AUSVEG Strategic Partner Mitsui Chemicals, a global leader in chemical production, has been developing its iCAST crop cultivation system over recent years – a system which, in field trials, has proved to increase yield and reduce input usage in vegetable production.

At a trial site at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Tourism and Resources (DEDJTR) Hamilton Research Centre, Mitsui has been undertaking a series of field and lab experiments since 2015 to evaluate the iCAST system. These trials have investigated the impacts of the iCAST system on several crops, including tomato, broccoli, capsicum, lettuce, wheat and canola.

Key findings from these trials include:

  • The total above-ground and head biomass and the harvest index of broccoli were 14-32 per cent higher under the iCAST system than under drip irrigation.
  • Red capsicum fruits were significantly heavier, slightly firmer, and sweeter under the iCAST system compared to drip irrigation.
  • The iCAST system reduced the water use of wheat, canola and broccoli by 50-60 per cent compared with drip irrigation when plastic sheets used to cover beds under rain-fed condition.

Mitsui is holding a public briefing for growers and journalists on Tuesday 27 November 2018 at the DEDJTR Hamilton Research Centre from 10:00am–1:00pm. To register for this event, visit the online event page.

For more information on the iCAST system, please see this press release and information pack provided by Mitsui Chemicals.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 7 November 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!