Grape marc is the solid remains of the fruit after it has been pressed for juice and it presents a compliance issue for wineries. Marlborough District Council has been at the forefront in helping the wine industry find environmentally sustainable ways to dispose of grape marc and other waste products.

In December last year, the District Council provided consent for Blenheim-based Indevin Estates Limited to spread grape marc onto cropping land at its Bankhouse Estate Vineyard as soon as it is created during harvest.
This will ensure that the marc is not stockpiled and avoid the potential issue of grape marcleachate getting into trade waste or groundwater systems.

Big Bale Contracting Limited currently leases and farms the land at Bankhouse Estate; Indevin Estates Limited has contracted them to spread the grape marc.

They also wanted a machine that would have the ability to map where the marc is spread to provide proof of placement.

The machine supplied for the grape marc job is a Degelman M34 muck spreader. Like other Degelman products, the M34 spreader is strong, durable and technologically advanced.

Not only are they built tough, Degelman spreaders are
designed to handle any rocks that get into the material they are spreading. They have Degel- man’s own retractable free- swing flails, super duty gearbox, smooth sidewalls and a gate opening with a heavy-duty frame.

“They grow crops to produce grain, hay and silage for the market. They lease 740 ha on Bankhouse Station to grow barley, red clover, sweet corn and other crops for this purpose. They now have consented to apply grape marc to their leased cropping lands.”

Mark says the Degelman spreader has a DigiStar control system that can be programmed to adjust flow rates, spread pattern and other variables. During the commissioning, it was integrated with the GPS system on the John Deere tractor that will pull it.

“It delivered an even spreading width of 15m. Combine this with a minimum carrying capacity of 26.5 tonnes of marc and a discharge rate of just three minutes, and the M34 will make short work of grape marc left over after this year’s harvest.”

B B C will spread the marc continuously as it arrives and then they will sow crops into the same paddocks. The crops will get the benefit of the organic matter from the marc, and at the same time it will remove an environmental issue that has been plaguing the Marlborough region.

“Most muck spreaders have beaters with a helical or auger shape. This makes them rigid and, therefore, vulnerable to damage from rocks.

“The M34 and its smaller brother, the M28, have Degel- man’s Rock Bypass System (RBS). This uses five rows of free-swinging hammerhead paddle flails that collapse when they hit an object. They also ensure an even distribution pattern when spreading.

“The hammerhead shape covers the discharge opening and spreads the load equally amongst the paddles. At the same time, its corrugated teeth shred and distribute the material consistently.”

Muddy River is the distributor for Canadian agricultural machinery manufacturer Degelman in Australia.