A Solid Start in the McLaren Vale

A Solid Start in the McLaren Vale

Progress to Date as at Mid October  

After fifteen weeks of operation in the beautiful McLaren Vale region of South Australia, Sustaining Endeavour has made solid progress by:

  • Establishing a recycling and rebate service available through McLaren Vale Irrigation as a regional partner.
  • Facilitating pick-up of almost twenty tonnes of material for recycling in Adelaide from five McLaren Vale Growers.
  • Establishing links with McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism, MVGW&T and investigating ways to complement with objectives of the Sustainable Australia Winegrowing Programme, SAW.
  • Supporting the McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project, an initiative of the Friends of Willunga Basin Group, by bringing the project into the rebate structure.

In general Growers have done a great job of recoiling their old polypipe using recoiling machines of various types. This has meant that Sustaining Endeavour has been able to offer a rebate back to each Grower who contributed polypipe for recycling. So far the McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project has been popular with Growers and the availability of rebates through McLaren Vale Irrigation towards Australian-made products from Sponsoring Manufacturers has also been appreciated.

A big thank you to Drew and his drivers from Brown Bulk Haul Transport and the Growers who assisted loading recoiled polypipe during the recent pick-ups.

Lessons Learned

There are a few instances I’ve seen or heard about where Growers haven’t realised how costly it is to dispose of old polypipe that has been recoiled along with vine wire. In response, Sustaining Endeavour has sought solutions that don’t involve landfill. One solution identified involves a waste to energy solution which maybe somewhat cheaper than landfill, but is still prohibitively expensive for Growers who haven’t budgeted for the cost.

Unfortunately, in such cases I think the recoiled polypipe with wire may just sit on properties, returning no benefit to the Grower. Whilst Growers may save on labour by recoiling polypipe and wire together (rather than separating polypipe from vine wire before recoiling), the high cost of disposal of polypipe recoiled with wire may negate the labour savings. Conversely, Sustaining Endeavour provides a generous rebate back to Growers for poly pipe recoiled after its been detached from the wire.

Tips on Clips

On looking at vines in different regions and strolling through irrigation stores, it’s interesting to see various types of clips and fasteners available to growers for attaching new polypipe to vine wire. Key selection creteria for Growers include purchase price and effectiveness in keeping polypipe securely attached to the wire. However consideration also needs to be given to ease of removal of the polypipe from wire at end-of-life. Imagine what landfill disposal costs will be in ten to twenty years time and how much it will cost you if you can’t get the polypipe detached from the wire!

So there’s a balance between ensuring the polypipe stays on the wire (with an effective clip or fastener) while the polypipe is in service, and getting it off the wire (by removing the clip or fastener) once the polypipe reaches end-of-life. That’s the design challenge.

If you’re a wine grape grower, what’s your favourite type of clip or fastener for securing poly pipe to vine wire and why?



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