Grapegrower & Winemaker - September 2014

Page 53

FMR has released a fully hydraulic terracing boom solution as an option on the larger of the two R-Series models, the 2300lt and 3000lt tandem axle machines.

Managing all the ups and downs in terraced vineyards SPRAYING in terraced or contoured vineyards is always a challenge. Especially with an over-row sprayer as the booms and nozzles tend to vary wildly in their relation to the target canopy. Which can produce equally varying results in terms of accurate delivery of spray and of course, the ongoing issue of spray drift and off-target losses is further exacerbated. FMR has been frequently asked about a robust solution to this option. Especially for a simple but reliable system to allow the R-Series recycling sprayer to operate in terraced and/or contoured rows while maintaining the full recycling capability that makes these units so popular with vineyard owners, managers and machine operators. FMR’s Chris Clifford says the company is now pleased to announce it can offer a fully hydraulic terracing boom solution as an option on the larger of the two R-Series models, the 2300lt and 3000lt tandem axle machines. Clifford says two configurations are available, first with independent height adjustment on all four heads or second for vineyards with more gradual terracing an outer-row-only option. He says both adjustment systems are manually adjustable via electro-hydraulic controls from the tractor cab and can easily be adjusted on-the-go to follow variations in terrain. “Developed and tested last year, the first R-Series with this technology delivered performed faultlessly throughout the season,” he says. “Needless to say, this new technology has opened new markets for the FMR R-Series and multiple units with this option are being delivered to Australasia for the coming season."

At this time of year growers seek ways to cut costs, and like everything else, spray programs come under scrutiny. Cutting back on crop protection however comes with risk and we all know that by taking big risks you can come unstuck! Part of the problem with cutting crop protection is that diseases like Downy Mildew can take off rapidly. Oilspots can burst out when conditions favour the disease and just 20 to 50 primary oilspots can produce 100,000 new oilspots after the second incubation period. Downy Mildew can be devastating for the unprepared making the best programs based on prevention. While the best approach, keeping up a protectant spray schedule can be difficult for many reasons including wet, windy, or flooded field conditions, mechanical breakdown or difficulty obtaining contractors and even fungicides. Good Downy Mildew management involves getting the chemical type and treatment right. Downy Mildew protectant fungicides have come a long way. REVUS® for example is an improvement on copper treatments because it is completely rainfast. It binds quickly to the waxy cuticle of the leaf and moves through the leaf surface, a feature of the chemistry that doesn’t exist in other Downy Mildew treatments. A low-priced traditional contact product such as copper may not always be the cheapest option over the season either. Growers need to budget for the additional costs of extra labour, fuel, machinery and wear and tear when compared to applying less sprays with longer lasting chemistry. And there is also the chance with traditional contact products of not physically being able to get the spray on before rain, or putting it on only to see it washed off prematurely. To make the most effective use of crop protection products and cut wastage, make sure you match the water volume and chemical rate to the canopy size at the time of spraying. This means spraying at a suitable ground speed with the sprayer set-up to maximise coverage of young bunches and the lower leaf surfaces where the Downy Mildew infects the leaves. These are the places where it is most difficult to achieve good coverage, so proper application and canopy management is essential if sprays are needed after flowering in dense canopies and will get you the best value for money.

Contacts: Cam Clifford (SA & WA) E: Andrew Holly (VIC, NSW & TAS) E: Chris Clifford (NZ) E: September 2014 – Issue 608

Vine Talk is compiled by Dave Antrobus, Syngenta Solutions Development Lead 0429 133 436

Grapegrower & Winemaker


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