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TAS Country : March 8th 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012 Tasmanian Country 5 News times are changing who want the latest tech- nology to optimise the way we produce our food and fibre, optimise the pro- fitability and efficiency of our businesses. ''That is exactly what SenseT is all about.'' Ms Davis said the new network would mesh all the available information in a readily accessible online network. The technology is simi- lar to that used in Formula One motor racing. ''Each lap as it passes the pits an F1 car uses tel- emetry to upload all sorts of data to the crew in the pits,'' she said. ''That could be tyre tem- peratures, fuel efficiency, brake wear, not to mention the heart rate of the driver. ''By having access to all that data the pit crew and the managers of the team can make decisions about its optimum performance and make the necessary tweaks.'' Ms Davis said while the SenseT data may not be useful for all agricultural industries, there were some that would benefit greatly from it, in particu- larly horticulture and viticulture. ''It will take agriculture to a new level of inno- vation and productivity,'' she said. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania After harvest clean up. Avoid future crop contamination by allowing poppy seed to germinate on the ground surface before deep ploughing or ripping. Your Field Officer can advise 2058267-120309 Pastures, Processors and Productivity 2012 ANZ Dairy Business of the Year Awards Dinner Wednesday 21st March 2012 Central Coast Civic Centre - Commences 8.45am No charge for the day RSVP to DairyTas on Ph: 64322233 Email: email@example.com celebrate the best in Tasmania s dairy industry Central Coast Civic Centre 6.30pm Tuesday March 20th 2012 Cost is $70 per head RSVP to DairyTas by Friday March 16th 2012 Payment on the night or by arrangement with DairyTas into the future ONE STEP AHEAD: Fruit grower Andrew Smith, right, with orchard manager Aaron Bowden at the revamped packing shed at Grove. plementing efficiencies in the or- chard. In the second season after iis upgrading, the packing shed can now process 60 units of 1kg apple packs in a minute. ''There is no way we could do that by hand,'' said Mr Smith. ''Our business is doing everything within its power to be efficient and able to compete in the market. ''The organic apples have to be packaged to protect the integrity of the product. It is conventional quality fruit.'' Mr Smith is a direct national sup- plier to Woolworths. ''They buy Aust- ralian where they can and employ Australians,'' he said. To create opportunities and after extensive international research in the late 1990s, Mr Smith started to shift the orchard to organic production. Following trials, the orchard pro- duced its first organic certified apples in 2002. ''When we started moving from traditional growing, other producers thought we were losing our marbles,'' he said. ''Organic food uses non- synthetic products -- for exam- ple, the fertiliser is chook ma- nure, and instead of using insecticides we use mating dis- ruption to prevent the mating of insects.' The orchard now produces between 1200 and 1500 tonnes of apples and 30 to 50 tonnes of cherries. The organic apples are re- tailed through Woolworths un- der the Macro brand in 1kg packs. Another component of Mr Smith's efforts to gain an edge in the market is the process of rebranding, and Mr Smith is moving to incorporate the family history, becoming William Smith and Sons. ''We are going back to the heritage of the orchard,'' he said. The orchard also supplies apples to local firm Juicy Isle, which makes a 1.5-litre organic juice that is sold throughout Australia. In another move towards diversifica- tion, Mr Smith is hoping to capitalise on the growing cider market. ''We will produce it here on site, create a retail space and sell it,'' he said. ''We should have our first batch by April or May.'' To tap into his family's heritage, the cider will be sold as Willie Smith Cider. Mr Smith loves apples and the orchard. Carrying the family heritage pushes him continually to be in- novative and proactive in the quest to overcome the many hurdles that are facing the industry.
February 23rd 2012
March 15th 2012