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Media Release

Table grape growers using inventiveness to fight fruit fly

Publication date: 23 April 2019

Caption: Peter Argiro’s self-rigged spray unit for fighting fruit fly on his Merbein table grape property.

A TABLE GRAPE grower from Sunraysia has built a new rig that applies bait spray for fruit fly in an innovative attempt to reduce pest management costs on his farm.

Peter Argiro and his family run a 100-hectare vineyard in Merbein, Victoria.

He said foliar spraying each vine from the tractor was a timely and costly process, therefore he designed the new rig out of a necessity to find a faster and economical way to bait the property.

“We had an understanding of the units out there but hadn’t found something to meet our “needs, so we decided to design our own rig,” he said.

“The main thing was making it adjustable, to fit through our different vine canopies.

“Once we had the design, it took us about four hours to hook up a small tank and electric pump to adjustable arms. This allows us to get across large areas quickly and at much less cost than before.”

Mr Argiro new unit will feature at a field day event to be held in early May.

Through a Hort Innovation funded table grape project, the Australian Table Grape Association in collaboration with the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area will run six (6) field events across the region.

This field days will give Victorian growers a chance to see new innovations to baiting and spray rigs currently in operation.

Hort Innovation funded project coordinator Alison MacGregor is helping to coordinate the field days and connect with growers on the ground to discuss innovative techniques to spraying that can best service farms.

“Growers are great inventors. Their designs are practical, and they are inspired by their experience,” she said.

“It is my hope that the field days inspire growers to think about what rig design could work best for them on their property.”

The field days are the Wednesday 1, Thursday 2 and Friday 3 of May and are supported by the Australian Table Grape Association, Hort Innovation, using the table grape R&D levy and funds from the Australian Government and the Sunraysia Pest Free Area.

For more information or to register, please see or call 03 5022 0327.