Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




$7 million research greenhouse to support Australian industry

To develop the next crop of horticulture growers and meet rising food demand, Hort Innovation and Western Sydney University have combined forces to launch the nation’s first state-of-the-art vegetable glasshouse-production research centre.

Officially opened by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Anne Ruston with Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre comprises a $7M glasshouse that will house various industry-driven research and development projects and university course material.

The research glasshouse features eight temperature-controlled chambers and transitional glass that adjusts in colour with exterior light levels. Researchers aim to produce the highest possible commercial-yields with minimal energy, labour, nutrients and water outputs.

Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said the combination of an ageing horticultural industry with a fast-moving technological landscape and a rising global demand for food means the Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre has never been more critical.

“The expected findings that will come out of this centre are exciting. Researchers will work to manipulate inputs to create the optimum environment to drive maximum harvest windows and overall yield for a variety of vegetables, then share this information with Australia’s growers,” he said.

“This facility also aims to attract new entrants to the horticulture industry by showcasing some of the most advanced technology currently available. The current demand for skilled glasshouse labour exceeds supply and this gap is only expected to widen. Current and future Western Sydney University students will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this exciting time in Australian food production history.”



Protected Cropping Australia deputy chair Mark Massey said it was fantastic to see the ambitious project come to fruition.

“Protected cropping is a fast-growing industry because it offers the potential to grow more produce in an environment where pests and external weather influences can largely be controlled,” he said. “Setting up a glasshouse, however, is an investment, so knowing what the ideal temperature, water, nutrient and light levels are for different types of vegetables will certainly provide a great benefit to the industry.”



Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, said the University is excited about the facility, which complements its long history in agriculture and horticulture research and education at the Hawkesbury campus, dating back to 1891.

“The Hawkesbury campus is located on the peri-urban fringe of Sydney – perfectly placed for conducting research and education to help drive Australia’s future horticulture productivity,” said Professor Glover.

“Until now, nothing like this has been developed locally to specifically suit Australia’s harsh climate. This essential piece of scientific infrastructure for Australia is only possible through our partnership with Hort Innovation.

“The glasshouse and National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre cement the University’s reputation as a national leader in horticulture research and education, and continues our proud history of agriculture research and teaching at Hawkesbury.”

For more information 
Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd
Level 8, 1 Chifley Square NSW 2000 Australia 
T: 61 2 8295 2300 
F: 61 2 8295 2399 

Publication date: 11/1/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

12/14/2017 Spain: Storm Ana damages greenhouses and plastic on strawberry farms
12/12/2017 Aquaponic cultivation to start in Kazakhstan
12/11/2017 CAN (ON): Wikwemikong greenhouse becomes reality with national contest
12/11/2017 The value of good environmental control
12/11/2017 Recycling tunnel cover plastic
12/8/2017 "Growing needs to become easier"
12/8/2017 "Prevent rust formation on heating pipes"
12/8/2017 Belarus to share greenhouse production technologies with Egypt
12/7/2017 Vietnam: TAP completes new phase in 24-hectare greenhouse
12/7/2017 CAN (QC): Turning wood residues into cucumbers
12/7/2017 US (TX): Tarrant County College board approves campus greenhouse
12/6/2017 US (WI): Pleasant Prairie village board approves
12/5/2017 11 hectare greenhouse project opened in Azerbaijan
12/5/2017 NL: Revised standards for determining light transmittance of horticultural glass
12/5/2017 Video: Take a look inside the Western Sydney University greenhouse
12/5/2017 Australia: Retractable roof aids Lancaster tomato growers
12/4/2017 "10% more light than the reference greenhouse"
12/1/2017 China: New greenhouse model in Hainan
11/30/2017 Jobs for Syrian refugees through innovation in horticulture in Lebanon
11/29/2017 US (WI): $31 million hydroponic greenhouse planned in Pleasant Prairie