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Red wine grape crops impacted by fungus outbreak

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A number of vineyards in Southern Tablelands of NSW have been affected by an outbreak of botrytis cinerea, a necrotrophic fungus that affects various plant species - in particular wine grapes – by changing the flavour and the colour of the fruit.

ABC News reports that the fungus has appeared as a result of recent rain in the region, destroying up to half of the fruit in a number of red wine crops.

Goulburn wine grape grower, Howard Spark told ABC News that the fungus has affected a significant proportion of his shiraz grapes.

"If we don't get in and get it off now, the botrytis will just run away and we won't get any crop at all," he said.

"We've probably dropped about half on the ground. We've probably lost half with the frost and now half with the rain."

The fungus marks the second time in a 12 month period that the NSW Southern Tablelands grape growing regions have been impacted by unfavourable events.  

A cold snap hit the area in October last year, wiping out between 50 to 100 percent of crops in low-lying areas.

photo credit: lpwines via photopin cc

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