Comparing the Water Use, Yield and Quality of Drip Irrigated Vertical Shoot Positioned and Bush Grapevines to that of Grapevines Trained onto High Potential Yield Trellis/Canopy Systems in the Coastal Region.

Project Number
US SS EL 2

Project title
Comparing the Water Use, Yield and Quality of Drip Irrigated Vertical Shoot Positioned and Bush Grapevines to that of Grapevines Trained onto High Potential Yield Trellis/Canopy Systems in the Coastal Region.

Project leader
Lategan, E. L

Institution
Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Department of Soil Science

Team members
Viviers, M
Problete, C
Clarke, C
Hardie, A
Mostert, L
Halleen, F
Hoffmann, W
Myburgh, P A
Howell, C L
Du Toit, W J

Project description
Producers of wine grapes in the Western Cape are finding it increasingly more difficult for the economic viable production of grapes. An increasing burden on producers is the increase of production costs, in particular labour costs that more than doubled since 2012 and the relative stagnation of prices paid per tonne of grapes produced by wineries since 2004 due to wine sales and prices. These factors are forcing producers to increase production and minimize expenses as far as possible. Grape producers in the Western Cape tend to apply unnecessary high irrigation volumes or applications to increase yields. The negative effects of injudicious application of irrigation on wine quality have been well documented. Another method implemented to increase is the utilisation of high production canopy/trellis systems and/or mechanise pruning of grapevines. The general perception in the wine industry is that wine of inferior quality is made from high yields produced per hectare and vice versa.

How the yield and wine quality of different high producing trellis/canopy systems would compare to each other, as well as suckered vertical shoot positioned grapevines, under different irrigated conditions is however not known and needs to be investigated to aid producers in their effort to produce grapes at better profit margins.

Objectives To determine how the yield and wine quality of mechanical pruned grapevines irrigated at different plant available water depletion levels compare to that of vertical shoot positioned and other high yield potential canopy systems in the Coastal region of the Western Cape. To compare the economic input requirements for grape production of different canopy management and irrigation strategy combinations and evidently the profitability of the different combinations on red grape (Pinotage) production.

– Record end –

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