Why isn’t Australia doing better with its uptake of rootstocks as a phylloxera protection technique? That’s the question asked by the Wine & Viticulture Journal in its March/April issue.
Editor Sonya Logan pulls together statistics about rootstock usage in Australia and opinions on rootstock performance from a range of sources, including Vinehealth Australia.
We shared information about South Australian rootstock usage: 75% of vines in SA are planted on own roots.
“So, why so slow? The financial cost of replanting to rootstocks is an obvious one. Rootstock material alone can cost up to five times more than own-rooted material,” the article says.
And while the main reason for planting/replanting on rootstocks is for phylloxera protection, there are other factors. “Nematode resistance, salinity and drought tolerance, management of fruit set and the rate of ripening, and vigour control are among various other reasons,” the article says.
“Prevention is therefore key and planting on rootstock, or a proportion of rootstocks, is an important risk management tool,” Inca said.