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Experimentation during wine grape production in Australia: motivations, approaches and opportunities for change


Song, X and Evans, KJ and Kumar, S and Bramley, RGV, Experimentation during wine grape production in Australia: motivations, approaches and opportunities for change, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 28, (1) pp. 131-145. ISSN 1322-7130 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajgw.12525


Background and Aims: Grapegrowers often trial alternative practices to meet business goals. Our aim was to investigate why and how experiments are conducted during grape production, the perceived value of current approaches and opportunities for change.

Methods and Results: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 growers and eight consultants with diverse demographic and business attributes across Australia. Growers and consultants conduct experiments, often over several seasons, to learn about alternative viticultural practices, to gain knowledge, to enhance confidence in changing practice and to solve problems. Trial approaches are diverse and not associated with business or personal attributes. Growers value conclusive results for confident decision-making; however, they are constrained by available time, labour and lack of efficient, objective measures of crop responses. Spatial variability in land is viewed as a contributor to non-uniform fruit yield and composition and recognised as a factor confounding trial results.

Conclusions: Growers value their experimentation despite facing challenges during the process. They also expressed a desire for robust results which could be addressed by efficient approaches to experimentation that incorporate spatial information and generate results for more informed decision-making.

Significance of the Study: The empirical evidence of growers' experimental behaviours highlights the importance of experimentation to wine businesses and identifies the need for new approaches that generate more useful information to support growers' decisions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adoption, farmer learning, on-farm trials, precision agriculture, viticulture
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Oenology and viticulture
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Industrial crops
Objective Field:Wine grapes
UTAS Author:Song, X (Miss Xinxin Song)
UTAS Author:Evans, KJ (Professor Katherine Evans)
UTAS Author:Kumar, S (Ms Saideepa Kumar)
UTAS Author:Bramley, RGV (Dr Robert Bramley)
ID Code:147543
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2021-11-08
Last Modified:2022-04-14

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