Monday, June 25, 2007

This week: 22nd. June

Weather Report Week Ending 22/6/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 13.2C (55F) on Sat. All 7 readings below our average. Minimum Temperature for the week -2.5C (27F) on Sat. All 7 readings below our average.
Rainfall for the Week 2.8mm (8 points) 4 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Another very cold week. All of our Maximums and Minimums were below average for this time of year. With one week to go in the month we are looking like setting a number of new records for being one of the coldest June's since 1997. One very severe frost this week - has really cleaned up the leaves that were still hanging on the vines. Still very dry, the rain we recorded this week has mostly been heavy dew, not enough to generate any runoff or improve our subsoil moisture's. We need more than 50mm of rain this coming week to make our average of 64.8mm.

This week in the vineyard:
Pruning continues - this week we have finished blocks of Shiraz, Sauvinion Blanc and Chardonnay. I have also been mowing winter weeds. I am also spraying under the vines with a knockdown herbicide to clean up the weeds that have started to come up, when the weather has been suitable. This week the Barossa Valley Technical group ran a seminar/ field day on coping with the drought. We looked at vineyard costs and how to minimise them in light of last years very low yields. We also looked at pruning to encourage the vines to get back to normal production levels as quickly as possible. There have been bud dissections done here in South Australia that show virtually no crop in the first 2-3 buds on each cane; in some varieties. We also had demonstrated to us some Pellenc machine pruners. The photo is of a machine that is pruning both sides of a two wire vertical trellis in one pass (this machine has the potential to save a lot of time for us growers if we could justify the A$100,000+ price tag not including the tractor).

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