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Yeah, but does it work in the real world?
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Reading technical specifications and talking with salespeople in a showroom is one thing, but seeing pruning equipment in action in a commercial vineyard where every vine and every row isn’t identical and power isn’t available from a plug a couple of metres away is a terrific way of discovering how it will perform in the real world.
As a service to our readers, Australian Viticulture has teamed up with the Ancient River vineyard in central Victoria to stage our Pruning Demonstration Days on 23–24 June where commercially available products will be demonstrated in a commercial vineyard.
Demonstrations of manual, pneumatic, electronic and mechanical equipment will allow visitors to see the full range of pruning options on display. With a section of the vineyard set aside for minimal pruning (mechanical followed by minimal hand tidying-up), visitors will get a clear idea of what their vines might look like if they follow this economically attractive option.
For those who are interested in seeing how well pneumatic equipment works in comparison to electronic, there will be plenty of opportunities to see both forms from different makers, so bring a stop watch and check out the cleanliness of the cuts!
And while you’re at it, have a look at the new manual equipment on offer for those tidy-up jobs you come across every day in the vineyard but for which you don’t need to be kitted-out for a full day’s pruning.
While OH&S requirements won’t allow for unfettered access to all the various forms of equipment (for instance, you shouldn’t expect to be driving any of the hedging equipment down the rows), exhibitors will be happy to supervise professional visitors in the correct use of their products.
Given the cost of pruning is perhaps the single largest input cost for most vineyards, seeing the options available and understanding the impact they could have on productivity will be time well spent for those who are responsible for the business performance of a wine-grape vineyard.
For further information, contact Laurie Martin at Ancient River vineyard on 0409 199 901 or