As you sip your wine, do you ever wonder what type of vineyard machinery is involved in growing, maintaining, and harvesting grapes? Setting up a vineyard is a lengthy and delicate process which requires investing lots of resources, time, as well as effort. The bulk of the work goes to maintaining the grape farm. Gone are the days when managing a vineyard was a manual and labour-intensive activities. Nowadays, machines are taking over. However, this doesn’t mean the grapes are of any lesser quality. In fact, proper use of vineyard equipment shortens the time, reduces the effort as well as cost. So, what are some of the common machinery?
Tractors are without doubt one of the most important agricultural machines. It also plays a vital role is maintaining a vineyard and is particularly helpful in the very large establishments. The machinery comes in different types that vary in power, size, capacity, brand and more. It is used in several applications and at different stages. For instance, the farm machinery tills or ploughs the land when setting up the vineyard. It harrows or furrows the land after leveling it, and is also used during planting. Once the crop is ready and has been harvested, a tractor also transports the produce to the designated location. Due to its versatility, a tractor is regarded as one of if not the most important farming apparatus.
Once the crop has been planted, it will continue to grow and will later yield grapes that are used in making wine. However, the crop will be under threat from parasites, pests, weeds, fungi, bacteria, airborne pathogens, weather and more. Also, it may need to be sprayed with liquid fertilizers that boost growth and flowering. To carry out the exercise, sprayers are used. They come in different forms and sizes and each will work differently. There are some small types that are used manually on small farms. Heavy-duty or commercial sprayers are also available and can spray large vineyards within a short time. They are attached to a tractor or a form or motorized system that moves across the vineyard. Apart from spraying pesticides and insecticides, sprayers also spray herbicides that get rid of weeds.
Harvesters are used to remove the mature grapes from the bushes. Traditionally, human beings carried out the exercise using their hands. However, owing to their slower speed and rising cost of labor, it became more economical and time saving to rely on agricultural equipment. This led to the birth of the harvester. This mechanical machine is taller than the grape bushes and features special rods that look like fingers. The finger-like rods span both sides of the trellis/fencing. By shaking the bushes, the grapes detach from the twigs/branches and fall on a canopy that is attached to the harvesting machine. Modern harvesters are more advanced than earlier ones and gather the grapes much faster with minimal losses.
Listed above is some of the key agricultural equipment used in maintaining vineyards. Tractors, sprayers, and harvesters have come a long way, and are becoming a must-have for any grape farmer. In addition to improving productivity and efficiency, vineyard machinery also boosts profitability.