veski sustainable agriculture Innovation Update

17 August

veski delivered the second in a series of its veski sustainable agriculture Innovation Updates on Thursday, 9 August 2018 at the Investment Centre, Melbourne.  The event provided an opportunity for industry representatives, farmers and academics to hear the results being generated from the veski sustainable agriculture fellows and how they are transforming ideas into opportunities for their respective fields, which was followed by a Q & A session facilitated by Clinton Muller, Senior Consultant at RM Consulting Group.

Dr Terry Griffin, who has recently completed his second trip to Australia in 2018 to work on the research project ‘Connectivity, Capability and Trust: Breaking down barriers for farming to create value from data sets’, reported on the importance of using data sets at the farm level, highlighting that both in America and in Australia data is not owned by the individual producing it, and that data produced can be accessed and used by others lawfully. With this in mind, he described how it was very much in the farmers interest to get ahead on using their own data so they can benefit from it through the adoption of precision agriculture technologies.

 Dr Kristy DiGiacomo reported on her research to improve sustainability from paddock to plate while reducing CO2 contributions from food waste, and providing an alternative to imported water intensive plant-based proteins through the breeding of black fly larvae for consumption by ruminant species. Although in its early stages, the research is going well illustrating that the nutritional value of the larvae is comparable to that of Soybean meal – a staple food of farmed ruminants. Further research into the growth and production of the larvae, preference testing of the animals to the feed and also meat quality will lead to an economic assessment to determine whether larvae can be used, and sold as a component of ruminant diet.

Dr Pange Zhang reported on his research to define the distinctiveness of Victoria wine using critical quality and climate modelling: adapting to climate change using environmental modelling and management strategies.  Pange provided an update on the ongoing development of his APP for use by the wine industry, merchandisers and consumers.  The wine industry will benefit from a dedicated platform for technical support through the collation of climate data collected via the research. Merchants will be able to access information on the uniqueness of local wineries and allow access to the chemical benchmarking system generated through the research, as well as the ability to review wines.  For consumers it offers information on Victoria Wineries including directions on how to find them plus a messaging service to communicate directly with the winery cellar door, which will assist in promoting Victorian wine tourism.

veski sustainable agriculture fellowships provide a transformational approach to applying emerging technologies to support Australian primary industries as they transition for future markets and growth economies.

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