Small Farms

Vineyard hi-tech health

Innovative approaches to vineyard management will feature at a free National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) vine health workshop in Mudgee on Tuesday August 23 2016.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) viticultural development officer, Darren Fahey, said local vignerons will gain insights into the latest technology available to keep their vineyards productive and business on track.

“New app developments, disease modelling, drones, robotic yield assessment, lasers and synthetic yeast are some of the 21st century technologies we will explore at the workshop,” Mr Fahey said.

“Keeping up with technology is a job in itself and we’ve focussed on the work of industry leaders and researchers across Australia, which is helping growers and winemakers drive innovation and save money and time in the vineyard.

“We’re keen to get feedback on the use and benefits of new apps on offer, including University of Tasmania’s disease modelling app to alert growers prior to the occurrence of management issues – botrytis, downy and powdery mildews, frost and heat events.

“It’s an opportunity for local vignerons to explore how technology can help the industry adopt new ways of thinking and doing things.”

Updates on the latest developments to dramatically improve the ability to forecast wine grape yields, including image analysis and neural networks, will be delivered by NSW DPI viticulture leader Dr Greg Dunn.

The successful use of drones to spread predatory insects in targeted areas of vineyard blocks for integrated pest management and demonstrations of drones capturing live data to boost crop management and business decision making will feature on the program.

A new global partnership to develop synthetic yeast and advances in the control of scale, based on recent trials conducted in South Australia will be delivered by scientists from NSW DPI, Macquarie University and industry specialists.

Supported by Wine Australia and the NWGIC, an alliance between NSW Wine Industry Association, DPI and Charles Sturt University, the 2016 Spring Vine Health workshop will be held at the Australian Rural Education Centre, Ulan Road from 8.30 am until 3 pm.

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