Scientific Horticulture Facilities
Scientific Horticulture has access to an extensive range of facilities as outlined below.
Orchards The principal research scientist, has, for the past 22 years, conducted trial work on growers properties. The principal scientist has an excellent working relationship with the growers and will continue to utilise growers properties wherever possible. In addition, Scientific Horticulture is located on 4 Ha of quality horticultural land with permanent water and small trials are conducted on this property.
Glasshouse Facilities Scientific Horticulture has access to a small climate controlled glasshouse on its premises for research purposes.
Field Equipment Scientific Horticulture owns several pieces of equipment for use in field experimentation. Equipment includes tractors, cultivation equipment, seeding and fertilizer equipment and a specially designed air blast sprayer for applying experimental materials to single trees.
Laboratory Facilities A new food grade laboratory has been constructed and commissioned. This facility is equipped with standard fruit quality assessment instruments including a specially constructed digital force gauge for the assessment of fruit firmness, refractometers for the measurement of fruit sugars, Image analysis equipment for the measurement of fruit / foliage colour and shape, pH meter and digital burette for the measurement of fruit acids, an oven for sterilising and drying samples, accurate balance for weighing fruit, both dissecting and transmission microscopes for studying diseases, a spectrophotometer and centrifuge, data loggers for recording temperature and humidity, carbon dioxide, oxygen and ethylene analysers etc. etc.. This facility doubles as a fruit processing room and also has equipment for this activity including state of the art fruit dehydrators, cherry and apricot stoners, fruit blanchers etc. such that trial runs of processed products can be legally prepared for test marketing.
Coolrooms In addition to fridges there are currently three cool rooms associated with the facility including a refrigerated container which is often used for simulated shipping studies.
Other Facilities In addition to the above, facilities owned by others, such as Government Departments, Universities and private companies both within and outside the state are utilised where possible. Many joint projects are conducted with other research agencies with specialised equipment.