Jon Clements attended an International Society for Horticultural Science Symposium on Precision Orchard and Vineyard Management, December 4-8, 2023 at the Tatura Smart Farm, in Victoria, Australia. According to Clements, “while the several days of research presentations on progress in precision irrigation, fertility and pest management, mechanization and robotic harvesting, and digital orchards and vineyards were impressive in terms of sophistication and advancement in orchard and vineyard management, the highlight of the Symposium were field trips to local orchards and vineyards including the Tatura Smart Farm and Tahbilk Estate winery.” He goes on, “although I had heard about the Sundial multi-directional experimental orchard at Tatura, it was enlightening to see it in person during the growing season.” The facility is a laboratory for emerging technologies in orchard and vineyard management techniques.
Further reminiscing about his trip Down Under, Clements said, “although it may or may not have been the trip of a lifetime, the Symposium, the Australian hospitality, countryside, bird life, and nice weather will be long remembered for sure. Oh yes, I did see the requisite kangaroos, koala bears, and wallabies!” And a weekend spent in Hobart, Tasmania was the icing on the cake. “Anyone who has the opportunity to go to Australia should work that beautiful city into their itinerary.” But he notes, “no Tasmanian devil sightings!”