Evaluation of Different Cover Crop Species and Cover Crop Management Practices According to Soil Physical and Chemical Qualities, Water Consumption and Performance of Grapevines in the Coastal Region

Project Number
WW 02-08

Project title
Evaluation of Different Cover Crop Species and Cover Crop Management Practices According to Soil Physical and Chemical Qualities, Water Consumption and Performance of Grapevines in the Coastal Region

Project leader
Fourie, J C

Team members
Louw, P J E

Project description
At present three grass species at most are being used as cover crops in the vineyards of South Africa. The potential of these cover crops and other promising species to produce sufficient dry matter for effective cover crop management differs from region to region. Therefore, the effect of alternative species and the management of these selected alternatives, are being researched in a field trial at Stellenbosch, to supply guidelines for effective cover crop management in the Coastal region.

Twenty treatments consisting of two cover crop management practices applied to eight cover crop species and two cover crop mixtures, full surface chemical control of the natural weeds and a treatment where weeds are controlled mechanically in the working row and chemically in the vine row (control) were applied. Paraggio medic, grazing vetch and fababean could not re-establish itself successfully on the medium textured soil in the Coastal region. The broadleaf species were established successfully by liming the topsoil during seedbed preparation and treatment of the seed with Rogor before sowing, as well as putting a lime pellet around the seed after inoculation. In general the cover crops performed better than the previous season. This can be attributed to the higher rainfall occurring during the past season compared to that of the previous season. Saia oats suppressed the winter growing weeds totally. In doing so, the amount of glyphosate applied before budbreak in this treatment could be halved. The vegetative growth and grape production of the treatments in which the cover crop was controlled chemically during mid-October (AB) was equal or better than that of the treatments in which the same species was controlled chemically before budbreak (BB). In general, the nitrogen in the must was less than the minimum norm of 500 mg.-1, despite a post harvest application of 28 kg of nitrogen.ha-1. The nitrogen in the must of the grazing vetch, fababean and Kelson medic treatments exceeded the minimum norm, indicating that these nitrogen fixing species contributed significantly towards the nitrogen status of the vines. The water consumption of all the minimum cultivation treatments, with the exception of grazing vetch (AB), paraggio medic (AB), fababean (AB) and the perennial grass mixture was similar (AB treatments) or less (BB treatments) than that of the mechanically cultivated control. Significantly more snails were found on the vines of the grazing vetch treatments two weeks after budbreak than on the treatments in which no cover crop was sown. The cumulative netto profit of all the minimum cultivated treatments, with the exception of fababean (BB and AB) and the Medic mixture, was more than that of the control.

To determine whether the studied species can be used successfully as cover crops on these medium textured soils in the long term and to establish the long-term effect of the soil cultivation practices on the performance of the grapevine and mineral status of the soil, as well as to determine which cover crop management practice is economically the most viable, the project should continue.

Poster(s)
Herbst, K and Fourie, J C. 2001. Economic viability of different soil cultivation practices in the Breede River Valley. Poster presented at the South African Association for Agricultural Technologists Congress. 18-20 September, Knysna, South Africa.

Presentation(s)
Fourie, J C. 2000. Latest guidelines and research results available on cover crop management in South African vineyards. VinPro Information Day. 10 May, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. Cover crop management for sustainable weed control within the IP system. Lecture. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology. 18 September, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. Cover crop management for sustainable weed control within the IP system. Lecture. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology. 19 September, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. Guidelines for sustainable cover crop management in vineyards of the Coastal region. Presentation to SFW and the Nederburg Study Group. 10 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. The use of cover crops in an integrated approach to wine grape production in the Coastal region. Lecture. ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 29 November, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. The effect of cover crops and the management thereof on weed control and grapevine production in the Coastal region. Lecture ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 29 November, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. The use of cover crops for the integrated production of wine grapes in the Coastal region. Lecture. ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 30 November, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. The effect of cover crops and the management thereof on weed control and grapevine production in the Coastal region. Lecture. ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 30 November, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2000. The use of cover crops for the integrated production of wine grapes in the Overberg region. Lecture. ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 15 March, Grabouw, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2001. The effect of different soil management systems on the soil and vines. Presentation to the Windmeul Cellar Producers. 28 March, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2001. Deklaagbewerking en onkruidbeheer in die wingerde van die Stellenbosch distrik. Presentation to the Winecorp Producers’ Study Group. 25 May, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2001. The effect of different soil cultivation practices on water consumption in South African vineyards. Presentation to the Swartland Block Competition Farmers’ Day. 14 March, Riebeeck Kasteel, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2001. Deklaagbewerking vir volhoubare onkruidbeheer binne die raamwerk van die IP sisteem. Lecture. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology. 1 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2001. Die gebruik van dekgewasse in ‘n geïntregreerde benadering tot wyndruifverbouing in die Breëriviervallei. Lecture. ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Short Course. 17 October, Goudini, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Deklaagbewerking en seisoenale onkruidbeheer in droëland wingerde. Presentation to the Windmeul Wine Cellar Producers. 19 March, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Deklaagbewerking en seisoenale onkruidbeheer in droëland wingerde. Presentation to the Swartland Wine Cellar Producers. 20 March, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Deklaagbewerking en die effektiewe beheer van meerjarige onkruide in droëland wingerde. Presentation to the Perdeberg Wine Cellar Producers. 27 March, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Deklaagbewerking in wingerde en boorde. Presentation at tyhe Conservation Farming Workshop on Fruit, Vines and Vegetables. Department of Agriculture. 27 August, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Evaluering van bewerkingspraktyke in ‘n wyndruifwingerd te Robertson. Presentation at the Winetech Information Day. 4 September, Robertson, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Stikstofbindende dekgewasse se rol in grondbestuur in wingerdbou. Lecture. University of Cape Town. Department of Cell Biology and Biotechnology. 24 April, Stellenbosch.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Onkruidbeheer in wingerde en boorde. Presentation at the Wenkem Technical Day. 11 June, Stellenbosch.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Deklaagbewerking vir volhoubare onkruidbeheer binne die raamwerk van die IP sisteem. Lecture. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology. 2 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2002. Dekgewasse: meerjarige vs eenjarige spesies. Presentation to the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture Vineyard and Wine Forum: Autumn Meeting. 25 April, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2003. Deklaagbewerking in wingerde en boorde van die Wes-Kaap. Presentation at the Nexus Farmers Day. 21 May, Paarl, South Africa..

