South Australian scientists are making inroads into the management of common fungal grapevine diseases Eutypa and Botryosphaeria, which have caused significant losses in vineyards throughout the world.
The research program, led by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), is providing growers with a range of management options to fight the diseases, including remedial pruning, spraying techniques and newly registered chemical applications.
The latest research findings were discussed at the 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Adelaide last week.
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the new management options were great news in the fight against two of the leading threats to premium wine production around the world.
“These developments could help to reduce and even eliminate dieback problems which currently cause devastating losses across grape production regions,” he said.
“In South Australia we have some of the oldest vines in the world, so better management of these diseases not only provides further protection for our vineyards, but also strengthens our role as a producer of premium wine from a clean environment.”
SARDI scientist and co-convenor of the workshop Dr Mark Sosnowski said the latest developments result from years of research.
“After more than 10 years of research, I’m pleased to say the first fungicide wound treatment, which can be applied post-pruning with spray machinery to control Eutypa dieback, has been granted label registration in Australia,” he said.
“These cost-effective treatments will potentially reduce the spread of the disease in our premium cool climate growing regions.”
The workshop was jointly convened by SARDI and the University of Adelaide.
The research is funded by industry through the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.
SARDI is a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).