The New App that Focuses on Keeping Vines Healthy

Artificial intelligence has been picking up momentum as a means of personalizing consumer experiences, but it appears it also may be set to gain steam as a tool for vineyard managers.

An Australian-developed smartphone app is using AI to help growers diagnose nutrient disorders in grapevines. A research partnership between NSW Department of Primary Industries in Australia and Charles Sturt University that was funded by Wine Australia has yielded a prototype app that assesses photos of vine leaf symptoms captured using a standard smartphone camera.

The app was developed by a team of viticulturists, plant physiologists and machine learning specialists, and global ag-tech startup Deep Planet has obtained exclusive licensing and plans to add it to its suite of viticulture remote sensing, monitoring and prediction features offered by its VineSignal platform.

Charles Sturt Pro Vice-Chancellor Michael Friend, said the University’s image analysis experts, including Associate Professor Lihong Zeng and Professor Manoranjan Paul, worked with NSW DPI researchers to develop disease image libraries for artificial intelligence assessment of vines in the field.  

“The detection and diagnostic capability of the app works through the image analysis algorithms developed by the team and allows users to quickly identify vine nutrient deficiencies and access  remedial actions based upon the diagnosis,” Friend said.

Vine nutrition is a significant cost to the management of a vineyard, and if not handled correctly, yield and quality can suffer. The prototype app was developed as a technical solution to help winegrape growers deal with symptom confusion of vine nutritional disorders.  

“We’ve been working closely with a number of Australian producers to help them manage their vine health, irrigation, yield and maturity using satellite imagery combined with our machine learning and AI capabilities,” said Deep Planet CEO David Carter. “Adding and improving this technology as a practical tool for on the ground nutrition monitoring is an obvious next step to enhance the impact we can offer our clients.”

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