Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 20th 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 20, 2017 NEWS 3
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TRUCK DRIVERS REQUIRED
Matching local job-seekers
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We currently have multiple vacancies for several Riverland employers seeking
experienced Truck Drivers for upcoming Vintage work and further on-going work.
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Lab, Vineyard Hands
LOCAL winegrape growers risk losing
their entire 2017 crop if a winery
determines that the level of powdery
mildew is too high, a local grower has
Loxton winegrape grower Peter Harman
said wineries were inspecting crops regu-
larly, checking for powdery mildew.
“It costs the winery a lot to clean it up
and get the tainted wine taste out of it,” he
said. “Wineries are in every week inspect-
“They will start to reject patches once it
gets to a certain level and they think it has
gone past the stage where they want it.
“If they’re rejected you’ve got no home
for your grapes, they’ll fall on the ground,
and you’ve wasted 12 months.”
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease
that spreads a white or ash-grey film over
grapes and can impact the taste of wine.
Mr Harman said it had been a difficult
year, with the cooler spring pushing back
the season by about three weeks.
“There’s certainly a high level of patch-
es that could be rejected in the next few
weeks,” he said.
“We’d normally be picking by next
week, but I don’t expect to be picking until
the middle of February.”
CCW viticulture officer Ian Macrae
said winegrape growers had seen a high
level of powdery mildew this season due to
cool, moist conditions during spring.
“It was quite predictable that there was
going to be quite a high-pressure powdery
mildew season,” he said.
“Powdery mildew is a disease that
grows every year if people don’t apply pre-
“Most growers have strict regimes that
they apply during the early part of the
season irrespective of what the weather
conditions are at the time so it’s really
necessary to apply.”
However, Mr Macrae said extra spray-
ing of sulphur to prevent the spread of
powdery mildew would come at a cost to
“Growers are putting on an extra two or
three sprays,” he said.
“Sulphur is a relatively cheap product
per kilo but growers are having to use high
rates of sulphur and high application rates,
plus the diesel and time.
“It’s a considerable additional expense
compared to the low pressure season we
had last year.”
Mr Harman sprayed his grapes four
times in 24 days to try and contain
powdery mildew which he said had the
potential to “explode” if left untreated.
During an average year he only sprays
once every two weeks to reduce the threat
of the disease spreading.
Peter Magarey, of Magarey Plant
Pathology, said powdery mildew could
impact the yield and quality of the grapes.
“The wineries are really strict on what
they take so if the grapes are affected they
won’t take them,” he said.
“Grapes that are affected can taint an
Mr Magarey also warned Riverland
growers to be on the look-out for downy
mildew and bunch rot.
The Murray Pioneer contacted
Accolade Wines for comment regarding
the rejection of Riverland winegrapes,
however a spokesperson failed to respond
Loxton winegrape grower Peter Harman is warning that some Riverland growers may have their grapes rejected by wineries due to a high
level of powdery mildew. PHOTO: Christian Longobardi
Sulphur is a
product per kilo
but growers are having to
use high rates of sulphur
and high application
rates, plus the diesel and
- Ian Macrae
CCW viticulture officer
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