Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weather damage in McLaren Vale & Langhorne Creek - UPDATE 29/9/2011

This week has seen extremes in weather damage.

In South East frost damage in Shiraz and particularly chardonnay has been recorded. We are hearing it's very patchy but some vineyards have been affected badly.

The frost on Sunday morning also has burnt some vineyards in Langhorne Creek and, to a lesser extent, McLaren Vale (below).





On Wednesday night a large hail storm moved through McLaren Vale. Most of the damage is north of the township. This has broken vine shoots as shown below. Significant damage is mostly in the Seaview area, with damage reducing as the storm went into the Blewitt Springs area. Vineyards on the Range of McLaren Vale and in the southern Adelaide Hills have also been damaged.

No real fruit loss, but likely to be some quality affects from high lateral growth and shoot uniformity.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Earwig Damage - UPDATE 26/9/2011

This week some earwig damage has been seen. Check around posts and other 'hiding' places for earwigs.

Interestingly, in previous years observations, the variety Merlot seems to attract the most serious damage. We are not sure why this is the case but you will often see much more leaves eaten and significant damage in Merlot than other varieties.

Most of the time earwigs do not need to be actively controlled since healthy plants will outgrow small amounts of earwig damage. While the damage can look serious, unless the inflorescences (future bunches)are eaten away, the earwigs are not affecting your crop.

Later in the season earwigs are a predator for Light Brown Apple Moth caterpillars (LBAM).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vine Scale: Severe Infestation - UPDATE 21/9/2011

Vine Scale on Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mature scale attach themselves to the vine and excrete honeydew that may lead to sooty mould. Vine scales produce a number of eggs over several days. The eggs are laid under the cover of the adult "scales" which offer protection.

In this case shown vine scale are aggressively sucking sap from this Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. If left without treatment vine scale will likely kill this grapevine.

The high level of vine scale pictured has a severe affect on vine growth.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Glyphosate Resistant Ryegrass - What to look for.

Warning signs:

✗ Continual reliance on glyphosate for weed control under trees and vines.
✗ Use of few alternative herbicide modes of action used including residual herbicides.
✗ Lack of non herbicide weed control methods eg mowing, mulching, tillage or grazing.
✗ Allowing weed control escapes to set seed.
✗ Entering spring with high weed numbers.
✗ Poor vineyard hygiene (contaminated machinery, vehicles and stock coming onto farm)leading to movement of herbicide resistant weed seed.
✗ Lack of competition from inter-row cover-crops.
✗ Poor application technique leading to sub-lethal rates of herbicide at the ends of rows(poor control = more weeds)

If you suspect you have a resistance problem – get plants or seed tested to see which herbicides still work. The best strategy is to ensure that no further seed set is allowed to occur, and drive down the weed seed bank using a number of diverse weed management tactics.

For more information visit the website: www.glyphosateresistance.org.au

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bordeaux vintage begins

Bordeaux wine grower for Chateau Bauduc, Gavin Quinney reports on their vintage with these photographs.


Hail damaged vines at Cos d'Estournel. 45% of 64 hectares around Chai were hit 1/9.


Lafite harvest started 3/9 at their parcel in St-Estephe, near Lafon Rochet. This is about 14 days early. Unfortunately the region has received a significant hail storm and the race it on to pick the fruit in good condition.

Snail Bait Application


Late winter and early spring snail levels are high. How do you bait for them? Derek Cameron spied this home made solution to applying snail bait. The grower used PVC pipe to create a hopper and shute. This was had fed with mesurol bait and run out down the rows.