Wine grape growers across South Australia will benefit from the Wine Grape Council of South Australia’s (WGCSA) successful grant under the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farms Small Grants program.
The EcoVineyard concept incorporates native insectary plants to create biodiverse ecosystems in and around vineyards. These plants support populations of insect predators, which contribute towards biocontrol of vineyard pests and may ultimately lead to reduced input costs and the use of chemicals.
The use of insectary plants, will help demonstrate our environmental credentials, change the look and function of vineyards and provide opportunities to tell our unique story to tourists and international wine customers.
WGCSA and renowned viticulturist, Mary Retallack from Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd combined to win this two year, $199,748 grant. WGCSA Business Manager Lisa Bennier says, ‘One of our main objectives at WGCSA is to help SA wine grape growers to be the best in Australia. We aim to improve the health and resilience of our growers’ vineyards and reduce the costs of running a vineyard.’
How will growers benefit?
Project staff will work with grape growers to establish native insectary sites and biodiversity corridors throughout South Australian wine regions. Viticulturist Mary Retallack explains, ‘Locally-adapted, native insectary plants have the capacity to provide benefits including weed suppression, erosion control, nutrient cycling, soil water retention, improved soil organic carbon and biological activity. By establishing native insectary plants around their vineyards, we aim to help growers save time and resources by producing healthy grapes, with lower pest incidence while at the same time, enhancing the resilience and biodiversity of their vineyard.’
When does the project start? What's involved?
The project will begin in spring 2019 and is a collaborative effort between growers and experts. Growers will be supported by experts in the field to establish, maintain and monitor native plants around vineyards.
Growers will also receive free educational materials, fact sheets, workshops and access to field days to help learn the new and practical information and see the benefits for themselves.
How can I get involved?
The project will begin in earnest soon. If you would like to register your interest in being involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise, stay tuned for more information!
This project is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, through funding from Australian Government's National Landcare Program.