Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Brown Beetle Threat to Organic Vineyards

For immediate release

Brown Beetle Threat to Organic Vineyards

The brown beetle (Costelytra zealandica) is a pest causing problems to vineyards that are committed to sustainability. Previously being kept under control by the use of insecticides, the beetle is causing havoc as more vineyards head towards organic and biodynamic practices. This same beetle in its immature stages is known as the grass grub, a pest to farming pastures for decades.

Kono Beverages, producer of Tohu and Aronui wines, are co-leading a project to study the life cycle of the brown beetle. They aim to find sustainable ways to mitigate the damage it causes in vineyards. Being committed to Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) through their unique Maori culture, Kono places great value on the health and vitality of their land, and are aiming for their Awatere Valley vineyard to become a fully organic operation by 2020. They have teamed up with PhD student Mauricio González Chang, and Professor Steve Wratten from the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University, the only government-funded Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) in the South Island. Having secured three years of funding through a Callaghan Innovation Grant, this study is Chang’s PhD project.

“We aim to understand the biology of the beetle and what to do to ameliorate the damage it does using agro-ecological techniques,” Professor Steve Wratten, Lincoln University.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines are the most susceptible, and Kono Beverages have set aside an area of their Awatere vineyard for experimentation. “We are interested in biological controls, and intervention at the larvae stage. Can we disturb the beetles’ feeding patterns underground or its life-cycle,” asks Mondo Kopua, Marlborough Group Vineyards Manager, Kono Beverages. Trials will range from planting intercepting hedges, inter-row crops, and headlands sward. Organically approved sprays applied to leaves and soil will also be experimented with in order to decrease vine leaves’ palatability.

Some trials will be replicated in other partner vineyards in Marlborough, including Wither Hills, and Rock Ferry. Field days will also be held to share information and ideas with the wider industry.

With Organic Winegrowers New Zealand having set targets to have 20% of New Zealand vineyard under organic husbandry by 2020, it is important that this type of research is undertaken now.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

ETS Review: Modelling Documents Released

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>

ALSO:

Northland: Govt Plan Targets Transport, Web, Maori Assets

The government has released a 10-year plan to attract investors and lift economic growth in Northland, a region that perennially underperforms the rest of the country even while being endowed with natural beauty, productive land, minerals, a potential workforce, scope for manufacturing, forestry and aquaculture, and proximity to Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Urges Talley’s To End AFFCO Lockout

Labour has urged Talley’s to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute with AFFCO workers which is having a severe effect on the employees, their families and their communities, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. More>>

ALSO:

Three Kings: Govt To Oppose Appeal Blocking $1.2B Auckland Housing Plan

Environment Minister Nick Smith and Housing New Zealand have joined legal proceedings in support of Auckland Council and Fletcher Building opposing a bid by community groups to only allow low-rise housing in a $1.2 billion housing redevelopment on the disused site of the Three Kings quarry. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Jetstar Expands Regional Network With Three New Routes

More New Zealanders than ever before will have access to Jetstar’s affordable flights when new services take off today from Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson to Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news