Managing over 100 hectares of vineyards around Gisborne for Thompson’s Horticulture, Anita Ewart-Croy is very familiar with the challenges facing the viticulture industry and what’s required to overcome them.
“Definitely the biggest challenge in recent years has been controlling powdery mildew,” says Anita. “The fungus itself has developed the ability to reproduce sexually, so we’re challenged with a new form of it that behaves in a different way.” It’s a challenge, she says, that is progressively moving south. “So Marlborough has suddenly realised that it’s not quite as easy to grow sauvignon blanc anymore!”
For Anita, ensuring that the sulphur products they’re applying to control powdery mildew have very good penetration and coverage is vital for the industry. “We wouldn’t have a crop without them, most definitely, especially in the Gisborne climate where we’re often challenged by humidity and increased rainfall closer to harvest. If you let the fungus establish it’s incredibly difficult, almost impossible, to eradicate,” she says.
That’s why Anita chooses to use products with a proven history of efficacy. “We tend to use products that are true to type and label, that are proven and research documented. You know you’ve used the best products for the best outcome. It’s about protecting your livelihood and decreasing the risk.”
BASF products fit firmly into that category for Anita and her team. “You know you can rely on the product to perform in the way that it is proven,” she says. “The label stipulates the action that the products will have and you know that these particular outcomes have been researched and proven. You can be confident that the product will do what the label specifies.”
When that’s supported by great back-up service from a local distributor, with regard to having the product in stock when you need it and delivering it, Anita says it’s an easy choice. “Why roll the dice when you really don’t have to.”