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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Balancing a Healthy, Functional Root System During Drought

June 2nd, 2015
Balancing a Healthy, Functional Root System During Drought

Grapevine nutrition may not be on the forefront of growers concerns as bud break approaches in the vineyard. However, the drought conditions that have persisted over the past two years in areas of Texas and California will likely effect root growth dynamics, total root area, and nutrient availability in the soil. A balanced ratio of root to canopy is essential to ripening a high quality crop, regardless of expected yield….

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The Economic Impact of Food and Beverage Processing in California

May 26th, 2015
The Economic Impact of Food and Beverage Processing in California

California’s role as the nation’s leading producer of agricultural products is well known. In 2012 California’s farms and ranches accounted for $42.6 billion in output. California produced 15% of the nation’s total value of crop production and 7.1% of the value of livestock and livestock products. Milk production was the state’s largest agricultural industry in 2012, with production valued at $6.90 billion in 2012, followed by grapes at $4.45 billion,…

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Ciatti Global Market Update – May 2015

May 20th, 2015
Ciatti Global Market Update – May 2015

Harvest is coming to an end in the Southern Hemisphere and most volume estimates remain unchanged.  The total crop size for all of the Southern Hemisphere should fall short of the 2014 result.  Argentina and New Zealand are experiencing the biggest declines in volume, while South Africa and Australia look to be very similar to the previous year.  Chile has rebounded from a frost‐stricken 2014 crop, but looks like it will not reach…

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Verticilium Wilt – Excerpt from Grape Pest Management

May 12th, 2015
Verticilium Wilt – Excerpt from Grape Pest Management

Verticillium wilt causes significant losses in many annual and perennial crops in California, but it is a minor disease of grapes. Caused by the fungus Verticillium dahliae, it was first detected in grapes in 1973. Disease incidence as high as 15% in certain young vineyards was reported at that time, but generally, incidence is low (1 to 2%) and may be seasonal. It has been generally found in new vineyards…

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In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – May 2015

May 4th, 2015
In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – May 2015

As of the rainfall total at the end of April, it looks like we are entering a fourth year of drought. This is more severe than the 2007-09 drought and the dry spell from 2002-03.  The current rainfall season will end below long term average. However, there has been some good news in the fact that this year’s rainfall occurred in a fairly effective pattern to provide some good deep…

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Port Slowdown Impacts California Agriculture

April 27th, 2015
Port Slowdown Impacts California Agriculture

California agriculture exported about 26% of its production in 2013 worth $21 billion. The top six destinations for California agricultural exports are Canada, European Union, China (including Hong Kong), Japan, Mexico, and Korea. Most export destinations rely almost exclusively on West Coast ports. The slowdown did not greatly restrict shipments from California to Mexico and Canada because most shippers use rail and truck for that trade. Exports of some products to…

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2014 Lodi Grower Survey – Report of Results

April 20th, 2015
2014 Lodi Grower Survey – Report of Results

It is common, and even recommended, for winegrape growers to collect various types of information, or data, which they then used to make informed vineyard management decisions. PCAs walk vineyards to collect pest monitoring data, which is the basis for pest control decisions. Lab analysis of soil and petiole samples are used to develop nutrient management recommendations. Meteorological data collected by in-field weather stations is used to alerts growers when frost control…

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