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Vignerons taking safety and environmental issues seriously

The King Valley Vignerons and Alpine Valleys Vignerons are running workshops on August 23rd at Food on Wood in Milawa, looking at safety and environmental issues.

Martina Bernard will report on: "USE OF PREDATORY MITES in Australian vineyards”, a project involving 4 regions (King Valley, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast, Riverland). It focuses on the use of naturally present biological controls and therefore reducing spraying. Research findings from the last season will be reported, and how these are related to the King and Alpine Valleys. The plans for the project in the King Valley for 2006–07 will also be discussed. With predatory mite conservation, it will be explained why it is NOT necessary to spray at woolly bud against rust mite every year, and how restricted spring growth due to rust mite & bud mite can be prevented, without sprays. Pesticide safety to predatory mites will also be addressed. With export markets demanding an increasingly environmentally sound product, understanding the issues involved with biological controls is vital for all those either currently working or seeking work in the viticulture industry.

The vignerons associations are working with Worksafe to encourage enhanced safety in vineyards. Simon Brown, from Worksafe will be making a presentation on both safety for vineyard workers and compliance for vineyard owners.

The worshops will be followed by a dinner with guest speaker Ian Muller who will give an interesting and informative slide show and talk about his recent viticulture study tour of Italy.

For more information please contact Wendy Batey on (03) 57273883.

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