Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Unseasonal Weather Event

We had 24 hours warning that an intense low pressure system was forming off the coast and that there would be torrential rain and gale force winds.
So we spent the day battening down, cleaning out gutters and putting things away.
And wooooosh......... in it came!
Over 300mm (12inches) of rain in 36 hours accompanied by 95km/hr wind gusts.
In a tropical zone it would have been a category 1 cyclone (hurricane).
Our creek soon broke its banks and flooded the bottom paddock. Some trees came down.
The surf was huge.
Up in the mountains there was snow down to 700m. Some roads were closed.
But it went as quickly as it came.
And amongst it all a new calf was welcomed into the world. Mother and son are both doing well.
Back to typical spring weather now, sunny, warm and humid.
It's a bit soggy around here but won't take long to dry out.

                      All the grapes needed respraying after all the rain including the Cabernet Sauvignon for the first time.
Again with copper and sulphur but this time with a downy mildew curative in combination just in case.
I use phosphorous acid (Agri-fos 6oo) as a downy mildew curative. It is the world’s only fully systemic downy fungicide, moving easily up and down in the vascular fluid of the vine after rapidly moving away from sprayed tissue.
PA is usually not used in commercial vineyards which export wine. Most countries have a strict MRL (maximum residue limit) which can be met with proper applications but both China and Canada have a no tolerance level. Keeping grapes separate for different wine export markets is almost impossible so it's easier not to apply the chemical at all.
It's a very effective fungicide and the Australian wine industry is working with both countries to have reasonable MRLs introduced. I believe they are making some headway.

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