Region in focus: SA Central

Vine health, business profitability and innovations for competiveness and adaptation will be the priority areas in a comprehensive program of AGWA-funded activities in the SA Central region in the coming financial year.

The program will include ongoing work looking at the impact and management of Eutypa, continuation of a project on vine scale, alternative control options for nematodes, and consideration of innovations in vineyard establishment and management.

The Executive Officer of Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine, Lian Jaensch, said the Eutypa work will focus on understanding the potential economic impact of trunk diseases, as well as demonstrating tools, techniques and the latest findings for best practice management in vineyards.

‘We’ll also be providing business decision making tools for managing trunk diseases, vineyard restructuring or renewal, and examining what can be learned from case studies – including cross-regional networking’, she said.

The coming year will also see Stage 2 of a Scale in Vineyards project, which will address scale identification and lifecycles, control measures and assessment of sooty mould in vineyards. The findings will be presented as a poster next year at the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference.

Work on nematodes will consider the usefulness of new imaging technologies and drones in the assessment of vineyard health, as well as the establishment of trials to determine the efficacy of alternative methods to control nematode populations in vineyard. These might include mulches, molasses applications and the potential of mid-row management using Brassica species that may provide bio-fumigant effects.

‘We will also be extending the annual viti innovation grower day program that was started last year and proved very popular’, Lian said. ‘The day focuses on local on-ground trials or innovations in the regions, sharing concepts and experiences.

‘This year, we will also highlight new technologies, methodologies and product innovations in light of growing interest in vineyard re-structuring’.