A brand new book was just released for the wine and table grape industries. SOIL PREPARATION for sustainable wine and table grape production, by Johan van Zyl and Eduard Hoffman, covers knowledge gleaned from research and practical experience that accumulated in South Africa over the past 100 years. The project was a joint venture between Winetech, SATI (South African Table Grape Industry) and Villa.
Both authors are soil scientists and are currently involved in the Department of Soil Science at Stellenbosch University. They have extensive experience in research and teaching in the soil science field. The book addresses all aspects of soil preparation. It not only gives practical information, but also explains the background to recommendations and provides experimental evidence in support. Plenty of photos throughout the book help to illustrate and explain the concepts.
Author Eduard Hoffman commented that throughout the book, the aim of soil profile modification takes into account root distribution, which is a prerequisite for high and sustainable grapevine performance.
“At Winetech, we are passionate about knowledge transfer” were the words of Gerard Martin, Executive Manager for Winetech, at the launch. “It is critical for research results to be communicated to industry to contribute to sustainability and profitability in their businesses.”
According to Willem Bestbier, CEO of SATI, one of the goals of the SATI research portfolio is to identify ways to make research more accessible to table grape producers. “Projects such as this, which consolidate existing research outcomes and knowledge is one such way to achieve this.”
Author Johan van Zyl said that South African vineyard soils are mostly shallow and in many cases, have a high acidity. As a consequence these soils must be modified (prepared) before vineyards can be successfully established and yield sustainably in the long run. This is why South Africa has been a world leader in the discipline of soil preparation for many years.
Andre Schreuder from Villa emphasised the importance of creating resources that can contribute to education and training. “Some of the challenges for agriculture is the application of the latest technology and knowledge on farm level, the transfer of knowledge from researchers to industry and training of the next generation of agricultural experts. We contributed to this book because we believe that investing in establishing resources such as this help to address these challenges.”
If you would like a copy of this book, please attend one of the Winetech/Vinpro regional information days in September. Dates for your region and registration details can be found on the trade diary at: https://sales.vinpro.co.za/events/?site=vinpro
If you are not able to attend one of the information days, enquiries can be sent to Lucinda Heyns AFTER 6 October at firstname.lastname@example.org. Books then subject to availability.