Science and Technology

Farming technology in the spotlight

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is bringing a high-tech focus to Agfest, working with Sense-T to showcase developments that are keeping farming on the cutting edge.

These next-gen tools are designed to help with better, faster decision making, accessing information rapidly and using it in a way that boosts productivity and efficiency, whilst lowering input costs and ensuring sustainability.

A joint venture between the University of Tasmania and the State Government, TIA can be found in three locations: the main site, 503-505 on Fifth Avenue, with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association at site 507 on Fifth Avenue, and in the DairyTas LegenDairy Expo at site M98 in Main Street.

Some of the highlights in TIA’s main site, which is shared by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment, include:

  • How much pasture is in my paddock? Technology using optical sensors to instantly measure pasture biomass and health.
  • How ripe is my apple? A hand-held optical meter to test the ripeness of apples, which is a potential tool for commercial orchardists being evaluated by TIA for use with Tasmanian apple varieties.
  • When is my vineyard at risk of frost and disease? The Sense-T VitiApp provides data to vineyard managers about frost and disease risk in their vineyard based on real time climate and vineyard data – soon to be released!
  • How much pasture will I have in 90 days? The Sense-T Pasture Predictor is an online tool that provides 30-day forecasts for the growth of pasture and longer term trends for up to 90 days. Forecasts are provided for seven locations across the State’s main beef and dairy areas in the North West, North East, Northern Midlands and Derwent Valley.
  • How can I maximise my irrigation water? A visual display of the Tasmanian Government funded Water for Profit program, which integrates farmer-led research together with information and tools.
  • How can I make the best use of my drone on my farm? Find out which sensor type will provide the most useful data for agriculture and how to use your drone to provide you with information to help with management decisions.
  • How do I make sure my fruit arrives at market without any bruises? The ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products is showcasing one of their projects that uses vibration sensors to monitor food in transit from farm to consumer. Come and test drive the truck and see how smoothly you can drive!
  • Can electrolysed oxidising water technology increase the shelf-life of fresh fruit and vegetables? See the electrolysed oxidising water machine and some of the products that may benefit from this technology.

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