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Weed Control

Technology Field Day

Last Friday, August 8, the Riverland Viticulture Technical Group (RVTG) held a field day at Kingston Estate vineyards with a terrific turnout of 70 wine growers.

The audience was riveted. Scott Matthew (Syngenta) spoke on Resistance and General Principles of Herbicide Application. Phil Lintern (Agspec) discussed chemical uptake, adjuvants and the need to be mindful of Delta T factors. Nick Bakkum (Angove Family Winemakers) talked about chemical free weed control as practised on the Nanya Vineyards. Brett Proud (Sherwood Estates) spoke of their experience using advanced chemical de-suckering technology in preference to conventional boom spray or ‘dome’ control methods.

One of the most thought provoking items came from Nick Bakkum who challenged the audience to answer the question “Why do you control weed growth under the vine?” There were many predictable responses but the question challenged those present to really think about their weed management and other vineyard practices. Bakkum further challenged them “If you don’t have a very good reason for doing something, do you really need to do it?”

There were many questions from the floor and there was great discussion among the audience. A number of herbicide and de-suckering units were on display with representatives from a number of companies on hand to talk to growers.

Following the presentations Salt and Pepper Catering provided a generous ‘farmhouse’ lunch and there was much more discussion.

In summing up Nicole Pitman, representing RVTG and CCW, said “we set out to cause growers to review their weed management practices and to examine where efficiencies and savings can be made. From the feedback we received, we certainly did that.”


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