Evaluation of existing wine grape rootstocks for their ability to withstand the environmental challenges in South Africa

Project Number
P04000083

Project title
Evaluation of existing wine grape rootstocks for their ability to withstand the environmental challenges in South Africa

Project leader
Volschenk, C G

Team members
Volschenk, C G
Hunter, J J
Fouche, G W
Van Schalkwyk, D
George, V A
Marais, A J
Paulse, C

Project description
South Africa is a water scarce country and stored water may even become less available for agricultural use in future. The predicted global change in climate may further increase the need for irrigation. Furthermore, socio-economic challenges in a developing country such as South Africa would have an increasing impact on the availability of water for agriculture.

Rootstocks differ in susceptibility to soil-borne pests and diseases, propagation characteristics, growth characteristics and sensitivity to environmental conditions. Due to availability of a specific rootstock/scion combination at nurseries, producers are often forced to use rootstocks that are not suitable for environmental challenges, such as long dry periods, irregular water availability and low soil water holding capacity. As the availability of irrigation water decreases, the drought tolerance of rootstocks would be an increasingly important criterion in the selection of a scion/rootstock combination for successful and sustainable viticulture.

The focus of this project is to evaluate rootstocks for their level of drought tolerance in order to broaden the basis for future selection under dry conditions. Recommendations will also be made on longevity and profitable grape production, in an environment in which water resources are subjected to major socio-economic and climate challenges.

Presentation(s)
Volschenk, C G and Hunter, J J. 2013. Evaluation of existing wine grape rootstocks for their ability to withstand the environmental challenges. Paper presented at the 35th South African Society for Enology and Viticulture Congress. 13-15 November, Somerset West, South Africa.

– Record end –

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