Australian table grape growers will have important real-time chemical application information at their fingertips, following the development of the industry’s first mobile phone app.
The Australian Table Grape Association Inc. (ATGA) developed the “ATGA MRLs Search” app, which provides real-time information on maximum residue limits (MRLs) and withholding periods (WHPs) for both domestic and export markets.
“Breaches of MRLs or WHPs not only threaten to destroy the reputation of an individual grower, but also Australia’s reputation as a clean, food safe supplier of fresh product,” ATGA CEO Jeff Scott said.
For an industry valued at more than $800m in the 2018/2019 financial year, with its export market value approximately $555.2 million (and growing), having instant access to such information will help Australian table grape producers remain vigilant and protect Australia’s global reputation.
ATGA MRLs Search, which is now available from Apple and Google app stores, delivers important progress for the table grape industry.
“A number of administrative functions within the table grape sector have recently moved to online platforms, which is a reflection of the next generation of younger, tech-savvy growers entering the industry and taking over the family farming enterprises,” Mr Scott said.
The app provides access to real-time pre- and post-harvest chemical application data, including MRLs and WHPs based on domestic and export market, target pest or disease and/or active constituents. With an easy-to-use interface, growers can use the app anywhere and anytime due to its offline capability.
The final result of a project funded by Agriculture Victoria’s Horticulture Innovation Fund, the app was developed in partnership with the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI).
In 2011, the ATGA and AWRI collaborated to deliver the first agrichemical compliance tool for the table grape sector, adapted from the AWRI’s highly regarded “Dogbook”. That online platform, while updated over time for a number of export markets, had since become obsolete, with growers unable to access current MRL data.
The current project provided the opportunity for the ATGA and AWRI to collaborate again to further drive the industry’s technological advancement. It allowed for the research, analysis and development of the app, as well as an upgrade to database software and hosting to maintain the original online search portal, and a review of MRLs for three new markets.
ATGA MRLs Search is now available for free download.
For more information:
Australian Table Grape Association
Tel: +61 417 122 086