Saving water with compost and wine

October 29, 2018

The Corangamite CMA is working with Bannockburn Vineyards to apply compost under vine in a 5 Acre Shiraz block and 50% of a 3 Acre Sauvignon Blanc block in mid Spring 2018. Soil moisture probes/sensors will be installed across vineyard blocks to record temperature, rainfall and soil moisture levels across the 2 years.

Normal vineyard practices will be performed on all blocks, however irrigation will only be applied as needed and can be isolated to the rows that require irrigation. The level of irrigation will be manually recorded. Any differences in soil moisture levels amongst the composted and control blocks will be graphed. Differences in irrigation quantities will also be recorded and graphed.

The compost trial is one of four being delivered and is being managed by Resilience Farming  at the Bannockburn Wines winery, north-east of Geelong, funded through the Protecting the Environment via On-farm Water Efficiency Project. This project delivers a number of on-farm pilot activities testing the viability and effectiveness of modernised on- farm water capture technologies to meet future farming need, and achieve improved water efficiency.

The project aims to make use of existing technology and subsidise farmers to implement improvements on their own farms in return for sharing the benefit e.g. through on-farm demonstrations.

The Victorian Government has provided $22 million over the next four years to implement Our Catchments, Our Communities, Victoria’s first state-wide Integrated Catchment Management Strategy, focusing on people working together to coordinate planning, investment and on-ground activities to improve the effectiveness of a range of environmental, economic and social outcomes. All four pilots are set to hold public field day events over the next two years, supported by local Landcare groups, in order to extend information about on farm water efficiency.

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