Previous PageTable Of Contents

Accelerating Adoption of Improved Practices through Participatory On Farm Trials in Viticulture

Sheri Robinson1, Natalie Tostovrsnik2 and Ian Atkinson3

1 National Wine Grape Industry Centre, PO Box 588 Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2678. Email
Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Private Bag 15 Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre, VIC, 3156. Email:
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture, PO Box 154 Urrbrae SA, 5064.


The CRC for Viticulture has been committed to extension with the aim of accelerating adoption of improved viticultural practices from research outcomes and technology. The ‘Participatory On Farm Trials’ program was undertaken between 2000 and 2003 and has been followed by the ‘Viticare Trials’ in 2003 to 2006. These projects have involved, encouraged and supported regions in conducting trials to assess and identify improved viticultural practices. Growers in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia have participated in both projects. There are currently more than 20 Viticare Trials being conducted across the three participating states with a strong focus on the larger production regions (Sunraysia, MIA & Riverland).

Through utilising the participatory action model to assess alternative viticultural practises, the program has obtained strong industry support. Feedback from participating growers, industry development officers stakeholders and regional support officers , reflect the benefits of running On Farm Trials for regional adoption of improved practices. A comprehensive evaluation of the Viticare Trials process and its overall performance is planned for late this financial year.

Three key learnings: (1) Wider regional involvement and learning is achieved if growers and industry are engaged at the planning and development stages of a trial and are involved in the progress of the trial through activities. (2) There is value in using multiple communication and extension tools and tailoring these tools to regional needs to extend trial progress, outcomes and general information. (3) The involvement of stakeholders, such as other researchers, suppliers, consultants and other members of the viticultural community has been valuable in supporting regional adoption through facilitating the communication of trial information so growers outside the participating grower group are provided with the opportunity to access information and improve practices.

Previous PageTop Of Page