The Earth & Turf Model 320 Vineyard Special is especially useful in spreading compost in vineyards, the benefits of which are explained in detail in an article entitled “Compost and Mulch – Investing in vineyard health” by Christy Porter, California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, CA, that appeared in WINEGROWING magazine, November/December, 1998. A few brief excerpts from that article will explain:
“Will Bakx, a soil scientist for Sonoma Compost in Petaluma, CA, produces high-quality compost from urban yard trimmings. Many vineyard managers who apply compost and mulch after harvest are finding these products to be useful components of their vineyard floor management program. While some vineyard managers purchase these soil amendments, others make their own compost from grape pomace. Either way compost and mulch are products that result from recycling materials that might otherwise be wasted. As many communities collect yard trimmings at the curb to reduce organic materials going to landfills, these materials are being transformed into valuable soil amendments by producers such as Bakx. Growers and researchers alike are discovering the benefits of these recycled soil amendments.”
“After three consecutive years, the study at Robert Mondavi Winery’s Tokolon Z block found that blocks with compost applied had increased yields of up to 0.9 tons per acre, while the fruit quality remained the same. Application rates for the study ranged from two to eight tons per acre with the 0.9 tons per acre increase in yield occurring in the eight-tons-per-acre treatment.
Cost of the compost at $24 per ton applied at Tokolon was recovered by an increased yield valued at $1,350 per acre. Since the trial ended in 1995, about four tons per acre of compost has been applied annually to 20 acres.”