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Waite Agriculture, Food and Wine Seminar Series

Oct 24, 10:30 am

Please come along to this campus-wide seminar series. One week we will hear from a group leader or a visitor to the campus and the following week from two ECR/MCRs from the Waite Future Leaders cohort.

Come and hear about great science going on across the campus, up the road or across the sea! Expand your network and find new collaborators! Everyone is welcome to a shared morning tea (please bring your own coffee cup) following the seminar.

WHEN: Thursday 24th October 2019. 10:30am Seminar, followed by morning tea
WHERE: Plant Research Centre Auditorium
SPEAKER:   Dr Everard Edwards, CSIRO Agriculture and Food
TITLE:  Digitising the Vineyard: Developing New Technologies for Viticulture in Australia


New and developing technologies, that provide sensors and the software systems for using and interpreting them, are becoming pervasive through our lives and society. This technological revolution has the potential to monitor all aspects of vineyard activity, assisting growers to make the management choices they need to achieve the outcomes they want. For example, a future vineyard may possess automated imaging that generates a three-dimensional model of the vine canopy, highlighting differences from the desired structure and how to use canopy management to improve fruit composition, or that generates maps with yield estimates and measurements of berry composition throughout the growing season. Further, that same imaging may also provide whole of vineyard data on vine nutrition or early warning of disease, allowing proactive management on a rapid timescale.

Sensors currently being trialled in vineyards include colour imaging (both still and video), hyperspectral imaging (the use of many spectral bands, typically in the near infra-red), LiDAR (3D laser imaging) and foliage penetrating (FOPEN) technologies. These can potentially be deployed proximally (from a vehicle) or remotely (from a drone or aircraft). The data from these sensors can be analysed using a wide range of traditional or novel techniques, such as machine learning. The output of different sensor technologies can even be combined and analysed as one data set. For example, videos can be analysed as a moving image, split into individual frames or used to generate 3D imagery using photogrammetry or stereo imaging.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in developing new digital tools, however, is to provide a demonstrably useful outcome for the grower at a commercially viable price.

About the Speaker

Everard Edwards started his career in the UK, with a BSc (Hons) in Plant Sciences at The University of Sheffield in 1992, followed by a PhD in post-harvest physiology of potatoes at Nottingham Trent University in 1997. He then undertook post-doctoral fellowships at The University of York and The Australian National University. Both positions examined climate change effects on plants, the former investigating the impact of soil warming on root growth and the latter the interaction between elevated CO2 and phosphorous availability on nitrogen fixation. Since 2006, Everard has been applying his background in whole plant physiology to perennial horticulture at CSIRO. Much of this has been in optimising winegrape management, including studying vine balance (in collaboration with the Charles Sturt University and NSW DPI), the long-term impact of deficit irrigation, the interaction between temperature and water status during heat-waves and the role of rootstocks in driving water use efficiency. This latter work, together with his earlier experience in studying plant roots, has led to an involvement with the Almond industry, where Everard aims to improve resource use efficiency through more resilient root-systems. Everard has also been involved in a number of collaborative projects including, The University of Adelaide, SARDI, and DEDJTR Victoria


Auditorium, Plant Research Centre
2b Hartley Grove
Urrbrae, South Australia 5064 Australia
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