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New vineyard tractor runs on cuttings

Rising petrol prices have fuelled the creation of a vineyard tractor powered by vineyard cuttings.

Marlborough producer, Grove Mill, has spent NZ$15,000 (£6,900) converting one of its tractors to run on its own vine prunings.

It uses a process called gasification, converting the woody cuttings to create a gas, which can be used for fuel.

Initial trials have reduced diesel consumption by as much as 75%.

Craig Fowles, sustainability and compliance co-ordinator for Grove Mill’s parent company, the New Zealand Wine Company, told decanter.com, ‘we started the project when diesel prices were heading toward NZ$1.50 a litre and looked like they were going to carry on increasing.’

‘When you’ve got a tractor going for six hours a day, that’s a lot of fuel and money.’

The new tractor is thought to be cutting the producer’s carbon emissions by just over 0.35 tonnes per hectare each year.

‘We were approached with the idea and because of our sustainability ethos, it fitted quite nicely,’ Fowles added.

Grove Mill was the world’s first winery to be certified as ‘Carbon Zero’.

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Written by Rebecca Gibb

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