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Hilgardia: A New Old Resource for Viticulture Research

March 9th, 2015
Hilgardia: A New Old Resource for Viticulture Research

Hilgardia was the primary technical publication of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) for 70 years. The journal was established in May 1925 and succeeded the Technical Paper series which ceased with issue No. 20 (April 1925). Although production ceased in 1995, the 900-plus issues include classic research making up the cornerstones of agricultural, environmental and nutritional science. These issues are frequently still cited in scientific literature.  Many of…

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Cover Crop Performance and Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Lodi Vineyard

February 24th, 2015
Cover Crop Performance and Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Lodi Vineyard

Cover crops are a critical piece of a sustainable vineyard system. Retaining plant cover in tractor rows helps reduce soil loss, limiting wind or water erosion. [1] Cover crops also influence vineyard nutrient levels [1, 2]. The inclusion of cover crops in vineyard management plans can also result in less desirable effects such as increased greenhouse gas emissions, especially if leguminous cover crops are utilized [1, 3]. Our study in…

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A Checklist to Reduce Spray Drift

February 17th, 2015
A Checklist to Reduce Spray Drift

What I learned in The New Yorker, in an article titled “The Checklist” written by Atul Gawande, and published on December 10, 2007, was that a simple and effective technique for reducing human error is the checklist. Gawande later wrote an entire book on the subject entitled The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. For many years I have said that the single best publication that a person can read in the…

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Measuring the Effectiveness of Grape Pest Management Outreach in Lodi

February 2nd, 2015
Measuring the Effectiveness of Grape Pest Management Outreach in Lodi

The Lodi Winegrape Commission and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) have something very important in common. We share the goal of helping communicate the best agricultural research and effective practices to farmers. In late 2014 the Commission partnered with UCCE to provide Lodi winegrowers with the most up to date scientific information about grape pest management. The Commission is hosting a series of about 14 educational meetings during 2014…

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Considerations for Dry Farming Wine Grapes

January 26th, 2015
Considerations for Dry Farming Wine Grapes

Some wine grape growers prefer to dry farm wine grapes, while others have no choice because either they have no water for irrigation or no means to apply water during the growing season. Of course, dry farming is as old as grapevine cultivation and it remains a hallmark of old world viticulture. However, unlike many parts of Europe, almost all California wine growing areas experience drought during the summer, making…

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Charlie Starr – Nutrient Management Profile

January 19th, 2015
Charlie Starr – Nutrient Management Profile

Nutrient Management planning Charlie Starr grew up around vineyards; today, together with his father and father-in-law, the family oversees around 100 acres of vines in Acampo, California. Since the 1960s, the families have been expanding vineyard acreage, with the oldest Zinfandel dating back to the 1960s and the youngest vines planted in 2005. The majority of their vines are Zinfandel, with about 10% Syrah. They currently sell their fruit to…

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Water Management — Part II

January 5th, 2015
Water Management — Part II

Introduction Thank you for reading Part II of this three-part series on water management.  In Part I we discussed the importance of having a written water management plan, the advantages of Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI), monitoring water quality and soil water-holding capacity, and vine water status as a measure of water stress.  In this second part in the series, we focus on irrigation (Sections 5.6 to 5.11 of the Lodi…

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In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – Looking Back at 2014

December 22nd, 2014
In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – Looking Back at 2014

The 2014 season was a challenging and difficult year that ended well. Growers and winemakers deserve a tip of the hat. There were however some scattered misfortunes. The harvest wrapped up in the second week of October for most, although a few blocks were harvested slightly thereafter. The first week of December 2013 was very cold. This, combined with a third year of drought caused winter injury and some dieback…

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Water Management — Part I

December 15th, 2014
Water Management — Part I

Introduction Describing the issue of water in California, Mark Twain once intoned, “whiskey’s fer drinkin’, water’s fer fightin’.” Winegrapes use less water than most crops, so we do a little less fighting than some, but we still need to manage our most precious resource to the best of our ability. Drip (or “low volume”) irrigation has revolutionized viticulture. Low volume irrigation systems allow small amounts of water to be applied slowly and frequently through emitters…

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Conservation Tillage of Cover Crops in Vineyard Soils to Improve Carbon Sequestration and Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

December 8th, 2014
Conservation Tillage of Cover Crops in Vineyard Soils to Improve Carbon Sequestration and Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and other sectors of California’s economy has become one of the most important environmental concerns of state and federal regulatory organizations. This is the result of the June 2006 passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill 32, which calls for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) production to 1993 levels by 2020; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent endangerment finding…

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