Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 McLaren Vale Pruning Championship - Results

The 2012 McLaren Vale Pruning Championship was held at the Visitor Centre vineyard on Friday the 22nd. Each competitor had to prune four panels of vines as quickly as they could. These vines were then checked for accuracy and a five second penalty was given for each mistake.

Lined up at the start.
Our judges for this years event were Peter Ifould & Phil Rayner each with a wealth of experience in pruning. Derek Cameron and James Hook acted as their assistants.

Pruning Competition Rules
1. Two-Bud Spurs Only,
2. Clean cuts, no 'butts',
3. No damaged spurs,
4. Upward pointed spurs where possible,
5. Spacing important without being necessary,
6. Wire and vine clean of prunings,

Pruners time = Time taken to prune four panels + 5 seconds added for each mistake.

Garth Miller competing.
Ben South timekeeper, Peter Ifould and Derek Cameron judging.

In a repeat of last year the competition it came down to a showdown between the two top pruners from 2011.

It was an extremely close finish with the 2011 runner up, Guri, closing the gap on the 2011 winner Jeremy O’Donald. Unfortunately for Guri he fell 8 seconds short of beating Jeremy, and again Jeremy was announced the winner.
Local pruning contractor Soong finished in third place.

Guri checking his row before sending the signal to show he is finished.

Derek Cameron congratulates Jeremy O'Donald on defending his title and being awarded the 2012 McLaren Vale Pruning Championship.
Thanks to RYSET, Umcos, Felco and Eclispe Enterprises for sponsoring the event and their generous prize money for the winner.

Andrew Tuck and Chris Herriman cooking the BBQ.
The event will return in 2013 with Jeremy defending his title as the region’s best pruner.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Glyphosate Resistant Ryegrass Strategy

Annual Ryegrass that is resistant to Glyphosate Herbicide in McLaren Vale - 15/6/2012.
Resistance is believed to be even more widespread in South Australia’s major grape-growing regions, including Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and the Barossa Valley.
Over the last few seasons DJ's have been tracking Glyphosate Resistant Annual Ryegrass and developing control strategies. We have also been conducting trial work on conventional and grazing based control.

Our trial work has developed an effective control using an alternative herbicide family in early winter, June or July and a follow up at bud burst in Spring, September. We call this a 'double knock' treatment.

Please contract DJ's for more information.

Annual Ryegrass appears in early winter as stands of multiple plants.
A small number of weed plants may be naturally resistant to a herbicide, surviving an application, and setting seed. With repeated use of the same herbicide, susceptible plants are killed but resistant plants continue to survive and become an increasing proportion of the weed population.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Confirmed case of strobilurin-resistant Powdery Mildew

Strobilurin-resistance has now been confirmed by researchers at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

The strobilurin group (stroby's) is the active fungicide in Group 11 (Pre-2009 Group K or QoI mode of action) fungicides such as Amistar, Cabrio and Flint) have been used in Australian vineyards for powdery mildew control for approximately 10 years.

In a recent trial at the SARDI Lenswood Research Centre in the Adelaide Hills, neither Amistar nor Cabrio controlled powdery mildew on infected chardonnay vines. The researchers, led by Dr Trevor Wicks, confirmed strobilurin resistance by the presence of the G143A gene in powdery mildew samples from the stobilurin-treated vines.

Dr Wicks: “This is the first confirmed case of strobilurin resistance of grape powdery mildew in Australia, although some cases of poor performance of this fungicide group have been noted in Australian vineyards.

Even though the trial vines had been subject to more strobilurin sprays than recommended commercially – and powdery mildew was already well established – the result demonstrates the potentially rapid onset of resistance typically seen, once strobilurin-resistant populations reach a critical level.

Grape growers are therefore advised to adhere to the new two-application restriction for strobilurin fungicides, and to follow strobilurin use with alternative chemistry – to help to prevent or delay the development of strobilurin-resistant powdery mildew in Australian vineyards.”

Powdery mildew infection on berries at growth stage EL-30-31 (Berries 3-7mm).

What does this mean for my vineyard?


There is a risk of powdery mildew resistance developing to strobys (Cabrio, Flint, Amistar) in commercial vineyards as it has in the SARDI trial site. Strobys have been applied twice a season in some vineyards for 3-5 years as part of their fungicide programme. This means it has been applied 6-10 times. This is approaching the point at which resistance develops.

Stroby resistance develops quickly and is a permanent issue.

If you have been using strobilurin fungicides in the past consult with DJ's for other options. Regular rotation of fungicide products for powdery mildew is advised as part of resistance management guidelines.

Link for more information - 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May Rainfall Summary

May Rainfall 


May McLaren Vale (Pirramimma) Weather Station.


2012 = 50.4 mm

The May recorded rainfall for McLaren Vale was close to median rainfall. The May rainfall records of the last 10 years show May to be a reliable month. Only May 2005 'missed out' and since 2006 the recorded rainfall has been close to the mean.

The May 2012 rainfall total in Adelaide (Kent Town) was slightly above average, with 62.8 mm received on 13 rain days. This is compared to the long-term average of 60.0 mm on 14 rain days, with a median rainfall of 59.8 mm. By comparison, during May 2011, 61.8 mm was recorded.

The wettest periods for the Adelaide and Hills region occurred during the first and last week of May. Much of the rainfall observed for the month came from cold frontal systems, followed by moist south to southwesterly airstreams being directed across South Australia. Despite the first week of May being wet, rainfall remained well below average across the Adelaide region up until the 23rd when a low pressure system with an associated cold front crossed the southern coastal regions of the State. This event produced significant totals in the Adelaide Hills in the persistent moist southerly airstream that followed.


Both maximum and minimum temperatures were mostly below average across the Adelaide Plains during May 2012, though tending to slightly above average at some locations in the Adelaide Hills. With respect to minimum (over night) temperatures, the coldest periods occurred between the 15th and 20th as a high pressure system maintained mostly fine and clear conditions across the State. The coldest period, with respect to daytime maximum temperatures, occurred in the latter period of the month when maximum temperatures were up to 6 °C below average in the wake of the passage of a cold frontal system.

More Info