Novel agronomic practices to achieve productive and profitable viticulture in northern Australia

Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
4 years
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Ian Biggs


  • University of Western Australia
  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  • Fruitico Pty Ltd


A substantial opportunity to expand the production of table grapes exists in Northern Australia to fill off-season market gaps and replace imported products. Presently this opportunity is constrained by limits to agronomic practices that seek to force the vine to adopt a near normal seasonal cycle, or to initiate growth in sub-optimal conditions.

This project seeks to develop and enable the adoption of novel management practices for table grapes tailored to Northern Australian climates. The extension and adoption of such practices are expected to trigger industry expansion by increasing yields and their predictability. This may see table grapes become one of the most valuable fruit crops in Northern Australia. However, realisation of that potential may require additional research to identify suitable sites and comparative economic studies to document return of investment in comparison with other crops.

Expected outcomes

This project is seeking to develops novel practices which could improve yield and sustainability of table grapes in subtropical and tropical Australia by manipulating the plant energy balance to enable seasonal reserve deposition. If successful, this could increase the production of table grapes in Northern Australia and provide an opportunity for import replacements of table grapes, estimated to be worth around $85M.