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18/11/2008

Wine & Vine Workshops- the last chance to top up on vineyard management advice

Post-harvest irrigation, salinity and vine physiology will be the key topics presented free of charge at the second round of Water & Vine workshops to be held at the Barossa Arts and Convention Centre on Friday December 5.

The workshop program is funded by the Australian Government to help irrigators in the Murray-Darling basin increase water efficiencies and manage their farm businesses during the current irrigation season.

The first round of workshops in September and October attracted nearly 600 growers and extension providers across the Murray Darling Basin to learn more about managing vineyards in drought conditions.

One of the local growers who attended the last workshop in the Barossa, Ashley Ratcliff, said the guest speakers had delivered practical information to help him manage his vineyard this summer.

“The presentation was very interesting and easy to understand,” he said.

“I see the workshops as a ‘tool kit’ that is presented as one big package, full of current research and relevant information for growers.”

According to Project Manager Mark Krstic, the follow-up workshops in December will help growers with their strategic viticultural planning over the medium to long-term.

“We realise that with a hot summer approaching growers are likely to start vintage early, so this is the last chance growers will have to access the latest viticultural advice which will help them plan for 2009 and 2010,” Mark said.

Four modules will be presented at the Barossa workshop. They are:

Module 1 – Post-Harvest Care of Vines (irrigation, nutrition and salinity management) This module provides practical grower information about post-harvest irrigation management to optimise carbohydrate accumulation in vines and information about nutrition management and rootzone salinity management.

Module 3 – Sustainable salinity management on your vineyard This module deals with managing the use of water of differing salinities to irrigate vines for sustainable productive purposes. Growers will learn how to sustainably manage sodic soils and the types of ameliorants that many be used to help.

Module 7 – Regional case studies (practical ‘how did I manage this season’) This module provides a series of regional case studies on what approaches and strategies were used by key to get through the season from an on-farm water management perspective.

Module 11 – Understanding how vines cope with periods of hot weather and extended drought conditions (Advanced Vine Water Relations / Physiology) This module will give growers a more advanced understanding of how grapevines function physiologically during periods of hot weather (>35oC) and prolonged drought conditions so they can amend their growing practices to manage production more favourably.

The workshop is part of a Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s Irrigation Industries Workshop Program, Water & Vine has been developed and delivered by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) to assist growers who are reliant on the Murray Darling Basin, to survive what is expected to be one of the toughest summers in Australia’s history. Similar programs are being delivered to horticulture, dairy, cotton and rice growers.

Growers should have already received direct mailed invitations to attend the workshops but for more information about Water & Vine they can contact GWRDC Project Manager Mark Krstic on 0437 325 438 or email . Alternatively visit the website http://waterandvine.gwrdc.com.au

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WID 2016