Pruning is one of the most labour-intensive parts of vineyard management. And while we’re always quick to consider the ways we can make lighter work of pruning, e.g. with electronic Felco secateurs and the Binger-ERO pre-pruner, it seems that the job of removing canes from the wires often gets overlooked.
Each year after pruning, growers must go through the vineyard pulling all the cut canes from the wires. Physically, this is very strenuous, it’s at a time of year in the UK when the weather is usually pretty unpleasant, and it takes a considerable amount of time, too.
The VITECO cane puller from ERO has been designed to strip and mulch canes simultaneously in one pass, minimising the manual labour required after pruning has been done.
Depending on the grape variety, the time required for cane stripping accounts for 35 to 60 man-hours/ha. A considerable number of seasonal workers are needed, and as growers know all too well, this brings with it hidden costs in the form of admin, HR and the challenge of finding good people.
Instead of employing 10 to 15 people for pulling out, you can have just three working with the ERO VITECO. One to walk ahead of the cane puller making sure pruning has been done correctly and unhooking the wire, one to drive the tractor and operate the machine, and one to walk behind repositioning wired into the right place.
The ERO VITECO cane puller works by raising the movable bending wire and fruiting wires on the machine side of the trellis and guiding them to the machine head.
The VITECO cane puller then strips all the woody shoots, tendrils and fruiting canes off the wires with almost nothing left behind. All of the canes wrapped around or tied to the wire are shredded while passing through the mulcher.
The debris is then spread in the vineyard and growers can choose whether or not they pass through with a pulveriser. If you are using something like the Perfect Van Wamel KK 150 with side chutes you will be able to create a finer mutch which will be spread directly under the vines.
Removing and repositioning the fruiting wires only takes approx. 6 man-hours/ha and can be completed immediately after with minimal effort. According to ERO, a total of approx. 30 to 50 man-hours/ha can be potentially saved by using the ERO VITECO cane puller, meaning vineyards with over 35ha will see a return on investment in the first full season of use.
To run the machine, growers need vineyards with rows at least 70 metres long with all wires on the side facing the pruner being removable.
Compatible with all narrow tractors from 70hp upwards, the ERO VITECO cane puller also comes with the VITIpower 60 hydraulic system with a maximum PTO speed of 540 rpm = 60 l/min. Rated output at 200 bar working pressure and maximum litre output is 20 kW. The hydraulic oil filling amount is 80 litres.
Claire Seymour from NP Seymour said, “We have sold several machines to larger growers in the UK and believe that more would benefit from investing in this indispensable tool that can save a great deal of manual labour costs.”
For more information on the ERO VITECO cane puller and how it can benefit your vineyard, please contact the sales team on 01580 712200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org