New Cover Crops in South African Vineyards book launched

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Article, News

Cover Crops in South African Vineyards by Dr Johan Fourie was launched in April at Kronenburg in Paarl. The publication is a joint partnership between SATI, Winetech and Villa.

This book, based on decades of research by respected scientist Dr Johan Fourie, formerly of the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, describes the interaction of cover crops with vineyards, and how grape producers can integrate cover crops into their own systems.



Back: Jan Booysen (Winetech), Karen Freitag (ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij), Anel Andrag (Winetech), Dr Johan Fourie, Kobus Louw (Sapex) and Tarryn Wettergreen (SATI). Front: Lucinda Heyns (Winetech) and Anna Mouton (editing). All images courtesy of Natalie Gabriels.

Benefits of Cover Crops

Cover crops offer many benefits to grape producers, having been shown to suppress weeds; reduce soil compaction and erosion; improve water infiltration and retention; and boost soil fertility.

Fourie assessed many different cover crops to identify the best candidates for different regions and soil types.

He conducted long-term trials in vineyards to determine cover-crop effects on weeds; water use; soil carbon, nitrogen, and other minerals; and grapevine nitrogen, vegetative growth, and yields. Different cover-crop management strategies were also evaluated.



Louis Reynolds (Villa), Tarryn Wettergreen (SATI), Dr Johan Fourie (author), Lucinda Heyns (Winetech) and Gerard Martin (Winetech). All images courtesy of Natalie Gabriels.


Most of the trials ran for 10–12 years in vineyards at ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij research farms in Lutzville, Robertson, and Stellenbosch, representing three of the major grape-growing regions of South Africa.

This book summarises the results, as well as results of trials in Keimoes and Oudtshoorn. It provides practical recommendations on establishing and managing cover crops in vineyards, and will be a valuable resource for grape producers throughout South Africa.

If you would like to get a free copy of this book, attend the Winetech/Vinpro Regional Information days during May. Click here for dates and more information.

Click here to get your copy of WineLand Magazine (or better yet, why not subscribe?)







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