Financial Assistance Available for Red Blotch Infected Vines

August 25th, 2015
Financial Assistance Available for Red Blotch Infected Vines

California winegrape growers with losses due to grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV), the causative agent of red blotch disease, may be eligible for financial assistance for vine replacement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Tree Assistance Program (TAP). The 2014 Farm Bill made TAP a permanent disaster program to provide financial assistance for qualifying growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. TAP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Marianne…

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Comprehensive Vineyard Water Management

August 18th, 2015
Comprehensive Vineyard Water Management

Those of us involved in agriculture are well aware of the increasing concerns about water in California. Even before the current drought, new water regulations were in the works, irrigation district water costs were increasing, and in many locations, access to ground water supplies required deeper drilling than in the past. Going forward, there is no doubt vineyard water use will require our very best management skills. Now more than…

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Visual ID of Winegrape Viruses

August 11th, 2015
Visual ID of Winegrape Viruses

Visual identification of grapevine red blotch associated virus (GRBaV) may be a useful complement to lab testing of tissue samples. While not meant to replace the results from lab tests, visual identification may prove to be a useful method for quickly and cheaply assessing whether GRBaV is present in your vineyard and which vines are infected. However, doing so requires some training. One must know the symptoms well and be able…

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Ag Irrigation in Drought: Where is the Water and Where Is It Going?

August 4th, 2015
Ag Irrigation in Drought: Where is the Water and Where Is It Going?

California’s historical climate is prone to deep and long-lasting droughts. Even in normal years, most of the precipitation occurs during the winter in the northern, eastern and coastal parts of the state, whereas most of the water demand occurs in the summer in the southern Central Valley and the largely urbanized areas on the coast. As a consequence, California has one of the most engineered water supply systems in the…

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Bunch Rot Part II: Sour Rot

July 28th, 2015
Bunch Rot Part II: Sour Rot

This is the second of a two-part article on bunch rot in winegrapes. Last week’s article discussed Botrytis cinerea, including symptoms on various parts of the vine (foliage, canes, berries), the disease’s life cycle, recommended management considerations (sanitation, canopy management, irrigation, chemicals), and resistance. In Part I the authors also gave an overview of the relative susceptibility to bunch rot of major grape varieties. Ripening berries are susceptible to invasion by many…

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Bunch Rot Part I: Botrytis cinerea

July 21st, 2015
Bunch Rot Part I: Botrytis cinerea

Many species of microorganisms may infect grape berries, including fungi and bacteria. Several species of these fungi, including Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus niger, A. carbonarius, Cladosporium cladosporioides, C. herbarum, Penicillium spp., Rhizopus arrizhus, and Alternaria spp., participate in bunch rot of grapes, though the latter four species are not true pathogens but rather secondary colonizers. Botrytis cinerea may directly penetrate and infect healthy berries, but the others require wounds or previously…

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How ASEV led us to Facebook

July 14th, 2015
How ASEV led us to Facebook

The American Society of Viticulture and Enology (ASEV) held their 66th national conference in Portland, Oregon on June 15-18. As in the past, I attended this year’s conference as a representative of the Lodi Winegrape Commission and Lodi’s 750 growers. While there I had the opportunity to learn about Dr. Matthew Fidelibus‘ use of social media, especially Facebook, as a tool for communicating with growers. In this Coffee Shop post, I’ll…

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Special Series: The Economics of the Drought for California Food and Agriculture

July 7th, 2015
Special Series: The Economics of the Drought  for California Food and Agriculture

The extreme drought that has gripped California over the past several years is causing onerous adjustments in the natural and human environments. Agriculture, which uses much of the state’s water, is at the center of many of these arduous responses. The 2015 impacts of the continuing drought are still underway, but in this special ARE Update issue (re-published here in the Coffee Shop with permission), we project responses and consequences…

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Sugar Accumulation Disorder (SAD)

June 29th, 2015
Sugar Accumulation Disorder (SAD)

There’s nothing like tending a nice crop of grapes all season, only to watch a portion of them shrivel and having to drop them before harvest. Berry shrivel has been a malady of some vineyards throughout the West Coast for many years. Several shrivel disorders may occur, and berries of each have a distinct appearance when examined closely (see the Hansen, 2013 reference). Sunburn occurs with insufficient leaf cover on…

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Erratic Budbreak and Variable Shoot Emergence

June 23rd, 2015
Erratic Budbreak and Variable Shoot Emergence

Erratic budbreak and variable shoot emergence was more common this year than most. At one point in some vineyards, early emerging shoots had elongating clusters and 7 or 8 unfolded leaves while late emerging shoots appeared as tiny green leaf tips between bud scales. Later, a wide range in shoot development was evident in clusters. In a few cases, the least developed clusters had only a trace of bloom while…

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