Futuristic drone technologies, including flying machines that distribute beneficial insects, are fast becoming realistic options for Aussie growers to lower production costs and increase profitability.

Researchers at the University of Queensland’s Gatton campus are working with vegetable growers and industry to create robotics technology that is affordable, robust and will meet the needs of the local industry into the future.

“Recent demonstrations by University of Queensland researchers have definitely given the industry something to talk about, with staff and students working with growers to identify practical technologies that will contribute to the continued development of Australian horticulture,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Dimi Kyriakou.

“Farm robotics that will benefit the industry are today being developed with future growth in mind, to ensure that the local industry remains competitive in an increasingly globalised environment where our growers need to compete with overseas producers.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

The development of farm robotics and new technologies has also led to increased interest in horticulture based university courses.

“A pleasant result of ongoing R&D investment in the development of new technology in horticulture has been increased engagement of young people, with enrolments up across a number of agricultural degrees,” said Ms Kyriakou.

“Technology will help to develop the industry on multiple fronts, including by appealing to young people, and broadening avenues for participation for younger generations.”

More information on the University of Queensland’s drone technology program can be found in the latest edition of industry magazine Vegetables Australia, which provides readers with a glimpse into the future of the Australian vegetable industry.

“AUSVEG is committed to communicating the most relevant and up-to-date information to its growers. We are determined to ensure that they have the tools and information at hand to improve the profitability and productivity of their businesses and compete against their international counterparts,” said Ms Kyriakou.

The latest edition of Vegetables Australia also features information about export to Asia and the Middle East and grower profiles from around the country. It will be arriving in mailboxes in coming days and will also be available on the AUSVEG website. It is available free of charge to all who pay the National Vegetable Levy, industry members and those interested in the vegetable industry.

Subscriptions can be made by providing postal details to info@ausveg.com.au, or by phoning (03) 9882 0277. Vegetables Australia is funded by HIA using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

  Dimi Kyriakou, AUSVEG Senior Writer/Journalist
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0488 124 626, Email: dimi.kyriakou@ausveg.com.au