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

 

Facades And Parapets: $3 Million Fund To Help Make Wellington’s Buildings Safer

Wellington’s Mayor Justin Lester welcomes today’s announcement from the Government of a $3 million fund to assist Wellington building owners to secure unreinforced masonry on their buildings and says it will go a long way to keeping people safe in future earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Housing Prices Head South In Most Of NZ

Housing became more affordable for first home buyers in many parts of the country including Auckland last month, as falling prices more than offset rising mortgage interest rates. More>>

ALSO:

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news