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Crop Thinning Cost Effective Methods to Improve Wine Quality James Freckleton The Yalumba Wine Company.

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Presentation on theme: "Crop Thinning Cost Effective Methods to Improve Wine Quality James Freckleton The Yalumba Wine Company."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crop Thinning Cost Effective Methods to Improve Wine Quality James Freckleton The Yalumba Wine Company

2 Background – Why thin? 2004 Vintage Heavy crops Quality problems – late ripening Resource issues-unable to secure labour Opportunity to trial new methods

3 Financial Comparison Treatment$/ Hour$/ Ha Machine Bunch Thinning $250 or $100$250 - $600 Hand Bunch Thinning $25.30$1,000 - $2,600 Shoot Thinning$25.30$800 - $1,000

4 Shoot Thinning

5 Shoot thinning Advantages –Quality –Canopy Balance –Yield Reduction –Cost Disadvantages –Spur Position/ Damage –Frost/ Poor Set Considerations –End target –Timing (early/ late) –Weather

6 Thinning to early can lead to re-shooting

7 Late

8 Shoot thinning Cost? –Early thinning cost ($300 - $1,000 per ha) –Late thinning cost ($1,000 - $1,300 per ha)

9 Actual cost of shoot thinning? Block and Variety Pruning $/Ha Unthinned Pruning $/Ha Thinned Pruning Difference $/Ha Shoot Thinning $/Ha 2008/09 Shoot thinning minus pruning costs = Actual $/Ha? J-block Merlot $2,100$1,385$715$1,297$582 D-block Pinot Gris $1,232$812$420$838$418

10 Mechanical Thinning

11 Trial A J H The Vineyard

12 It would be nice if Ashley gave us a hand Can’t wait until the baby comes – no more of these bloody trials. Boy this is hard work!!

13 Implementation – What Did We Do? Machine Set-Up 2 bow rods on either side Highest bow rod set approx cm below the cordon wire Remove buckets and fish plates Set a constant tractor speed of 2.1km/hr

14

15 Results

16 First Attempt!

17 Control (not thinned) 26.9 T / Ha

18 After The Harvester! Pea size berry

19 Treatment - 440rpm (16ºC) 11t / ha Reduction 6.6% Shoot Damage

20 Treatment - 480rpm (16ºC) 19.4t / Ha Reduction 9% Shoot Damage

21 Treatment - 440rpm (25ºC) 11.5t/ Ha Reduction 3.7% Shoot Damage

22 Treatment - 480rpm (25ºC) 7.4 t / Ha Reduction 3.3% Shoot Damage Change Slide 7.4 t / Ha Reduction 3.3% Shoot Damage

23 Treatment - 520rpm (16ºC) 15.5 T / Ha Reduction 15% Shoot Damage

24 Can You See A Difference? Control 440 rpm 480 rpm 520 rpm

25 Shoot Damage

26 Yield Loss Vs Time This graph indicates that actual % crop-loss at harvest is double that immediately following thinning. This is a result of desiccation of damaged bunches over time.

27 Baume Vs Yield

28 Maturity – Thinned Vs Un-thinned

29 Current Practices Trial a row first Weather Conditions- warmer is better Timing-pea size Zone of fruit- target one area and hit hard Machine set-up –Harvester Properties –Beater speeds –Beater location (mindful of Trellis system?) –Machine speed Variety

30 Machine Thinning Experiences with Other Varieties and Different Harvester Set-ups

31 Sauvignon Blanc

32

33 Shiraz

34

35 Take Home Messages Final fruit destination Consider as cost effective options Timing of processes Weather Conditions


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