Sunday, April 22, 2007

This week: 20th. April.

Weather Report Week Ending 20/4/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 25.1C (77F) on Sat.
Minimum Temperature for the week 4.8C (40F) on Wed.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Another beautiful Autumn week in the Barossa. No rain at all this week. There is a promise of some rain in the forecast for the end of next week - I'll keep you informed.

This week in the vineyard:
Not a lot is happening in our vineyard at the moment. My staff have been on holiday still this week. We have not been able to keep working with the Grizzly disk as it has been too dry. With the possibility of some rain next week we are getting everything ready to go as soon as the season breaks properly. Once we get some rain I will finish working in the summer weeds, then we will spread fowl manure in the blocks we have identified as needing a Nitrogen boost. Then the fowl manure will also need to be worked in. We are also about 2 weeks away from starting our pruning - just waiting for enough leaves to fall off so we can see what we are doing.
During this week the Federal government announced that for the start of the next irrigation season all irrigators on the Murray Darling river system will start with zero water allocation. While this will be an inconvenience to us (we have sub-surface water available to us), it will be an absolute disaster for a lot of grape growers all over Australia. The possibility of no water for the whole season could see large areas of vines dying both here and in the warm inland regions of Australia. Most grape growers will not have the finances available to them to replant if vines do die, not to mention the total lack of income for about 5 years while young vines reach maturity. Our vines will be able to survive on our bore water however we will see some salinity effects in the longer term, as it is considerably more saline than the water we have been using for the last 6 years. We will not want to use this water for more than one growing season as the salt gradually builds up in the soil. As our Prime Minister John Howard says 'we should all pray for rain' as this is the only thing that will end our drought here in Australia. For more detail on the condition of the Murray Darling river system see my link 'Murray River weekly report'.

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