To deliver sufficient healthy food to feed the world’s growing population without ‘killing the golden goose’, we must produce more with less. Protected cropping offers a way to do this. To make this way of farming economically viable in Australia, however, we need to be strategic. This means targeting high-value horticultural crops and utilising suitable available technologies.
Our RP2:004 report, ‘Protected cropping: Current technologies and target crops’ outlines existing opportunities as well as challenges that must be addressed by ongoing research in this exciting but complex field.
The report looks at crops typically grown in low, medium and high-tech facilities in Australia, and surveys where CRC participants’ interests lie.
It explores the possibility of breeding new cultivars for controlled-environment facilities, and investigates challenges and opportunities in the protected cropping and indoor farming space.
It also outlines the optimal conditions for high productivity and efficient use of resources and looks at pest and disease management; factors affecting crop quality and nutritional values; and issues around employment and availability of skilled labour for the protected cropping sector.