As a first for Tropical North Queensland, this water monitoring device could have significant benefits by helping producers better understand the health and quality of crops.

The Agricultural Innovation Program has kicked off its first on farm trial this week working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and University of Tasmania’s Professor Tim Bridribb and Dr Chris Lucani. The testing of optical dendrometers for monitoring the water status of mango trees is underway at the Walkamin Research Centre in Mareeba, North Queensland. 

Monitoring the water in plants is a notoriously difficult process. Developing a new kind of optical-based sensor that captures shrinkage and swelling with water uptake and loss has the potential to provide significant improvement in irrigation management over traditional techniques.

The trial captured national media attention recognising this innovation has the potential to improve outcomes for producers. Finding solutions that allow farmers to monitor water use in tree crops is a great example of how new technologies can be used to improve on-farm processes. This is the crucial first step for ensuring that we are providing producers with proven solutions relevant to the region that they can have confidence in.

The program will see a range of trials lined up over the next few months. If you would like to get involved or seek more information, get in touch today. Send us an email at