• LEAF HUNTER Leaf Removal Machine
    (Pat. no. 99/1598)

Vigorous growth and canopy density in vineyards inhibit the optimal functioning of leaves and bunches and have a negative impact on canopy microclimate, yield, grape composition and wine quality. In addition, pest and disease control is difficult and causes the producer to annually spend large sums of money on chemical control. The correct management of the vine canopy, particularly leaf removal, is an environment friendly way to counteract the negative effects of excessive growth and to ensure higher quality grapes and wine. Research on the effect of leaf removal on vine physiology as well as viticultural and oenological performance, indicated the following principles regarding the most efficient way of leaf removal.

The leaf removal machine has been developed to use of the machine, instead of leaf removal by hand, has the effect that leaf removal be started slightly later, when bunches start hanging, in order to prevent the bunches from being sucked in. That will, however, depend on the cultivar, vigour and trellising system and must be managed within the circumstances of the vineyard. This machine can therefore make a great contribution to more profitable production.

ENQUIRIES: : Dr JJ Hunter, ARC-Infruitec/Nietvoorbij, Tel. +27 (0) 21 809 3200, Fax. 27 (0) 21 809 3002

In the process of developing canopy management strategies to increase
grape and wine quality,
a leaf
removal machine was developed

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