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AgTech solutions for industry

Australia has a global reputation for producing high-quality and trusted horticulture products.

To maintain and grow this position, technology adoption is critical to expand markets and solve challenges faced in labour management, product quality, climate variability and supply chain wastage.

Based in sub-tropical Queensland, the Gatton Smart Farm will accelerate the adoption of ag-technologies by creating an ecosystem enabling co-innovation between the Australian horticulture industry, research community and AgTech solution providers.

Providing a pipeline of spaces and facilities among the thriving agricultural research and development (R&D) precinct, collaborators at the Gatton Smart Farm will deliver responsive AgTech solutions for in-field, protected cropping and supply chain systems.

Gatton Smart Farm is open to producers and supply chain businesses nationally. It will enable a smart horticulture industry and cement Australia's position as a leader in food production.

Read the media announcement about Gatton Smart Farm.

Smart Farm news, stories and events

Keep up-to-date with our latest Smart Farm news, stories and events.

Fresh produce cold chain workshop

Watch highlights from our fresh produce cold chain workshop held at the Gatton Smart Farm.

Read transcript

Luke Wood was tasked with taking 24 hours out of the supply chain, Luke and Nicola then realised there was an opportunity to do work in this space on a device that could potentially track from farm all the way through to retail at a store to wholesale agent, whichever it might be.

The device itself is a fantastic thing. But it's not just about the device, it's about the data that you can collect from it, to then understand where your opportunities are for doing things a little bit better.

The consumer started demanding transparency and visibility of where their products were coming from. And it's about, how do I bring all these new technologies together and build a platform that we can take to market. So the idea of traceability is linking the data from the start of the product's life, to the end of the product's life. So it's the cradle to grave traceability.

Temperature is fundamental to quality. It's fundamental, tangibly fundamental to shelf life, it's critical for the value proposition for our customers. It's also critical for reputation and trust. So really, it's a good idea not to think so much about cold chains, or supply chains, but think about value chains, because that's something that we're all involved in.

When you consider which kind of packaging you'll be using for your fresh produce the design and the material of your choice, we'll look at cost, strength, your destination, is it export, is it local, and also the effect on fruit quality. Or if there's vegetable quality. Sometimes you can have a fantastic packaging, but it's just not cost effective compared to the value of the product, or you will have a trade off between ventilation and strength.

They allow consumer packages and mixtures such as the salad mixes that we see there. They allow added convenience, given the complex and the risks associated with MAP, effective and consistent temperature management is just vital.

The vast majority of our challenges as a transport provider come in from being able to supply rapid point to point temperature data to our growers. Unfortunately, the cooling capacity of our trailers are more designed to maintain temperature of a product rather than actually cool the product.

What are you going to do with that data, how are you going to make changes to my business? Just by having the data doesn't tell you what to do. But adoption of these technologies can give you an insider view of what's happening in your supply chain.

About Gatton Smart Farm

Gatton Smart Farm is a $9 million Queensland Government and Hort Innovation initiative to drive AgTech adoption across supply chains by transforming the Gatton Research facility into a world-class Smart Farm for horticulture.

The facility is based in sub-tropical Queensland's $450 million Lockyer Valley horticulture industry, adjacent to the University of Queensland's Gatton campus and close to the Wellcamp Airport.

State-of-the-art facilities

A suite of state-of-the-art protected cropping and post-harvest facilities will be established at the site, including a climate-controlled research glasshouse, retractable roof protected cropping structure and cold-rooms with controlled atmosphere technology.

The Gatton Smart Farm will be supported by a network of on-farm demonstration trials and a world-leading extension program.

Areas of AgTech research, development and extension include, but are not limited to:

  • field cropping including robotics
  • protected cropping
  • post-harvest and supply chain
  • whole of farm and food supply system integration.

Focus crops include, but are not limited to:

  • vegetables
  • berries – blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
  • tree crops – tropical fruit, avocados and macadamias.

Producers from across Australia, commercial companies and researchers will work together at Gatton Smart Farm to test, adapt and co-develop tech and farming system innovations.

Industry can interact with tech innovations, learn about new technologies to improve agricultural productivity and optimise supply chains through demonstrations and technical support.

Commercial companies can research and develop their own products and services.

At the Gatton Smart Farm:

  • industry, commercial companies and researchers will work together to test, adapt and co-develop tech and farming system innovations
  • industry can interact with tech innovations, and learn about new technologies to improve agricultural productivity and optimise supply chains through demonstrations and technical support
  • commercial companies can research and develop their own products and services.


Email with questions or feedback.

Gatton Research Facility
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Warrego Highway, Gatton
Queensland 4343

Our funding

The Gatton Smart Farm initiative, also known as 'AS20007 Driving adoption of AgTech across Australia', is funded by the Hort Frontiers Advanced Production Systems fund. This is part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with co-investment from the Queensland Government and contributions from the Australian Government.

Our partners

Last updated: 18 Oct 2023