Funds to iden­tify dis­eases

Shepparton News - Country News - - SEYMOUR ALTERNATIVE FARMING EXPO 2017 -

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.’’

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