Sustainable wine farming with the help of Ducks

Environmentally-friendly farming practices take place at the Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate outside Cape Town, South Africa where over 1,600 Indian Runner Ducks are employed as a sustainable pest control system for the production of wine. 

The Indian Runner Ducks are a flightless species of duck which have a very good sense of smell and have been used across Asia in rice paddies for hundreds of years. The ducks roam through the vineyards foraging on aphids, snails, small worms and other pests. This enables the wine farm to naturally get rid of pests without the use of pesticides. 

The wine Estate manager calls the ducks the “soldiers” of the vineyards because they protect the vineyards from pests. The ducks have a specific daily routine where they head out into the vineyards every day between 10:30am and 4pm. There are resting and working flocks which go out on alternative days on a 14-day circuit. An additional benefit is that they add organic fertiliser between the vines.


Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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