Riverland Wine has been working over the last few months with Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin to extend the existing Riverland Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network to provide better information to the region’s winegrape growers.
Under the program, a total of nine weather stations were upgraded, relocated or established. All weather stations have in-canopy sensors, resulting in a better covering of vineyards across the region.
The in-canopy sensors are a crucial addition to the system as they measure temperature, humidity and wetness within the vine canopy. These are all key factors in the development of vine diseases and therefore if measured, give a very good estimation of the risk of disease infections developing. This risk assessment is based upon previous research which has identified the crucial parameters and trigger points which increase the risk of disease. The information from the weather stations can then be used to advise of the current risk in the area and the need to spray, or not.
The upgrades have been tested and commissioned and are now playing a key role in ensuring that the weather data from every area in the region is driving the vine disease alerts being issued through the CropWatch program and newsletters Peter Magarey operates for Riverland Wine. These alerts will now be more accurately based upon this data and therefore more relevant to each area.
The photos show some of the work recently undertaken in the upgrading and extension of the network.
The Department for Environment and Water must be congratulated for the way they have seen the benefits and worked closely with Riverland Wine to achieve this network coverage.
Special thanks to Jeremy Nelson, who did such a fantastic job of project managing all the installations and commissioning of the upgrades and extensions.
Pictures from top: 1.One of the new weather station installations, 2.A new site under development
3.One of the new ly installed in-canopy sensors