Israeli agtech Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies has begun testing its ground heating and cooling technology on young apricot trees in Australia.

The April pilot with West Australian-based Adam Water Solutions, will test the company’s capacity in the open fields starting with two installations in apricot tree orchards north of Perth.

The “Root Zone Temperature Optimisation” (RZTO) system uses underground pipes to heat and cool the ground and manage the root zone temperature.

While they have been tested in greenhouse conditions, chief and co-founder Dr Sharon Devir says a move in open field crops would be a world-first — and an improvement in an industry that generally lacked innovation.

ROO share price movements since listing in December.
Roots Sustainable (ASX:ROO) shares since its December listing.

“The potential market for Roots target crops for using RTZO technology in Australia is estimated at several million dollars per annum,” he said.

“We expect that once we successfully showcase our technology in Australian conditions that significant orders will follow – especially for farmers in the agricultural production areas across Australia.”

Under the agreement, Adam Water will sell, distribute and install its RZTO products in Australia.

The Roots system is said to influence yield, quality, maturity time and extreme weather correction effects. In-house studies estimate increases of as much as 50 per cent yield.

The shares surged in early Wednesday trade to 53c but cooled to 49c — down 2 per cent — by lunchtime.

The shares have traded between 30c and 67c since listing in December at an issue price of 20c.