April (No. 495)
Pokolbin PID seeks another revolution
Michael Porteus , NSW Waterwise on the Farm
The Hunter Wine Country’s Private Irrigation District (PID) is looking for another revolution in the way its vignerons think about water.
The first revolution convinced growers of the benefits of “supplementary irrigation” in the area around Pokolbin, 160km north of Sydney.
The PID pumps water 20km from the Hunter to drip-irrigate vineyards and water golf courses and gardens. The 384 stakeholders pay up to $640 per megalitre, and are on course to own the $9 million system outright by about 2020.
But now PID founders want a second revolution. They want growers to change from just-in-time ordering and adopt eight-month schedules allowing water storage in farm dams – or even vine rootzones – to meet crop needs and improve quality.
Hunter Valley Vineyard Association president, Trevor Drayton, and Hunter Wine Country PID manager, Ken Bray, say it’s another change in mind-set about water.
NOTE: The complete article can be found in the April issue of The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker.