To develop and test new digital and automation technologies in the vineyard that provide more accurate and rapid measurements of yield, crop condition and quality information at relevant time points and in acceptable timeframes to assist in decision making for both the grower and winery.
The project utilises objective and non-destructive measurements that can be applied to high value iconic vineyards and high yielding vineyards.
This approach will allow forward planning for winery intake, improved relations between growers and wineries regarding crop price, reduced need for subjective assessment of fruit and improved understanding of differences between high value vineyards and lower value vineyards for implementing change to lift value.
The project will initially bring together industry collaborators with expertise in viticulture, sensors, robotics, computer science, quantitative image analysis and hyperspectral signature identification.
Preliminary data for analysis will be carried out with existing CSIRO sensors (3D stereo imaging, ultra wideband (UWB) radar, hyperspectral imaging) and the following years will involve collecting data from vineyards, data analysis and validation of the sensor data.
Each year, improvements will be made to sensors, hardware, data collection methods and software for data collection and analysis based on results from the previous year(s).
The data collected on fruit condition and quality measurements (using 3D stereo and hyperspectral imaging) will be validated by industry standard measurements for estimating bunch condition with chemical analysis of the berries (Brix, soluble solids content, acid and colour levels). Fruit from vineyards and glasshouse grown material will be used to develop spectral libraries for hyperspectral data analysis.
Objective assessments of fruit condition and quality will permit improvements in efficiencies and management.
Differences identified between high value vineyards and other vineyards will provide information that could assist industry to lift wine quality and value through changes in vineyard management and deliver a new competitive edge for Australian wine.
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.