Cost benefit analysis of winegrape rootstock research, development and extension

Abstract

The Wine Australia invests in and directs research, development and extension (RD&E) along the whole value chain ‘from vine to glass’ to enhance the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wine sector. Between 2000 and 2014, Wine Australia (formerly the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation) funded 26 rootstock related research and development (R&D) projects with a value of $18.6m (2014 real dollars i.e. adjusted for inflation), present value terms (5% discount rate). Wine Australia funding contributed about half of the total, with most of the balance coming from CSIRO Plant Industries. AGWA commissioned an independent evaluation of investment into rootstock related R&D. Readers should note that investments made prior to 1 July 2014 were made by GWRDC, but are referred to as Wine Australia investments.

Summary

The Wine Australia invests in and directs research, development and extension (RD&E) along the whole value chain ‘from vine to glass’ to enhance the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wine sector. Between 2000 and 2014, Wine Australia (formerly the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation) funded 26 rootstock related research and development (R&D) projects with a value of $18.6m (2014 real dollars i.e. adjusted for inflation), present value terms (5% discount rate). Wine Australia funding contributed about half of the total, with the vast majority of the balance coming from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Plant Industry research division. When grapevine scion is grafted onto rootstocks, there are many benefits compared with own-rooted vines, including: resistance against phylloxera, resistance against various nematodes, production commences sooner following vineyard establishment, improved water use efficiency, reduced potassium uptake, and increased salt tolerance. The cost benefit analysis focused on several key benefits where data sets were available to be quantifiable. The key areas and major outcomes of rootstock use included: Phylloxera: use of tolerant rootstocks in Phylloxera-infested areas of the Yarra Valley (Vic) were estimated to avoid an expected net income loss by 8% (for the region). Own-rooted vineyards may face substantial crop loss and lose the majority of vineyard income following a Phylloxera infestation; Nematodes: nematode-resistant rootstocks avoided yield losses estimated at 10% Vineyard establishment and production: the nature of rootstocks saw new vineyards come into production one year earlier compared to own-rooted vines; Water use efficiency: larger root systems, improved water regulation and transport around the vine has increased water use efficiency (WUE) by 20% in rootstocks compared with own-rooted vines; Potassium exclusion: reduced potassium levels in must were estimated to save wineries $12/tonne by avoiding unnecessary pH adjustments in the winery; and Shorter time to production: the additional cost of rootstocks, compared with own-rooted vines, was returned within two years of planting, an estimated gain of one year.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.