Fourie, J C. 2003. The role of cover crops in the optimisation of water use in dry land viticulture. Presentation at the Wintech Information Day. Darling Cellars, 8 April, Darling, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2003. Cover crop management in the Western Cape. Farmers’ Day, Elsenburg, 9 April, Muldersvlei.

Fourie, J C. 2003. Cover crop management and weed control in the vineyards of the Western Cape. Swartland Information Day, 23 July, Malmesbury.

Fourie, J C. 2003. Cover crop management for suitable weed control within the IP system. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology, 15 October, Stellenbosch.

Fourie, J C. 2003. The effect of two different cover crop management practices on the weed control efficacy of a grain and broadleaf cover crop. Lecture. University of Stellenbosch. Department of Viticulture and Enology. 15 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa..

Fourie, J C. 2004. Guidelines for cover crop management and weed control in the Swartland. VinPro and Winetech Farmers’ Day, 24 March, Riebeeck Kasteel.

Fourie, J C. 2004. Different cover crop species and cover crop management practices suitable for the Coastal region. Presentation at the VinPro, Winetech and Paarl Wijnbouwers Shiraz Information Day. 9 June, Paarl, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2004. Effective cover crop management and weed control in the Coastal region. Distell Farmers’ Day, 25 June, Stellenbosch.

Fourie, J C. 2005. Practical approach to cover crop management in the Western Cape. Wamakersvallei Cellar Farmers’ Day. 4 June, Riebeeck West, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2005. Weed control and soil cultivation guidelines for the integrated production of grapes. Visit of Technical Leadership ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij. 30 August, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2005. Weed control and soil cultivation guidelines for the integrated production of grapes. Visit of Technical Leadership Institute to ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij. 6 September, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2005. Cover crop management in the vineyards of the Coastal region. Lecture. Cape Peninsula University of Technology. 12 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2005. Cover crop management in non-irrigated vineyards. Distell Farmers’ Day. 25 October, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2006. Cover crop management in a Chardonnay/99 Richter vineyard in the Coastal region, South Africa. I. Effect of two management practices on selected grass and broadleaf species. Paper presented at the 29th National Congress of the South African Society of Viticulture and Enology. 14-17 November, Somerset West, South Africa.

Fourie, J C. 2006. Cover crop management in a Chardonnay/99 Richter vineyard in the Coastal region, South Africa. II. Effect of different cover crops and cover crop management practices on grapevine performances. Paper presented at the 29th National Congress of the South African Society for Viticulture and Enology. 14-17 November, Somerset West, South Africa.

Article
Fourie, J C, Osche, C H. 2002. Die invloed van verskillende vestigingstegnieke op dekgewasprestasie, WineLand, Mnth May (p. 79-80)

Fourie, J C, Osche, C H. 2002. Efficacy of different post-emergence herbicides for the control of broadleaf cover crops, WineLand, Mnth Jun (p. 93-94)

Fourie, J C, Louw, P J E, Agenbag, G A. 2006. Cover crop management in a Chardonnay/R99 vineyard in the coastal region, South Africa: Part I. Effect of two management practices on selected grass and broadleaf species, South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, v. 27 (2) (p. 167-177)
Article.pdf

Fourie, J C, Louw, P J E, Agenbag, G A. 2007. Cover crop management in a Chardonnay/R99 vineyard in the coastal region, South Africa. Part I. Effect of different cover crops and cover crop management practices on grapevine performance, South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, v. 28 (2) (p. 178-186)

Fourie, J C, Louw, P J E, Agenbag, G A. 2007. Cover crop management in a Chardonnay/R99 vineyard in the coastal region, South Africa. Part III. Effect of different cover crops and cover crop management practices on organic matter and macro-nutrient content of a medium textured soil, South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, v. 28 (1) (p. 61-68)
Article.pdf

FinalReport.pdf

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