From 2018-2022, the Soil Wealth ICP team has partnered with Schreurs & Sons and Stuart Grigg Ag-Hort Consulting to explore the application of precision agriculture in celery, leek and baby leaf production systems.

Key findings

  • A precision agriculture trial was undertaken at Koo Wee Rup, Victoria from 2018-2022 in celery, leek and baby leaf crops which had a number of benefits for farm productivity, profitability and sustainability.
  • Celery yield assessment showed higher average celery heart weights and more uniformity across the trial block from 2018-2020. While average leek yield increased in the trial area compared to the control from 2020-2022, with a significant increase in minimum yield.
  • Soil health has improved in the trial area when looking at soil fertility indicators, nutrient status, plant nutrient availability and free-living nematodes.
  • There has been a reduction in soil-borne disease risk and severity over time at the site, which has been more pronounced in the trial area compared to the control.
  • Improved yield and crop uniformity contributed to increased gross profitability of $53,000, or $5,000 per hectare, largely driven by reduced costs from post-harvest labour efficiencies in cleaning, grading and packing produce.