Time to start thinking about disease management

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hi Folks,

First off I'd like to give a big shout out to Michael and Jocelyn and their staff at Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards for the great Vineyard Walk last Thursday night.  What a great way to start off the 2013 Season - there were over 50 people in attendance and I suspect many of you went home to google some information on Biodynamic Grape Production.  Here's a link in case you were looking for more information... UC Extension Research into Biodynamic Grape Production.    And here's the buzz on Biodynamic wine - we hope to see some vintages from Lightfoot and Wolfville make this list someday! 

Regardless of whether you are growing conventionally, organically, or biodynamically... this is the time to start thinking about fungicides for disease prevention!  As you can see by the 2013 Grape Guide - there have been a number of new fungicides registered this season and it's important to rotate fungicides to prevent resistance development.   There are a number of products that are registered for more than one disease so for more 'bang for your buck' it's probably a good idea to include some of these products into your rotation schedule. 

We are approaching bloom (and perhaps reached it in some areas of the province) - so it's time to start thinking about Black Rot, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, and Botrytis Prevention.   I want to bring special attention to Botrytis Bunch Rot.  It is difficult to predict what the weather is going to be like in 2-3 months from now, so really your botrytis management program should start at the Late Bloom stage with further applications at Pre-bunch Closure; Veraison, and Pre-Harvest (days to harvest will depend on product’s PHI).   There are number of products registered for Botrytis management and there are also some cultural practices that can help in botrytis management: 

  • Practice shoot positioning and selective leaf pulling

  • Remove leaves that are directly touching clusters

  • Avoid excessive Nitrogen

For more information on Botrytis Bunch Rot, please see the following factsheet from Virgina Tech Cooperative Extension. 

We are still looking for a volunteer vineyard to host our July Vineyard Walk - please send me an email if you are interested!  

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