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New technologies for dynamic canopy and disease management



This project will harness sophisticated sensor technologies to provide whole vineyard monitoring of canopy structure, nutritional status and disease status.

These systems will assist growers to optimise the use of resources, including labour, and provide data to define the structure, the growth and canopy management that determine whether a vineyard produces high value fruit or commodity fruit, iconic wine or commercial wine.


Minimising the cost of production and maximising the value of fruit, whether by more consistently meeting required specifications or reaching higher specifications, will improve vineyard profitability and underpin economic sustainability.

New and developing technologies have the potential to monitor all aspects of vineyard activity, assisting growers to make the management choices they need to achieve the outcomes they want.

A future vineyard may possess automated imaging that generates a three dimensional model of the vine canopy, highlighting the differences to the desired structure and how to improve fruit composition through canopy management. The same imaging may provide whole of vineyard data on vine nutrition or early warning of mildew infection, allowing proactive management on a rapid timescale. 

Research approach

This project combines the viticultural expertise in CSIRO Agriculture with the expertise in proximal and remote sensing, sensor integration and quantitative image analysis in CSIRO Data61. In addition, collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany will provide access to aerial hyperspectral hardware (400 to 2,500 nm) and novel machine learning skills.

The hyperspectral imaging systems will be used to develop canopy dynamics, early disease detection and canopy nutritional status (leaf N, P, cations, chloride (salinity), leaf water potential (water deficit)), using ground based sampling for direct measurement of those parameters.

Sector benefits

This work will provide wine companies and growers with tools based on the latest technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of vineyard management.

By providing detailed whole vineyard information and the canopy structures that define high value vines, the work will enable growers to target higher price points for their grapes.

The driver for this work is to improve grower profitability through better resource use efficiency and higher value crops. 

Funding partner

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme.