July 14, 2014
Beetle threatens shift to organics
Maori-owned wine producer Kono Beverages is working with Lincoln University researchers to look for ways to counter the damage done to vineyards by the brown beetle.
Vineyards manager Mondo Kopua says Kono, which produces Tohu and Aronui wines, wants to be fully organic by 2020.
Cutting back on insecticides can mean more of the beetles, which in an immature stage are also known as grass grubs.
Kono has set aside part of its Awatere vineyard in Marlborough for the three-year study.
PhD student Mauricio Gonzalez Chang will investigate the beetle’s biology and look for ways to disturb the beetles’ feeding patterns underground or their life-cycle.
Trials will range from planting intercepting hedges, inter-row crops, and headlands sward, as well as experimenting with organically approved sprays which may the decrease vine leaves’ palatability.
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