TIA Vegetable Research Facility

Introduction

View fron the Forthside Research Facility of the rolling pasturesFVRF is a 54 hectare farm near Forth, north-west Tasmania, which has been used mostly for research projects by TIA and other research providers who pay for access to experimental areas. Commercial crops are grown in rotation areas not being used for experimental work, generating additional in revenue. A major upgrade of buildings and machinery at TVRF was completed in 2012, allowing for a wider range of research, development and extension projects.

Virtual tour of TIA's Forthside Vegetable Research Facility.

TVRF upgrade

The upgrade of TVRF was designed to bring infrastructure and equipment up to date, and provide a mechanism to facilitate regular updating. This will ensure that the technology in use at TRVF is of contemporary standard, or more advanced, providing a resource for RD&E projects relevant to crop production, soil management, irrigation and technology evaluation. The upgrade consisted of:

  • Installation of state-of-the-art computer system, with broadband access and connection to the University of Tasmania network that can provide for real-time, automatic data capture.
  • Adoption of Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) as standard practice.
  • Redesign and automation of the irrigation system.
  • New tractors, with on-board guidance and data capture systems.
  • New ground working and planting equipment.
  • A hi-tech chemical sprayer with direct injection and section control.
  • Upgrade/replacement of some infrastructure; e.g. power supply, chemical storage.

For ongoing management advice, the TVRF Management Advisory Sub-Committee has been established under the Vegetable Centre Advisory Group.

Current use

  • R&D Corporation funded research – precision irrigation, CTF, long-term crop rotation, cereal cultivars, polymer crop cover evaluation
  • Contract research – potato, pea and bean cultivar evaluation
  • Research by other providers – artemesia, chemical evaluation, disease control in brassicas, onions, broccoli, canola seed multiplication, cultivar evaluation
  • Development project – buckwheat seed increase
  • Extension – soil health workshop, extension activities in precision irrigation and CTF projects
  • Rotation crop production – principal crops are broccoli, beans, carrots, poppies, onions, green manure crops.

Funding

  • SMART Farming allocation (Tasmanian Government)
  • TIA
  • R&D Corporations
  • Commercial business partners
  • Fee-for-service RD&E, rotation crops and other income generating activities.