Driving Innovation In Cherries, Apples And Almonds

21 June 2017

Cobram-based organisation InSense is the next big winner in the Andrews Labor Government’s Horticulture Innovation Fund.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced a $49,000 grant in Parliament today that will allow InSense to trial calcium carbonate spray at leaf fall to increase winter chill accumulation in cherries, apples and almonds.

Climate change is a serious concern to deciduous fruit and nut crops in Australia as they need to accumulate sufficient chill, then a period of warmth, to enable normal fruit bud development, flowering and fruit set.

The funding will be used to conduct a feasibility study to determine if spraying cherry, apple and almond trees with calcium carbonate at leaf fall increases winter chill accumulation by reflecting heat from the fruit buds during the winter.

The $1 million Horticulture Innovation Fund was launched in November 2015 to provide grants of up to $50,000 to help businesses test and adapt new technologies and processes to boost production.

The grants are a key election commitment of the Labor Government and are geared to support projects that will boost horticultural exports into new markets and broaden the diversity of products sold overseas.

Victoria’s horticulture industry is worth $2.4 billion a year, underpinned by a world-class reputation for providing premium quality, safe and clean products.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“The $1 million Horticulture Innovation Fund supports businesses to innovate and work with researchers to test and adapt new technologies to local conditions.”

“This is great news for the Goulburn Valley and will boost our surging horticulture exports even further.”

“Victoria accounts for more than half of Australia’s horticulture exports and investing in this sector will help safeguard it for the future.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“The feasibility study by InSense will be a driver in increasing the productivity of cherry, apple and almond trees, and in turn, future-proofing them against the effects of climate change.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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