BIGG has won a $5000 community action grant for a new project, ‘Livestock grazing management in Barossa Valley vineyards’, funded by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges.
The project will work with the Barossa Grape & Wine Association to quantify the level of livestock grazing in vineyards, understand the barriers to grazing adoption, and promote the natural resources management and productivity benefits of the practice.
Most grape growers in the Barossa do not graze their vineyards, however good grazing management can deliver significant NRM benefits, including:
- Improved weed control, particularly for herbicide resistant weeds.
- Improved groundcover, particularly under the vines which would normally be sprayed.
- Improved biodiversity through reduced herbicide use, particularly where native grasses are grown.
- Improved nutrient recycling given manure is being added to the vineyard.
- Reduced soil compaction given less mowing or cultivating in the vine mid-rows.
- Reduced reliance on machinery, fuels and herbicides.
The project will comprise three components. Firstly, an extensive survey to quantify the extent of current vineyard grazing in the Barossa, the interest of grape growers to introduce grazing, and identify reasons why grazing has not been adopted.
The second component of the project will be reviewing and elaborating on the survey findings with a focus group made up of a cross-section of grower and industry representatives, and finally, there will be concluding report and associated media communications to increase knowledge and understanding among grape growers about livestock grazing in vineyards.