2 Aug 2017

Tool built to stop rogue spray incidents

5:24 pm on 2 August 2017

Winegrowers in Central Otago have developed a new tool to prevent argi-chemicals drifting and damaging their crops.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The Central Otago Winegrowers Association has created a map designed to stop rogue spray incidents.

Its past president, James Dicey, said spray drifting cost winegrowers millions of dollars every year in lost production.

"Grape vines are remarkably difficult to kill but they are ridiculously sensitive to some of these chemicals, so they can take a bit of a hit for a couple of years and that can have a downstream effect on the volume of grapes and the volume of wines that's produced off those grapes," he said.

He said one winegrower alone lost close to a million dollars worth of grapes last year because of spray drifting.

Mr Dicey said the new map would help as it pinpoints the location of all the vineyards in the region.

"The map allows them to identify where the vineyards are and then the information that we've sent with the map allows them to minimise the risk associated from a chemical trespass incident."

"The intention is to send it to all the local farmers within a 30 or 50km radius telling them what they should or should not do. We respect people's right to farm but they can't impinge or chemically trespass onto our properties.

He said the map has already been sent out to about 300 farmers and it's hoped they will be used by the wider agriculture community.

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