Victorian Wine Growth Funding
We are the proud recipients of the Victorian Wine Growth Funding awarded to assist us with expert viticulture practices that address challenges of climate change that particularly affect wine grapes.
There is clearly potential for climate change to induce changes in vines that will increase their vulnerability to stress and make them more susceptible to pests. It is anticipated that climate change will bring direct changes in pest distributions and changes in natural enemy distributions as insects respond to temperature changes.
(Thomson and Hoffmann 2010c).
As part of our Victorian Wine Growth funding award we have begun to implement biological methods of vineyard pest control. Over the past two years, three half kilometre long instectariums of 2,000 native plants have been planted as an understorey beneath the communities of Grey and Yellow Box Eucalypts and River Red Gums that grow along the ridge lines, straddling between the three vineyard blocks.
The principle of a vineyard insectarium is that it attracts a diverse range of natural enemies that contributes to control of vineyard pests. Predators include spiders, ground beetles (carabids), large rove beetles (staphylinids) ladybird beetles (coccinellids), a range of predatory flies, hoverflies (Syrphidae) predatory midges (Cecidomyiidae), brown and green lacewings, predatory bugs, and thrips. Predatory mites are essential to the control of bunch, bud, blister, rust and two-spotted mites. There many wasp parasitoids attacking eggs, larvae and pupae of vineyard pests, and also fly parasitoids like the tachinid fly attacking light brown apple moth caterpillars. Predators and parasitoids have potential to decrease the need for pesticide applications.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation with support from Australia's Grape growers and Winemakers through our investment body have carried out extensive research into the beneficial influences of insectariums led by Linda Thomson (email email@example.com) and others.