The industry standard method to determine grapevine canopy nitrogen (N) status is through leaf and petiole tissue analysis. The accepted method is destructive, expensive and the results often require technical assistance to interpret. A rapid and simpler method to predict vine canopy N status would be beneficial to the viticultural industry. My research explores the utilisation of proximal sensors (GreenSeeker, Crop Circle ACS-430 and SPAD-502) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict vine canopy N content in Vitis vinifera Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cultivars in Southern Tasmania, Australia.
The Wine Australia travel grant enabled me to present this research, “Can vine canopy nitrogen status be assessed non-destructively?”, at the International Society for Horticultural Science’s (ISHS) International Symposium for Precision Agriculture in Orchards and Vineyards in Palermo, Sicily. The conference consisted of 5 days of oral and poster presentations on the use of precision agriculture across the food supply-chain. The main theme that encompassed the presentations was the creation of decision support platforms and systems for industry based on scientific measurements or algorithms. This was well aligned with my research topic and improved my knowledge of digital agriculture tools.
The following Wine Australia travel report summarises my research, my Italian trip itinerary, and the beneficial outcomes and prospects that have eventuated from this experience. This includes:
- Brief outline: purpose of travel, topic background, benefit to professional development and the Australian grape and wine community, information dissemination, further research ideas
- Research site visits at the University of Bolzano, the Laimburg Research Centre, and the Edmund-Mach Research Foundation
- Conference presentation at The International Symposium for Precision Agriculture in Orchards and Vineyards