Combining viticulture and cash crops in land use models for emerging farmers

Project Number
WW 18-01

Project title
Combining viticulture and cash crops in land use models for emerging farmers

Project leader
Raath, P

Team members
Louw, P J E

Project description
Cultivation of cash crops in combination with viticulture is investigated in a field trial at the Lutzville Experiment Station.

Vegetable production between the rows in the full-grown Hanepoot vineyard was, like the previous years, higher than in the young vineyard (with flood irrigated Datal, Sultana and Colombar). This is due to the microjet-irrigation that better suits potato and bean production. Vegetable production in general was lower than the expected production in the area. A continued decrease in vegetable production was observed from the start of the project. Competition with vines and unacceptably high weed populations among the vegetables gave rise to the situation mentioned above.

During the 2000 2001 season vegetable inter-cropping had no significant effect on production of either of the vineyards. This was in contrast with the tendency that the control treatment (clean cultivation) showed higher grape production than the inter-cropped vines in previous years. Indications are that the negative effect of inter-cropping with vegetables on vine performance is fading with time.

Analyses of must indicated that Sultana and Colombar grapes had higher sugar contents and lower acid levels under clean cultivation than when vegetables were planted between the rows. Wine made from grapes of the 1999 2000 harvest showed no differences between treatments regarding character or quality.

No differences in quality of Datal grapes were obtained between the treatments.

A complete economic analysis will be done of all the data generated during the life-span of the project and different scenarios will be compared in order to evaluate the impact of different cultivation practices, possible crop failures and decreased harvests.

Since a stabilisation in the effects of the treatments occurred during the past three seasons, and a constant decrease in vegetable production in the young vineyard was observed from its establishment, it is recommended that the project be terminated. Attention should therefore be given to the economic analysis, information transfer to resource poor grape farmers and the writing of scientific and semi-scientific articles regarding the project’s data.

Note
No Final Report

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