Are Australian growers investing enough in biosecurity ‘must haves’ such as rootstocks and fences around vineyards?

Speaking at the recent ASVO Innovation Seminar in Mildura about living with phylloxera, Andy Clarke, Chief Viticulturist at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley, questioned the Australian wine industry’s investment in vineyard protection tools.

“In the Hills Wine District of Texas, the first investment a grower makes is a pump for irrigation, and the second is a deer fence. Without either, it’s pointless trying to grow a viable crop as there would be nothing to harvest,” said Andy.

As an Australian industry, we are big on crop protection.  We invest in chemicals to protect against fungal infection, and netting against birds. What are our biosecurity investments?

“We need to be willing to make the investment for not just our current crop, but also for future crops. Fencing around vineyards, farm-gate biosecurity and phylloxera-resistant rootstocks are all investments in our future, to ensure there is a crop this year, and for many years to come.”

At Vinehealth Australia, we encourage growers to put up fences around vineyards to control the flow of traffic in and out of vine rows. While fences don’t stop phylloxera, they do stop humans who might be carrying phylloxera on their shoes, clothing or tyres.

For more information about farm-gate hygiene, click here: