Sue Neal Dip Hort, Dip Field Tech

Research Associate- Plant & Food Research

Sue began work with MAF in 1985 as a Science Technician based in Greymouth, moving to Marlborough in 1988.  She brings extensive technical experience in field research to the research team through her 22 years as a Technician and now Research Associate.  Sue has worked in a technical capacity in a variety of projects.  These include major projects over the past 10 years on irrigation management of grapes, apples and olives and the impact of cover crops on canopy management and vine water use with the main focus being on plant/soil/water relations.  Sue was involved in early research into biological control of Botrytis in grapes and kiwifruit and the use of target based fungicide spray programmes for disease management in grapes.  Sue also worked on a project investigating CCA in grape posts.  Other areas of past work are carbohydrate partitioning in grapes and the use of fertilisers in establishing grapevines.  A long term project has been the evaluation of various rootstocks for Marlborough conditions.

The technical management of field research trials including data collection and processing.  Research disciplines include: grapevine physiology, grapevine rootstocks, irrigation management and the use of cover crops.

Current Research
Sue is involved in the project to investigate the impact of soil variability on vine physiology and its influence on fruit composition of Pinot Noir.  Another project is investigating the impact of time of pruning on grapevine yield and fruit composition.  Sue has been involved since 1995 in the project to look at the influence of grape rootstocks on yields and fruit quality.

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