Grape crops suffer as result of floods

Grape crops suffer as result of floods

27 Jan 2011

Grape growers – already reeling from years of drought, the global financial crisis and competition from New Zealand – may now see their crops suffer for at least another two years as a result of the great wet.

Grape vinesLa Trobe University wine researcher and senior lecturer in Viticultural Science, Dr Judith Tisdall, says grape vines themselves are hardy and generally survive floods.

However, with heavy rain and flood, powdery mildew is rampant in many vineyards, destroying much of the crop.  

‘What’s more, buds for the following year’s growth start to set before harvest, so the effects can impact on the industry for two years in a row.’

Roads to vineyards have been cut, she says, and some grapevines are being completely covered in water at the height of the flood.

‘The water, mud and floating debris make it difficult to get into vineyards to control the fungus with sprays.’

For example in northwest Victoria, grape growers have not produced a decent crop for the last two years because of drought, so extended humidity there could have a big impact.

Dr Tisdall can be contacted on Tel: 03 9479 3561 or Email:




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