Growers contact us from time to time with concerns about abandoned vineyards in their region.
Vinehealth Australia and the National Phylloxera Technical Reference Group (NPTRG) has previously discussed this issue and concluded that abandoned vineyards do not present an increased risk of a phylloxera infestation, because of the low level of human and machinery movement.
An abandoned vineyard may potentially become a reservoir for powdery or downy mildew infection; however, these diseases are not quarantinable and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has no authority to require the removal of vines in such circumstances.
Growers are recommended to adhere to their own spraying regime taking into account weather conditions, with-holding periods etc. Also they should adhere to their own vineyard protocols.
The Board has produced the Vineyard Protection and Phylloxera Prevention Protocol to help vineyard owners protect their vineyards from phylloxera and other pests, diseases and weeds.
The Department of Primary Industries and Resources Victoria has produced a fact sheet for owners or neighbours of abandoned orchards or vineyards. Agnote AG1395 can be downloaded from the DPI Victoria website. NB The specific regulatory information given in the fact sheet does not apply in South Australia.
If you are having a dispute with a neighbor about the abandoned vineyard, there is a Neighbourhood Mediation Service available in South Australia through the Community Legal Service. The service is there to assist “neighbours” by addressing issues and seeking to find a solution through mediation. The South Australian Community Legal Service can be contacted on 08 8342 1800 or visit www.saccls.org.au. Information regarding the mediation process is available at www.saccls.org.au/cb_pages/mediation.php