Applethorpe research facility

Site Details

Research Facility Name Applethorpe Research Facility (Granite Belt)
Research Facility Address New England Highway Applethorpe
Telephone07 4681 6100
Coordinates/GPS at office 28o37’20” S
151 o57’00” E
Climate (Temperature max & min, Annual Rainfall) Annual rainfall average 761mm, Maximum temperature 20.8 deg. Minimum temperature 9.0 deg.
Topography (Brief description) Undulating to rolling Granite hills and ridges, average slope 2-5%, and rock outcrops common.

Overview of the Site

The Applethorpe Research Station is the sole temperate fruit and vegetable research facility in Queensland, which supports horticulture production with a value exceeding $180m in areas from Stanthorpe to Charters Towers. It holds and maintains the genetic material for wine and table grapes and the national breeding program for the apples industry, which are at the stage of commercial variety release, the station also has a sustainable irrigation water supply, as well as 6 hectares of hail and insect pest exclusion netting.

The 32 ha facility located near the town ship of Applethorpe on the granite belt provides opportunity for R,D&E to be undertaken in many aspects of temperate horticultural and field crops across a broad range of species and commodities.


General Facilities

The site has built facilities include an administration office with accommodation for 33 staff, conference and meeting rooms. General storage and machinery sheds and purpose built mechanical workshop and chemical store.

The site has a wide range of plant and equipment including tractors, trucks, sprayers and cultivators required to support research and grow a range of horticultural crops.

Specialised Infrastructure

Controlled Environments

  • 3 x Glasshouses with solar, in-floor heating, split system air conditioning
  • 6 x Cold rooms suitable for fruit storage

Laboratories, processing facilities and conference room

  • Specialised laboratories set up for plant pathology & fruit research
  • Conference room sits 35 people


  • Pumping and irrigation: The site has 3 dams & an irrigation pipe network to most areas of the farm
  • Water storage: 3 x dam

Specialised Plant & Equipment

Precision planters & Plot harvesters

  • Fertiliser applicators
  • Specialised narrow orchard tractors

Pest and Pathogen Control

  • Specialised orchard sprayers & herbicide sprayers


  • x 2T tip Truck

Research Focus

  • Apple Physiology
  • Strawberry agronomy
  • Stone Fruit Breeding
  • Table Grapes