Coonawarra viticulturist Hans Loder has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to examine practical data management for the Australian wine sector.
Loder’s project ‘Here come the robots; but what do we do with the data?’ will investigate vineyard data collection and
management options that provide the greatest value and insights for Australian viticulturists.
Loder is a viticulturist at Penley Estate, a grapegrowing and wine production business that comprises an 800-tonne winery and 80 hectares of vineyard.
As someone who is responsible for implementing precision viticulture initiatives, Loder is particularly focused on identifying efficient data management and storage pathways that allow data to be more easily accessed, interrogated and analysed.
“To increase the value of investments in precision viticulture, we need to use this data to bolster productivity and profitability,” Loder said.
“There’s a lot of interest from Australian viticulturists in vineyard data collection and management, but we’re lacking the knowledge and tools to convert the data into practical applications in the field.
“Through my Nuffield Scholarship, I hope to align my research with the priorities outlined in Wine Australia’s Strategic Plan 2020–25 and focus on key areas such as increasing viticultural efficiency and reducing cost of production.
“I plan on investigating established frameworks, technologies and systems across Australia, the United States, Germany and France, to identify data management and storage technologies that provide the greatest value and insights.”
Loder says he will also investigate concerns around data ownership and the interoperability of technology platforms, to identify practical opportunities and challenges surrounding modern database systems in viticulture.
Wine Australia general manager – research, development and adoption Dr Liz Waters congratulated Loder.
“Hans’ project is timely and important, with the scope directly linked to Wine Australia’s focus on AgTech innovations that improve outcomes for the sector,” Waters said.
Wine Australia invests $53,000 annually in the Nuffield Australia program as part of its policy of investing in sector leadership. In the same vein, Wine Australia supports the Future Leaders program, travel bursaries for researchers and post-graduate scholarships.