Vineyard and orchard recovery after a bushfire
Immediate vineyard and orchard management after a bushfire
Call the PIRSA animal and agricultural services hotline if you have questions or need immediate help.
PIRSA animal and agricultural services hotline: 1800 255 556
When it’s safe, inspect your vineyards or orchards after a bushfire to see how plants have been affected. When inspecting your property you should consider:
- Assessing the damage
Fire damage in vineyards and orchards can affect trees in different ways, from scorched leaves to totally dead plants. It is important to adequately assess how your plants have been affected before deciding on a path of action.
For plants that are still alive it is important to make sure irrigation infrastructure is working as soon as possible to minimise further damage.
- How essential infrastructure should be repaired
If your power is out, check when it is expected to be back on. You may wish to consider whether sourcing a mobile generator is necessary.
If there are burnt or melted pipes, review what repairs are needed and order the necessary pipes from your local irrigation store.
- Reporting and disposal of burnt infrastructure
It is important to properly dispose of burnt or melted infrastructure. Call PIRSA’s bushfire hotline on 1800 255 556. We can determine how much infrastructure needs disposing as part of our assessment of agricultural impacts following a fire.
If your vineyard is registered with Vinehealth, PIRSA will contact you to help with assessment and recovery.
If you’re registered with the Apple and Pear Growers Association, PIRSA will contact you to help with assessment and recovery.
Ongoing vineyard and orchard management
PIRSA recovery hotline: 1800 931 314
The PIRSA recovery hotline is available to primary producers looking for information and assistance on recovery after a bushfire. This includes information on grants and other support available.
Support for wine grape growers
Learn about support available to grape growers affected by the 2019–20 SA bushfires.
Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia
To be kept up to date on issues facing apple and pear growers, contact the Apple and Pear Growers of South Australia:
Adelaide Hills Wine Region Inc.
Adelaide Hills Wine Region (AHWR) membership is open to wine producers and grape growers who contribute to the Adelaide Hills Wine Industry Fund and other businesses.
Cherry Growers Association of South Australia
Visit the Cherry Growers Association of South Australia website.
Agriculture Kangaroo Island (AgKI)
AgKI represents primary producers on Kangaroo Island.
Grower information – recovering vineyards and orchards after a fire
The following organisations and businesses presented at the industry recovery meeting on 2 January 2020. They may be able to help you with the recovery of your orchards and vineyards. Their information is provided without endorsement.
Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
The AWRI has a free and confidential helpdesk available to grape growers and winemakers needing advice on technical issues. Contact the AWRI helpdesk:
AWRI Smoke taint assessment
The AWRI offers a range of services to assess levels of smoke taint prior to harvest.
The University of Adelaide
Read about Associate Professor Cassandra Collins' research: ‘An observational study into the recovery of grapevines following a bushfire (PDF 2.7 MB)’.
James Hook from DJs Growers can help with analysis of burnt trees and vines, and supply satellite imagery and mapping of damaged blocks.
Mt Bera Vineyards
Greg Horner from Mt Bera Vineyards presented his experience regenerating his Gumeracha vineyard after the Sampson Flat fire. Access the case study and podcast about the vineyard recovery at Mt Bera Winery.
Paul James from the Lenswood Co-op is offering one-on-one technical advice to tree fruit growers. Contact Paul:
You can find some useful information co-published by Paul about recovery from fire damage in fruit orchards.
- Australian Wine Research Institute: information on smoke taint, managing burnt or fire-damaged vines, and how you can help vines recover from fire damage.
- Agriculture Victoria: advice on options for managing fire-damaged vines.
- Apple and Pear Australia Ltd: what should be done first after a fire.
- First-hand account: a producer shares how to help your fruit trees recover from fire.
- Specific crop recovery: