Funds to identify diseases
The Shepparton-based Australian Processing Tomato Research Council is one of six bodies to receive funding from the Horticulture Innovation Fund.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the peak industry body would use the $50 000 grant to establish a hyperspectral library for early disease symptoms of processing tomatoes to distinguish between plant disease and other physiological stresses or nutrient deficiency symptoms.
Ms Symes said recent advances in spectral sensing of plant disease had demonstrated the potential of hyperspectral sensing in identifying symptoms for some selected plant diseases.
‘‘This technology will act as an early warning system for growers regarding plant water stress and disease,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘Over 3000 hectares of processing tomatoes are currently grown in Victoria and advances in hyperspectral sensing technology will ensure the sustainability of this sector.
‘‘The $1 million Horticulture Innovation Fund supports businesses to innovate and work collaboratively with research providers to test and adapt new technologies to local conditions, ultimately driving the profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture.‘
‘‘Victoria accounts for more than half of Australia’s horticulture exports and investing in innovation in this sector will help safeguard it for the future.’’