Field trials - new scion-rootstock combinations and evaluation of new technology for improved water use efficiency and reduced costs
Adaptation to climate change and reduced inputs are key factors in maintaining the competitiveness of the Australian wine sector. This project will provide the wine sector with cost–benefit data on different management treatments with the potential to affect the performance and wine quality of new scion-rootstock combinations. Some of the varieties do not require sprays for downy and powdery mildew and others have a canopy structure that does not require pruning. Rootstocks that are nematode and phylloxera tolerant will be used in a high-density planting, similar to that used in some European vineyards. The potential cost savings of the new vines, water usage, crop water use index and the trade-offs involved in moving to high density plantings to achieve productivity improvements will be evaluated. Sensors that are direct measures of the grapevine canopy temperature may be superior to soil water sensors in determining the water status of grapevines and their irrigation requirements. This project will, therefore, also investigate the potential of a new sensor technology as a decision-making tool for irrigation management and water use efficiency. It will compare and evaluate different irrigation treatments and the use of a new digital technology, ArduCrop.
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