Through the Grapevine Technical Updates

Horticulture

Australia has some of the oldest grape vines in the world. They were brought to Australia from Europe just over 200 years ago, before many of Europe’s established vineyards were destroyed by disease in the 1800’s. Our vast land with varied climate and soils means almost every major type of wine can be produced in Australia and as a result we are now one of the major producers of wine in the world. In the UK, wines imported from Australia in 2013 outnumbered wines imported from nearby, traditional wine producers, France.

It’s not just the final product of Australian vineyards that is in demand; Australian viticulturists have exported vine development techniques that are now used throughout the world. Our National Wine Centre in Adelaide and the National Wine and Grape Centre in Wagga Wagga are leading the world in wine science and education. Dow AgroSciences has spent decades researching and developing solutions to aide grape growers in Australia and offers the industry a range of products from insecticides to herbicides to fungicides to help them better manage their crops.

Powdery mildew is the most economically important disease in Australian viticulture. It is estimated to cost $76 million annually as a result of increased costs and reduced incomes. It is particularly difficult to control as the cultivated grapevine originates from Europe whereas the pathogens that cause Powdery mildew originate from North America. The two organisms having evolved separately, on different continents, means that the only method growers have to control the pathogens are fungicides.

The Dow AgroSciences range contains 2 fungicides with different modes of action for the control of powdery mildew; Mycloss Xtra™ and Legend™. Both offer excellent protection in hot or cool temperatures, have proven performance in Australia and have short 14 day withholding periods. As they are in different MoA groups, MyCloss Xtra and Legend are ideally suited to rotate between during the season.

As a recognised research and development company, Dow AgroSciences prides itself on the new actives it has brought to the market. Isoclast™ active (the active ingredient in Transform™ Insecticide) and Spinetoram (the active ingredient in Delegate) were both discovered and developed by Dow AgroSciences. Transform is used to control long-tailed mealybug in vines whilst Delegate controls Light brown apple moth (LBAM) and Grapevine moth in vines.

Growers have their work cut out for them during the growing season and whilst pests and diseases attack the vines and berries themselves, it can be easy to forget about controlling weeds around vines which steal vital nutrients and moisture. That’s why both Gallery™ and GoalTender™ offer season long weed control.  Both are pre-emergent herbicides meaning there is no need to worry about vine damage from knockdown herbicides as weeds are taken care of before they even appear.

To keep agronomists up-to-date with their viticulture range, Dow AgroSciences produces a series of tech updates known as ‘Through the Grapevine’. Horticulture business manager at Dow AgroSciences, John Gilmour, says “This is something we’ve been producing and distributing for a while now. In fact when they first started we sent them out via fax but these days we email them.” “They’re distributed throughout the season and act as a bit of a reminder for growers and advisers about likely pest problems and the potential solutions that exist.” If you are not currently receiving the Through the Grapevine and you wish to receive it please send your details including email address to fanzmkt@dow.com.