New ‘Dog book’ offers latest vine growth advice
As vineyards spring into life, Australian grapegrowers are being reminded that before spraying they must accurately determine the growth stage of their vines to reduce the risk of chemicals being applied after the recommended withholding period (WHP).
The latest version of The Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) Agrochemicals registered for use in Australian viticulture (known as the ‘Dog book’) is now available, and contains new advice and supporting information on identifying the various vine growth stages.
AWRI senior viticulturist, Marcel Essling, said more details have been added to the growth stage descriptions on page 12 of the Dog book to make it easier for growers to identify phenological stages for spraying.
“We have included the following statement under Important Points on page 3: ‘Grapevine growth-stage can be variable across a block. When assessing grapevine phenology for the purpose of applying agrochemicals, base the assessment on the most advanced vines in the block to minimise the possibility of residues at harvest.’,” Mr Essling said.
“To this end, the ‘grapevine growth stage table’ from Viticulture 1 – Resources. 2nd edition 2004, Eds Dry, P. and Coombe, B., has also been published in full on page 13.”
The Dog book has also undergone some structural changes, with footnotes highlighting the key messages associated with the use of active constituents now included at the bottom of pages.
“The footnotes are the same as in previous years but they now show at the bottom of the page rather than in a separate section. For those fungal diseases, where the risk of resistance development is high, growers are reminded at the bottom of each page of the CropLife Australia resistance management strategies that are reproduced at the back of the booklet,” he said.
The Dog book also contains the latest updates on applicable agrochemical products.
“There is a new control option for longtailed mealybug, supplied by Dow AgroSciences in the product Transform,” he said.
“Sulfoxaflor is a 4C insecticide with a WHP of ‘Use no later than 80% capfall.’ It is recommended that growers contact their winery or grape purchaser before using insecticides in this group.
“There is a new pruning wound dressing containing the active constituents cyproconazole and iodocarb. Garrison Rapid is a product from Chemcolour Industries.”
Also, the latest Dog book notes that the Group C herbicide Diuron is no longer registered for use in vineyards.
Mr Essling said updates to the Dog book are made frequently throughout the year but most are usually minor.
“If a new product for an existing active constituent is registered, a change will be made to the agrochemical search facility, the app and the online pdf,” he said.
“An agrochemical update will be issued if an important message needs to be told. This includes when a new active constituent is registered for viticulture or a new export market rule requires a change to the recommendations.
“An update might also be issued in the event of widespread pest or disease outbreak or where special use permits apply to agrochemicals.”
The communication of updates is now made easier with the take up of the AWRI’s Agrochemical app, with around 1386 users across both iOS and Android platforms.
“Users like the fact that they can always have an up-to-date copy of the Dog book with them with the ability to search by target pest or disease,” he said.
Future improvements to the app are also being considered, with Mr Essling mentioning feedback from users has revealed some growers would like to be able to link directly to product labels and others would like the capacity to search by active constituent.
The Dog book is funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority and all formats of the latest edition are available from the AWRI website at: http://www.awri.com.au/industry_support/viticulture/agrochemicals/agrochemical_booklet/
Queries about agrochemicals can also be directed to the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8313 6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.