Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Approximately 90% of the growers in the Napa EGVM treatment area have picked up their Isomate pheromones and placed these dispensers in their vineyards. If you have not done so already, now is the time to put up these pheromones for mating disruption. These can be obtained through your dealer or picked up at Wilbur-Ellis in St. Helena, and will be paid for by the county of Napa. These should be applied at 200 per acre. For those who have extra pheromone dispensers please return these immediately to the Agricultural Commissioners office or contact me and I can pick them up at your vineyard. If you are in the treatment area, and have a vineyard of 2 acres or less contact the Agricultural Commissioners office or myself to set up an appointment to receive your material.
As a reminder all vineyards in the Pope Valley, Chiles Valley, and Howell Mountain areas should not use pheromones this season as these areas are targeted for deregulation and the use of pheromones will hinder the ability to detect the moths in pheromone traps. Growers in Gordon Valley are also discouraged from using the pheromones in order to aid neighboring Solano County growers in the deregulation of their vineyards.
Residential treatments will begin shortly in the southern and eastern parts of the city of Napa, and also in areas of American Canyon.
Spray treatments are recommended in all vineyards that are in the treatment area, but should not be started until just before bloom.
Thank you for all your cooperation so far, and please call if you have any questions.
Napa County EGVM Grower Liaiosn
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Last year we decided to change things up in the vineyard. Sure the vines have been around for a hundred plus years, but it just felt right. In effort to bring the viticulture into the 21st century we hired Jim Munk of A Cut Above Viticulture Services, he has been working with zinfandel for years so it is a great fit for our historic vines. He came on board with us last year in September and was a great asset for the 2011 harvest.
|An un-pruned vine|
This winter he did something that has never been done in the Hayne Vineyard, he pre- pruned which means instead of pruning the canes all the way down to the one or two buds you cut the cane back to about 12 inches. Later in the season the crew will come back and prune the cane all the way down to the one or two buds before bud break to finish the job. Basically you take two passes through the vineyard instead of one. I know that seems a bit nutty, but it is done for a few good reasons.
Most importantly pre-pruning helps prevent the spread of disease. Cutting any part of the vine leaves and open wound that is very susceptible to disease especially Eutypa and Bot Canker which eventually lead to stunted growth and lower yields. If you leave a few extra inches of cane that creates a buffer zone so even if the vine becomes infected the diseased part of the cane will be cut off before it reaches the vine. We have a pretty healthy vineyard, especially when you consider the age, and we would like to keep it that way so pre-pruning is a great option for us.
|A Pre-pruned vine|
Another factor in pre-pruning is labor. During the winter months there isn't that much to do in the vineyard and most managers prefer to keep their crews busy so they don't loose anyone. Pre-pruning adds a few more weeks onto the schedule (sometimes months) so you don't loose the crew that you have trained and would like to keep around. In a larger operation pre-pruning can actually save you money because it doesn't require as much as an exact cut as pruning so the men can go much faster and they don't have to be as skilled.
|A pruned vine|
By now you may be asking yourself, pre-pruning, it sounds so wonderful, why would you do anything else? Backup the trolly, there are a few drawbacks. Because you are cutting the majority of the cane off in the first shot it becomes difficult to gauge the health of the vine. The pruner may leave too few or too many buds per shoot causing the overall balance of the vine to shift. Balance in a vine is one of the most important factors to producing amazing wine grapes. If they are vigorous and not allowed to produce a larger amount of fruit they will go crazy with green growth taking the focus away from ripening grapes, and on the other side if the vine is allowed to produce more then it should the vine will not be able to ripen the fruit properly.
Overall we have faith in Mr. Munk and I can't wait to see what our little guys will produce in the future.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
EGVM moth quarantine ending in four California counties
Quarantine to be lifted March 8
California Department of Food and Agriculture
- California and federal agricultural officials will lift lifting the European grapevine moth quarantine March 8 in Fresno, Mendocino, Merced, and San Joaquin counties.
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $8 million in federal funding to continue the program’s progress.
- “The announcement of funding from our federal partners at USDA is welcome news for California grape growers and their consumers,” said Karen Ross, Secretary, CDFA.
- The pest primarily damages grapes, but has also been known to feed on other crops and plants.
We are still in the final phase of solidifying our agreements for the disbursement of the EGVM pheromones for mating disruption for all growers in the treatment area in Napa County. In the meantime you can pre-order your material from your dealer so they can be ready to deliver these to you as soon as they are released. Growers with one acre or less should contact me or the Agricultural Commissioners office directly so we can make arrangements to get the material to you.
Due to their remote location and lack of moth finds last season, there is a possibility that growers in Pope Valley and Chiles Valley may be deregulated at the end of this season. If this is approved, it will mean that growers in those areas will not be able to use Isomate pheromones for mating disruption this season and the trapping density will be increased to 100 traps per sq. mile in those areas. So if you are a grower in those areas please hold off putting up the pheromones until further notice.
Napa County EGVM Grower Liaison