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

Song, X, Evans, KJ ORCID: 0000-0003-2189-5870, Kumar, S ORCID: 0000-0002-0814-7774 and Bramley, RGV 2021 , 'Experimentation during wine grape production in Australia: motivations, approaches and opportunities for change' , Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, vol. 28, no. 1 , pp. 131-145 , doi: 10.1111/ajgw.12525.

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Abstract

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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Song, X and Evans, KJ and Kumar, S and Bramley, RGV
Keywords: adoption, farmer learning, on-farm trials, precision agriculture, viticulture
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research
Publisher: Australian Soc Viticulture Oenology
ISSN: 1322-7130
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/ajgw.12525
Copyright Information:

© 2021 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.

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