Thursday, 16 August 2018

16.8.18 Is Ozone the Answer to the Growers' Prayers?

With the harvest beginning in perhaps a week’s time, growers are reflecting on what an extremely costly one it has been. Higher than average rainfall followed by mild temperatures have not only caused ripening to be later and uneven, but also provided ideal conditions for cryptogamic diseases like botrytis, mildew and especially oidium, requiring numerous treatments of the vines. Added to that there are new moulds attacking the wood of the vine which seem resistant to conventional treatments. But there is an alternative.

Ozone spraying. The mist disappears in seconds along with most vineyard problems. (photo AgriOzein)

Francisco Guerrero, president of the independent growers association Asevi-Asaja has called a general assembly for tomorrow to address growers’ concerns. One topic for discussion will be the use of ozone as a vine treatment which one local grower has found to give promising results. The maker of the system will be present to explain how it works. It has been successful with strawberries in Huelva, pumped through the irrigation systems, American vine growers have had great success, and it is already used in bodegas for disinfecting barrels and tanks. Ozone (O3) is a gas which can be dissolved in water and sprayed leaving no residues except oxygen and is much cheaper than current treatments after initial equipment costs are covered. This might be a great way forward as it obviates the need for most expensive chemical treatments, in fact some growers have not used any chemicals since investing in ozone.

No comments:

Post a Comment