Progress on the poison front! The KWV head office has put plans in place to reduce their use of poison sprays during the next season and have made a commitment to sharing their learnings with others in the industry.
During the past season the newly established group TATIB (The Air That I Breathe) received complaints from residents living in the vicinity of the KWV vineyards in Paarl, as they were suffering from bouts of ill health during the spraying season of the adjacent vineyards.
A meeting was held between TATIB and the KWV at the Sustainability Institute outside Stellenbosch. They were asked to provide TATIB with a list of all the products sprayed during the past year and also an action plan as to how they will be dealing with this problem.
The following products were used on the KWV vineyards: Cosavet WG, Dithane WG, Brilliant SL, Ardent SC, Sovrin Flo SC, Phosphite SL, Thiovit WG, Hyperphos SL, Stroby WG, Cymoxazeb WP, Spiral EC, Topaz EW, Roundup SL.
Here is the action plan going forward:
- Pamphlet drop at all vineyard adjacent properties to raise awareness, establish contact details and provide a KWV helpline number.
- Create a database of potentially affected residents with e-mail alerts system activated
- Notification to start with next spraying cycle
2. Alternative products
- Provide Tatib foundation with a list of biocides used
- Request input on alternative suggested products
- Test and evaluation of alternative suggested products
- Pilot tests on alternative technology to be researched, tested and evaluated during winter months
- Implementation during next spraying cycle
4. Wind conditions
- Monitor by means of weather stations
- Early morning spraying to be implemented
5. Buffer zone
- Adapt spraying programme in buffer zones with alternative products
- Implement buffer zone plan into long term vineyard replanting and development programme
6. Fenceline monitoring
- Residue testing options to be investigated
- Monitor during next spray cycle
- Adapt and implement alternative practices where necessary
7. Long term options
- Continuous engagement and input into Integrated Production of Wine Programme (IPW)
8. Support for other farmers
- Create, test and implement model for KWV spraying
- Share model with industry bodies
- Participate in industry forums to increase awareness
- Media campaign to raise awareness and share learnings
Hymli Krige, KWV communication & strategy executive, told the Green Times that the new plans would only be implemented from September, when spraying starts again.