International scientist boosts Goulburn Valley pear research

13 February

Professor Luca Corelli Grappadelli, from the Department of Agricultural Sciences in Bologna, Italy has landed on Australian shores to join forces with local Agriculture Victoria research scientists. Luca, following his keen interest to study tree physiology at an international level, has accepted to be part of a team of researchers that aim to spearhead the revival of the Goulburn Valley pear industry.

 

This project, jointly funded by Agriculture Victoria and the veski sustainable agricultural fellowship program, is exploring management systems for new pear cultivars, so the fruit meets consumer expectations for local and export markets.

Luca's research will utilise an existing 4ha pear field laboratory that has long-term experiments in place to test the response of new red blush pear varieties to a range of practices including irrigation, nutrition, canopy management and rootstocks.

This Field Laboratory at Agriculture Victoria Tatura, focuses on developing and validating new and emerging sensor technologies in an effort to control pre and post-harvest factors impacting on fruit yield and quality, particularly fruit composition. Mr Bruce Tomkins, Agriculture Victoria project leader, said “New sensor technologies will be used to improve management practices and monitoring in the production and handling chain that determine fruit yield and quality. Sensor data will be used to validate models that predict fruit yield, size, harvest time for optimum quality, and the ripening rate of fruit during handling, storage and transport.”

“It is anticipated the project will deliver more efficient pear production systems and will enable producers to produce fruit that meet consumer expectations, thereby driving increased demand both in domestic and Asian markets." 

“A re-invigorated Victorian pear industry will enable the sector to remain a large regional employer of more than 9000 people by creating a new and exciting service sector based on sensor technologies,”

    

Research 

  • Fruit Shrinkage and expansion - implications for sweetness and yield
  • Sap flow and Irrigation scheduling
  • Leaf Fluorescence 

"My sincere gratitude to the veski foundation in deciding to fund an agricultural research project for the first time, and for making me a veski fellow for sustainable agriculture.

Thanks to Agriculture Victoria for the invitation, for applying and hosting me. In particular, thanks to Bruce Tomkins, John Lopresti, Ian Goodwin and all the colleagues and staff involved in making this a very positive and extremely interesting endeavour for me."

 

Source: Horticulture Industry Network

http://www.hin.com.au/projects/profitable-pears/professor-luca-corelli-grappadelli-from-the-university-of-bologna,-italy

 

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