Following harvest many growers are typically checking the vineyard for broken posts, with a view to replacing them. This is a time-consuming and costly exercise, but something that must be addressed regularly. There are a wide range of materials used for vineyard posts at present: CCA (copper chrome arsenate), creosote, galvanized steel, plastic coated timber, solid plastic and star droppers.
The decision of which type of posts to use should take into account not just the purchase cost, but also the cost of installation, and possible long term cost of disposal. Currently many growers are storing posts on their property, but this is just deferring the eventual need to act.
Treated timber posts cannot be burnt, and there are guidelines to their storage and disposal. Information is available on the SA Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) website (click on the title ‘Treated Timber Guidelines’ under the heading ‘Resources’ at left of page.)
Some growers in other regions have successfully managed to dispose of posts by advertising in areas where there is a significant amount of livestock; where farmers in need of posts have happily travelled to remove them for re-use. This may be an option in the Adelaide Hills areas following recent fires.
Alternatively, growers interested in finding out about disposal of treated timber and poly pipe and dripper line posts can contact Riverland Wine and leave an expression of interest with Kate Kroemer, phone 8584 5816, or email. If there is sufficient interest Riverland Wine may be able to source disposal options that are lower cost.