Aussie wine farmers use "sunscreen" on grapes to help cope with extreme weather

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-02 09:15:20|Editor: WX
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SYDNEY, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Wine grape growers in South Australia are using sunscreen on their crops, as part of a multifaceted approach to cope with record heat and other extreme weather conditions in the area, local media reported on Saturday.

"We're dealing with extreme temperature and it's having an effect on the vine, not only in terms of decreased yield, but it can have impact on quality," wine grower and agronomist Warren Burgess, from the southern state's Langhorne Creek area, was quoted by the ABC news channel as saying.

Extreme weather, including South Australia's hottest day on record earlier this year as well as two hailstorm events and severe frost, has wiped out parts of the state's grape crops, the channel reported.

The combination of practices, including a trial of the kaolin-based clay sunscreen used on his grapes, was helping his vineyard cope with the weather, Burgess said.

The sunscreen helps "reflect the direct sunlight or UV light ... it's helping limit the extent of berry sunburn and also leaf burn," Burgess told the channel.

"We've seen a difference here on our cabernet sauvignon, where we've applied the sunscreen product twice," he said.

Misting fans, soil-wetting products, mushroom mulch and other plant stress management products are also being used to limit weather damage to the crops, the channel reported.

The grapes that had survived were still high quality, according to Bennier.