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From bulk to boutique

Grape growers toast the HARDI ZATURN

During the 2018 grape season, several of Clint Walker’s neighbours around Swan Hill were fighting downy mildew. Not Clint.

‘We didn’t get any of it,’ he recalls. ‘And it wasn’t down to luck.’

Clint’s not-so-secret advantage was a new HARDI Zaturn 3000 sprayer with twin-row Covamax delivery system.

‘We spray every two weeks through the growing season,’ Walker says, ‘and there are 110 jets on this sprayer... It’s all about coverage and the HARDI just gave us a better spray.’

Over in the Claire Valley, winemaker John Barry uses a Zaturn 2000 Covamax on his 16 hectare vineyard at Reg & Co Wines. While the Claire is warmer and drier than a lot of Australia’s wine regions, disease control has the same vital focus.

‘My sprayer is the most important piece of equipment I own,’ Barry says.

The ZATURN meets all his needs, all year-round.

‘It has the flexibility to spray with the fan off, which I love,’ he says. ‘After pruning I’ll spray the cordons at 1,000 l/ha to stop Eutypa. In spring I’ll spray the new shoots at no- or low-speed until they reach about 10 cm, then move up to high speed to get into the canopies.’

‘Even on heavy canopies the penetration is excellent.’

Although running very different vineyards – from high production in Swan Hill to hand-made wines at Claire – both growers are also impressed by the precision of HARDI’s DB3610 controller.

Clint Walker has found the flow rates are accurate to less than 50 litres over the 3,000 litre capacity. Meanwhile John Barry uses the fingertip flow rate adjustment to tailor spray delivery to individual vines.

‘If I come to patch of low-vigour vines I can push a button and drop the rate back by 10%, and it happens instantly’, he reports. The DB3610 lets him give every vine a more perfectly metered spray.   

Dealer support is the other feature that really stands out. Both growers insist their local dealer gets mentioned by name: Tony Iannucci in Swan Hill and Cox Rural in Claire.

‘I made couple of mistakes at the start,’ says Clint in Swan Hill, ‘and Tony just came and fixed them. That was fantastic.’    

‘The guys from Cox have been absolutely outstanding,’ agrees John Barry. ‘Way beyond what I would have expected.’

‘I’m really happy,’ he sums up. ‘It’s a bloody good spray unit and I’m glad I bought it. Clint Walker is on the same page: ‘It’s a magnificent machine’, he says. ‘I’m really impressed.’

“My sprayer is the most important piece of equipment I own” John Barry, Reg & Co Wines