Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Weather stations to monitor grapevine disease risk

Annabelle Homer, Monday September 23, 2013 - 09:11 EST
ABC image
Plant pathologist Peter Magarey and Nicki Robins from Grape Barossa installing a new weather station. - ABC

Managing disease risk in the vineyard has just got easier for Barossa grape growers.

Four new weather stations have been installed in vineyards similar to what has been done in the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale regions.

Plant pathologist Peter Magarey says it's technology that will advise growers when and when not spray, saving them dollars and stress.

The stations include sensors for temperature, relative humidity and wetness as well as a rain gauge.

Peter Magarey says the stations are in addition to ones set up by the Bureau of Meteorology.

But he says these don't measure leaf wetness, which can be an indicator of vine diseases like downy mildew.

"Where as this weather station, we're surrounded here by vines and this is in an environment where the disease grows and you know to my time so far, I've never found downy mildew growing on a fence post, it's always on grape vines. So we put the weathering monitoring devices within the vineyard because that's where the disease is."

Nicki Robins, viticulture and development manager with Grape Barossa says there are 4 stations around the Barossa but there is potential to be more.

She says each station cost $2000 compared to the super deluxe models which can fetch up to $16,000.

She says this could mean it may be affordable for growers to install their own stations in their vineyards in the future.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Tasmania floods: Recovery money targets farmers, small businesses

15:34 EST

Interest-free loans for up to two years are among extra flood assistance detailed for Tasmanian farmers and businesses.

Lorinna residents still relying on barge after floods cut road access

12:58 EST

Almost three weeks after the devastating floods in north-west Tasmania, there is still no road access for the small community of Lorinna.

Mild wake up for the Northern Territory

12:52 EST

From southwest WA to the eastern seaboard, overnight temperatures plummeted well below average on Sunday morning.