Regional benchmarking of viticultural spraying practices
A variety of products and practices are used by Australian grape growers to prevent and/or manage pests and diseases. Establishment of best practice benchmarks will highlight opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of viticultural practices and create case studies for dissemination to growers. This project will seek to access spray diary information, either during the season or post harvest, to understand how pests and diseases are controlled in vineyards and highlight variability in practices that exist within a region. Data collected through the Entwine initiative will also be examined to identify the need for targeted training initiatives in regions where sprays are being over or under applied. Where possible contextual data will be captured to understand the impact of different canopy management systems (which require differing spray regimes) and block size (which may drive strategies such as protectant spraying to achieve reasonable coverage in a limited timeframe). The project will engage with regional associations to secure engagement across a region, and will initially work with regions that have already commenced activities in this area, e.g. work undertaken previously in the Riverland on sulfur sprays and more recently in McLaren Vale to develop consistent, agreed methodologies.