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What an amazing week it has been in the vineyards of the Cape Winelands. Pruning is in full swing and a few producers have picked up on the internal pruning contests that Felco sponsor and support. I have been lucky to help with the judging of the contests. I have learned a lot over the past three weeks, and I believe the workers have learned a lot too. After each contest the mistakes that the pruners made are discussed and we help where we can when the pruners have questions or don’t understand some concepts. In the end you need to understand why you have to prune, not necessarily just how. The why drives the how.

We have unsettling warm and sunny days in the middle of winter. For those people not part of the agricultural industry, this might seem very nice. But the reality is that we are headed for disaster if we don’t get a lot of rain soon. The sub soil layers are bone dry – usually by this time the soils are water saturated. Some vineyards are starting to bud at the tips – showing signs of confusion within the dormancy mechanism of the plants due to the confusing weather patterns. My advice would be to hold on a bit longer before you do your final pruning – I know I will.

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