Tuesday, 31st January 2023
Join us on a full-day technical excursion to visit three contrasting on-farm irrigation research and innovation sites. The tour is included in the registration fee for delegates attending the full symposium.
The map provides an overview of the route that we will follow in comfortable air-conditioned buses, accompanied by knowledgeable guides. Starting in Stellenbosch, we will head north towards Paarl, through the Du Toitskloof Tunnel and along a scenic route through the Cape Winelands to the town of Ceres. This is the heart of the “Bokkeveld”, a fertile deciduous fruit production region.
After a short leg-stretching stop, we will continue up the Gydo Pass to the “Cold Bokkeveld” and our first site, three apple and pear orchards. Here, our farm hosts, together with Netafim and consulting experts, will explain how ultra-low-flow drip irrigation systems have proven successful under very challenging conditions – a high soil stone content and a sloping site. This site is a great example of next generation technology employed to boost water productivity in a water-scarce region.
Making our way back towards Paarl via the Tulbagh Valley, we will enjoy lunch and then proceed to the second site, three table grape vineyards on the slopes of the granite-capped Paarl Mountain. Here, the farmer and researchers from the Agricultural Research Council will demonstrate how research on plant-based water potential monitoring was successfully converted into precision irrigation practices in three table grape varieties.
Finally, on our return to Stellenbosch, we will travel the short distance to Stellenbosch University’s Welgevallen Experimental Vineyards, on the slopes of Stellenbosch Mountain. These wine grape research and training vineyards were established in 2021 and include a trial on grapevine responses to various levels of deficit irrigation and dryland production in comparison to full irrigation, and a trial on nine different trellising systems. Researchers from the University’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology will be on hand to answer questions.
Drinks will be served for a relaxing end to the field day, while enjoying the wonderful views.
Since the tour will take place in the hottest period of summer, with likely high temperatures and radiation, we urge delegates to bring a protective hat. Water will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own water bottle.
The tour itinerary is subject to final arrangements and may still change.
Business Meeting of ISHS Workgroup “ Irrigation and Water Relations”
Wednesday, 1 February 2023 at 17.35 to 18.15
(Stias Conference Venue – same venue hosting the symposium)