that was a great part of the relationship, and effectively we took that very rapidly and translated that into commercial outcomes [for TWE]," The Yield Founder and Managing Director Ros Harvey said.
Ms Harvey said using existing methods, the wine industry error rate is estimated at around 30 per cent, but this is greatly reduced with the new technology, meaning cost savings, improved sales processes and less wasted grapes.
Sensing+ combines sensors and analytics to provide information and predictions in easy-to-use apps that help large commercial growers make important production decisions like when to irrigate, feed, plant, protect and harvest.
Data generated by Sensing+ will be combined with TWE’s extensive historical harvest data into harvest prediction models that enable high frequency yield forecasting throughout the growing season.
“The enterprise capability of our Sensing+ solution means that customers are fast-tracked along the digital transformation pathway,” Ms Harvey said.
“The rules and notifications platform helps codify weather-related practice, while our enterprise view enables our customers’ staff to have a unified view across all growing assets right down to the block level. This means they can take action on growing conditions such as extreme weather risks, irrigation needs, the best spray conditions and harvest scheduling.”
“We are pleased to be working with such a prestigious global brand as TWE and look forward to further strengthening our strong relationship over coming vintages.”
Ashley Rootsey, the Food Agility Innovation Manager working with The Yield and UTS on the Predicting Harvest Timing and Yield project, says Food Agility is proud to have been part of an outstanding R&D partnership.
“This is the second commercial opportunity that has arisen directly from this project team’s collaboration, and demonstrates the strength of aligning real industry challenges with leading researchers and advanced technical partners like The Yield. Over such a short time-frame we have seen how industry-focused agile research can deliver impact for producers in different sectors. It’s very exciting, and a sign of accelerating positive change for the industry.”
This latest rollout follows the announcement earlier this year that major horticultural provider Costa Group similarly adopted the Sensing+ solution and expanded their yield prediction capabilities across their berry farms in NSW, Tasmania, and Queensland. The Yield are now predicting yield for 17% of the wine industry and 25% of the berry industry in Australia.