Website tool picks the cream of the cover crop
Grapegrowers trying to decide which cover crop is best suited to their vineyard can get help from the website www.covercropfinder.com.au, developed by University of Adelaide researcher Chris Penfold and Lecturer in Viticulture Dr Cassandra Collins, with GWRDC’s support.
‘Growers have a huge range of options available to them when it comes to choosing a cover crop. So, it can be difficult to know which plant will best provide green manure, enhance biodiversity, suppress weeds, provide biological nitrogen, reduce vine vigour, or act as a host for beneficial insects’, Chris said.
The simple-to-use website guides growers towards the most suitable cover crop selections for their vineyard, based on input search criteria such as minimum rainfall, preference for a perennial or annual crop, and the desired purpose of the crop. Detailed information specific to each best-match cover crop is provided, along with a photograph of the established planting, taken from the cover cropping chapter of the book Soil, Irrigation and Nutrition (Nicholas, 2004), published by Winetitles. The information includes the cover crop’s ideal use, seed rate and cost, weed competitiveness, suitability to different soil types, and cultural practices.
Further strengthening the improved range of cover crop information available to growers are these factsheets available under the tools and resources tab on the GWRDC website
- Cover crops and vineyard floor temperature
- Native cover crops in viticulture
- Cover crops and weed suppression
- Cover crops and vine nutrition
- Cover crop seeding guidelines
- Cover crops and plant parasitic nematodes
- Cover crops and water use
- Cover crops and vineyard biodiversity
For further information, contact Adrian Loschiavo, GWRDC Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org