IT'S amazing what a difference a few weeks can make, especially when it comes to harvesting fruit.

But technology from CQUniversity has changed all that for local growers, helping to improve accuracy in harvesting fruits like mango and boosting sales.

It's innovations like the infra-red fruit spectrometer which Capricornia MP Michelle Landry hopes will attract the House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committee inquiry to Rockhampton.

CQUniversity Professor Kerry Walsh said the fruit spectrometer was developed to help farmers test produce for ripeness and sugar content to determine the ideal harvest date.

He said this would help keep consumers coming back to Australian fruit and provide higher quality produce for export overseas.

Funding to evaluate the fruit maturity sensor was awarded through Federal Government's Rural Research and Development for Profit program.

The project focuses on the northern fruit tree crops of avocado, mango and macadamia industries, but the equipment can be useful for fruit growers nationwide.

Ms Landry said the agriculture inquiry would look at how innovation could boost returns for farmers.

"I want to have a hearing in Rockhampton so that the parliamentary committee can learn more about the amazing innovations for farmers, already being developed here through CQUniversity, and how technology is being used here to aid beef research, horticulture and cropping, and even crocodile farming," she said.

"We are known for our beef and our coal in Capricornia. But we also have a very important intellectual industry on our doorstep, which should be recognised a major economic contributor.

"Such research is helping our farmers get a better return at the farm gate and that is good for everybody in terms of cash flow, jobs and export ability."

CQ Visit

Agricultural industries and rural leaders in Capricornia can make submissions to the committee until September 25


aginnovation or call the Committee Secretariat on (02) 6277 4500 for more information

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