Thursday, June 27, 2013

Filan for use in Grapes - Message from Derek Cameron

Dear Growers,

You may be aware that the use of the botrytis bunch rot product Filan (Boscalid) is changing. 

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has informed its growers that they are implementing a change to Filan use, starting in the 2013/14 growing season. TWE's Guidelines for Grape and Wine Supply will list Filan as "DO NOT USE".

The broader wine industry including local wineries is likely also do the same. 

Why the change?

Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) issues have been identified for wine export to China and Indonesia (due to no MRLs in place) with the use of Filan at the current restriction of EL19-20 (5% capfall). Currently, there is no available recommendation for when Filan can be used safely in the season without residues being detected in wine.


There are alternative products that can be used for botrytis protection during flowering. We can advise on your options if you have been using Filan in previous seasons.

What do I do if I have unused Filan?

Please contact DJ’s to discuss what your options are. Filan is still used in potato and vegetable production in Australia.  


Derek Cameron
Proprietor/Senior Horticultural Consultant
DJ's Grower Services & Supplies
McLaren Vale

Monday, June 24, 2013

June rainfall - Are we on track for a wet winter?

Recent heavy rainfall around Adelaide in South Australia has increased expectations of higher than average rainfall across the region.

The Bureau of Meterology has issued its latest climate update with a positive outlook.

The chance of exceeding the median rainfall for July to September is greater than 60% over mainland southeast Australia. The chance rises to more than 80% over southern NSW and northern Victoria.

Spraywise Decisions likens the weather conditions to be similar to 2004, 1980 and 1978. 

A negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event is favoured to develop during winter-spring 2013. A negative IOD during winter-spring increases the chances of above normal rainfall over southeast Australia, which is reflected in the rainfall outlook. 

Warmer than normal sea surface temperatures currently surround much of western and southern Australia. Warmer sea surface temperatures  provide more moisture to the atmosphere, which forms more clouds than average, and usually result in increased rainfall across the southeast. 

We are off to a good start! Mild to cool and wet winters followed by warm springs are ideal for grape growth.

Friday, June 14, 2013

McLaren Vale Biodiversity Guides.

Recently James completed a set of weed, tree and bird booklets for McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism (MVGWTA). These have now been published as the McLaren Vale Biodiversity ID Booklets.

The booklets are intentionally brief guides to a few common species and have been produced to help growers identify species on their properties and help address the biodiversity issues. 

The McLaren Vale Wine Region hosts major native tree species, grapevines, horticultural crops, pasture, housing, industry and also noxious weeds. It is a complicated ecosystem.
This was an interesting project for DJ's to be involved with as producing them combined several key skills - photography, research and agronomy. In putting together these booklets it is apparent how diverse an area the McLaren Vale Wine Region is and that their is a great deal of work that can be done by the grape and wine industry in the field of conservation.

The Biodiversity ID Booklets are now available on the MVGWTA website at the following address:




Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vine Improvement Update - Where is the market heading?

Sales of McLaren Vale Vine Improvement material gives a good indication of the direction the local industry is heading. It appears that the message to grow high quality traditional red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro and Shiraz, is echoing through the market.

In high cost regions, like McLaren Vale, the Barossa and the Adelaide Hills, growing Icon, A or B grade has been the only way to produce profitable grapes. Recently sources have been reporting that Icon, A and B grade fruit are in short supply, while C grade is in oversupply. 

This was the view notably put forward by Warren Randall in his recent '5 year view for the wine industry.'

This view is also being reinforced by the material being purchased for planting and top-working. So far this season McLaren Vale Vine Improvement has orders for the following material; 

Old Vine
SA 2626
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
‘Bob Hardy’


Old Barossa

Cabernet Sauvignon
Clearly the market is shifting towards red varieties as no orders have been received for any white variety material!

The cutting season continues through June, but the trend seems so far is definitely towards growers sticking with the traditional grape varieties.