The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is supporting the future viability of Australia’s vegetable processing industry through a new project that aims to increase yields of processing crops.
The $235,000 project is supported by funding from Hort Innovation using vegetable industry levies and funds from the Australian Government plus in-kind contributions from project collaborators TIA, Simplot and Applied Horticultural Research.
TIA Industry Development Manager Sue Hinton is leading the project. She said the aim was to improve production practices for Australia’s vegetable processing industry to help the industry remain competitive on a global scale.
“Simplot has set yield targets for key frozen vegetable processing crops including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans and sweet corn. Achievement of these targets will require average yield increases between 17 to 42 per cent over the next three years,” Ms Hinton said.
“Tasmania’s production of these crops for the frozen processing market had a farm gate value of $22.6 million in 2014/15. These products compete in a global market, which makes it vital that our growers are using world best practice to grow and harvest their crops.”
Ms Hinton said the first part of the project would involve reviewing current production practices and identifying new innovations that could be implemented to increase productivity or reduce input costs.
The second phase of the project would involve field trials of key innovations in a participatory research and extension program.
This project follows a $300,000 collaboration between TIA, Hort Innovation and Simplot that commenced in 2016 to improve the productivity and profitability of processing peas in Tasmania.
TIA is a joint venture between the Tasmanian Government and the University of Tasmania.