Earlier in the year, the Mallee Regional Innovation Centre bought together a program that showcased cutting edge, innovative and industry applications that addressed many of the challenges in horticulture. Details of the program are listed below. The program booklet can also be downloaded.

Practical demonstrations, workshops, farm tours and trade stalls were held during the lunch and tea breaks.

Physical copies of the program were available to delegates at the event but can still be downloaded here.

Download the program

Thursday 5 May 2022

10.00am Launch: Including Welcome to Country, venue and conference introduction, summit structure and housekeeping. Arron Wood, MC Growing Smarter in the Mallee Welcome
Aunty Ronny Harradine   Welcome to Country
Mary-Anne Thomas MP Minister for Agriculture Summit launch
Leonie Burrows MRIC Strategic Advisory Panel Introduction to the Mallee Regional Innovation Centre
Anne Mansell Dried Fruits Australia Challenges and issues facing horticulture
11.00am Robotics/automation: Opportunities and challenges of developing and implementing automated horticultural production processes with robotics.

Facilitator: Stephen Bennett, Merbein Robotics
Dr Robert Ross RAMPS, La Trobe Uni Automation of dried-fruit cordon pruning
Hunter Jay CEO, Ripe Robotics Fruit picking robot in Goulburn Valley orchards
Ashley Rootsey CRC Food Agility Automated horticultural production
12.00pm Lunch break   
12.00pm Workshops, demonstrations & SuniTafe SMART Farm tour   
1.30pm Remote sensing – sponsored by Select Harvests: Use of remote sensing tools to help identify orchard management interventions regarding pests, irrigation and nutrients.

Facilitator: Ben Brown, Select Harvests
Pablo Zarco-Tejada
University of Melbourne Remote sensing & precision agriculture
Scott Gillet Ceres Imaging – Loxton Remote sensing & irrigation
Andy Chambers
Airborne Logic Remote sensing & horticulture
2.30pm Yield estimation: Use of innovative approaches to estimate future measures of production including yield and quality.

Facilitator: Dr Zel Coetzee, AgVic Smart Farm
James Underwood
Green Atlas Fruit counting & yield estimation
Daniel Pelliccia
Rubens Technologies Yield & quality estimation
Guy Davidson Onside                     Handheld monitoring tools
3.30pm Tea break    
3.45pm Workshops    
4.30pm Innovative energy: Innovative approaches to future fuel sources applicable to horticulture.

Facilitator: Brett Millington, MRC
Associate Professor Mohsen Talei
University of Melbourne Fuel from crop waste
Joe Kremzer
Hydrogen Council Hydrogen opportunities in horticulture
John O'Connor  Energy Smart Farming Hydrogen use in farming
5.30pm Close Day 1 Arron Wood, MC Lessons learnt  
7.00pm EvokeAg Summit Dinner at Willow & Ivie: Book a spot with your ticket.

Summit dinner details
Matthew Pryor
Tenacious Ventures Future Forces: AgriFutures report

This program is updated regularly, but may be subject to change prior to the event.

Friday 6 May 2022

7.00am Farm tour and breakfast: Tour the nearby AgVic Smart Farm. Tours of the SuniTAFE SMART Farm are also available during lunch breaks.

Bookings are essential.

Tour information
Dr Zelmari Coetzee & Dr Mike Treeby AgVic Smart Farm Farm tour and breakfast
9.00am Autonomous vehicles – sponsored by Olam Food Ingredients: Challenges and advantages of innovative developments in driverless vehicles in horticulture.

Facilitator: Brett Pringle, Olam Orchards
Alex Barber & Daniel Edwards GUSS Autonomous vehicles for spraying
Andrew Glare Haeuslers – agents for John Deere Autonomous vehicles
Cam Clifford
AME Group Retrofitting automation
10.00am Data driven decisions: Innovative approaches to help integrate multiple data sources to support operational and production management decisions.

Facilitator: Peter O'Donnell, SC Farms
Jeremy Duniam FieldIn Data integration for management
Damien Heintze
CropX Digital agriculture in horticultural production
Roei Yaakobi
Tie Up Farming Data integration for horticultural production
11.00am Irrigation integration – sponsored by Lower Murray Water: Innovative systems to integrate irrigation systems with agronomic and other factors.

Facilitator: Anthony Couroupis, Lower Murray Water
Tristan Steventon  StevTech Drones for irrigation
John Pargenter
Swan Systems Software integration for irrigation systems
Hamish Roy Phytech Yield monitoring & irrigation integration
12.00pm Lunch   
12.00pm Workshops, demonstrations & SuniTafe SMART Farm tour   
1.30pm Traceability – sponsored by AusIndustry: Recent developments to improve traceability in supply chain management.

Facilitator: Paul Henderson, AusIndustry
Kieran Murphy
Agriculture Victoria (AgVic) Framework & standards
Nathan Hancock
Citrus Australia Citrus project
Jeff Scott
Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) Table-grape pilot: problem solving
Michael Dossor
Result Group Table-grape pilot: technical challenges
2.30pm Climate impacts – sponsored by the Mallee CMA: Impacts of climate change on production, in particular a recent study for the Mallee CMA and the Victoria Drought Hub, formed in 2021.

Facilitator: James Kellerman, MalleeCatchment Management Authority.
Jodie Harrison Agriculture Victoria (AgVic) eBook on climate data for the Mallee
Anna Roberts Natural Decisions Regional climate impacts study for Mallee CMA
Professor Tim Reeves Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption & Innovation Hub Innovations in drought impact adaptation
3.30pm Closing session: Linking the region's challenges and oppportunities to lessons from Growing Smarter in the Mallee 2022.

Facilitator: Arron Wood, MC
Angela Avery Agriculture Victoria Research Director with leadership of innovation in the horticulture industries
Jade Benham Swan Hill Rural City Council Mayor, speaking for the upstream communities
Tim Jackson Almond Board of Australia CEO of the ABA, the largest horticultural sector in the region
Christine Pitt
Farmers2Founders Founder with a passion to translate innovation in farming into highly successful commercial businesses
Rebecca Wells
MRIC CEO of MRIC and a third generation fruit grower from Merbein driving regional innovation

Past program events