Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our vines are blooming, how about yours?

I noticed that some of Chardonnay and Merlot started blooming on Friday.  I ended up spraying on Saturday for pre-bloom treatment.  Once again, from bloom to 4-5 weeks after bloom is critical periods for black rot, downy mildew and powdery mildew cluster infection.  Please stay on top of your program during this period.  Once you successfully protect your vines through this period, you can relax a bit.

I saw a little bit of downy mildew development in our vineyards, but nothing major.  I am wondering how recent hot and dry weather conditions affect their population.   We will see...

Speaking of hot weather, I've noticed that there is air quality alert issued to Fredrick county.  I don't know what would be the effect to grape diseases, but it does affect us.  Make sure to hydrate yourself and keep eye on your body conditions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's and today's rain

Winchester area received thunderstorms yesterday evening around 7 PM; however, air dried out quickly, so, it was probably not long enough as disease risks.  Then we received a light rain around 1 AM.  Once again, it was short and very light, thus, it was not enough for disease infection risks.  However, as I mentioned yesterday, these isolated thunderstorms may have brought longer rains at your vineyards.  Please check your local weather.

Another thing that I noticed is that we have been having two consecutive warm nights with high relative humidity (>90%).  The pathogen of downy mildew tends to sporulate under these night time conditions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Disease risks from today's rain

Isolated thunderstorms went through the area and Winchester area received a short shower last night from 12:55AM.  The relative humidity remained high (>90%) until 6:55AM, thus, it accounted for 6 hours of an estimated wetness period with an average temperature of 65F.  It is long enough for light infection for Phompsis, and infection for downy mildew. 

These isolated thunderstorms are difficult to predict and as the name implies, it could affect only a limited area.  For example, I was watching dark cloud passing through last evening, but we did not receive any rain at my place.  Please check your local weather closely and make an adjustment to your spray program, if needed.

Many of us are about to have bloom soon.  Please keep in your mind that from bloom to 4-5 weeks after bloom is a critical period of cluster infection by downy mildew, powdery mildew, and black rot.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain

We had a few short showers passed yesterday morning and afternoon; however, none of these are long enough to be disease risks.  On the other hand, other regions in VA seems to received longer showers than we did.  If you are concerned, please check your local weather record.  You can access your local weather information through the link to the "weather underground" on the right hand side.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Disease risks from today's rain

Thunderstorms went through Winchester area soon after the midnight (~12:35AM, 0.09 inches), and the relative humidity remained high (>90%) until 8:55AM.  Thus, we experienced an estimated wetness period of 8 h 20 min with an average temperature of 67F.  This event was long enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew.  Boy, we have a lots of rain this year!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain

After a short dry period, we received rains from around 8:15 PM last night (18 May), and although the rain stopped within a few hours, the relative humidity was high (>90%) until 11 AM this morning (+ we had a short shower in the morning).  Thus, we experienced about 14.5 hours of the estimated wetness with an average temperature of 57F.  It was long and warm enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew infection.

We had a nice sunny afternoon; however, I see several thunderstorms coming in this way.  We will see...

Speaking of black rot, we observed the first black rot symptom today.  (the picture is fresh out of the vineyard!)  Since it is already producing fruiting body,  infection probably happened much earlier, but I did not have much time to spend in the vineyard due to rains.

Having sporulating black rot colony before bloom means that we need to be concern about berry infection.  Please scout your vineyard for disease symptoms so that you can adjust your spray program accordingly.

To my surprise, I have not seen much of downy mildew in our vineyards, yet.  (I have seen some suspicious leaves, though.)  It maybe due to the dry hot summer we had in 2010.  (i.e., the inoculum is low in the vineyard.) However, having a series of wet events with the average temperature in 60's make me concern about downy.

So what I would do for next spray?  What I am thinking is either a Phosphorous acid material (e.g. Prophyt) or a metalaxyl material (Ridomil) for downy, mancozeb for black rot, downy and Phomopsis, and sulfur for powdery mildew.  I will watch for th weather and growth stage, and I will throw in mycrobutanil (Rally) or QoI's for black rot in the pre-bloom/bloom spray (but not the next one), if needed.

Disease risks from 16 May- 18 May

The rain started around 9:20 PM on 16 May in Winchester, and since then, there were several rain and thunderstorms went through the area.  The relative humidity remained high even between the rains, and it was around 10 AM on 18 May when things were started to dry out.  Thus, it was about 38.5 hours of estimated wetness event, with 0.08 inches of rain and average temperature of 62F.  As expected, it was long and warm enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew.

We were not affected, but some of you have experienced hails during this week's series of wet weather events.  Hopefully, it did not cause a major damage to your vines.

It seems that the chance of precipitation is low for tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain, and petiole sample

Disease risk event:  I just checked the weather record, but the RH is still high and it seems that the wetness event is still going.  I will update when things are dry, but the length of wetness tells me that this series of rains and thunderstorms since yesterday is long enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew.

As bloom approaches, a few people contacted me about the petiole sample.  I found a note from the Ohio State Univ., which lists the contact information of three labs that will do the test for you.  As far as I know, there are not much difference among these labs in terms of the accuracy of the measurement.  Just keep in your mind that in order to have a comprehensive picture of what is happening in your vineyard, you will need to have: soil analysis; petiole analysis; and visual assessment.

By the way, we will have a vineyard meeting at Glen Manor (just outside of Front Royal) today.  I hope you can make it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain

Soon after I posted the last one, a line of thunderstorms passed Winchester area.  The estimated wetness event started at 1PM of 5/15 and ended at 9AM this morning (5/16).  The amount of precipitation was about 0.4 inches, and the average temperature was about 70F.  It was long and warm enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew.

We ended up not receiving much rain today.  I hope those of you who needed a protective or curative-activity material for vines found a window for application as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's and today's rain

We are experiencing a wet weekend, and it seems that is true for many of VA.  In Winchester area, the series of thunderstorms start to pass through the area starting 1 AM in 5/13.  The first estimated wetness event lasted until around 12:40PM on 5/14 (35 h 40 min), with an average temperature of 65F.  It was certainly warm and long enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew infection to take place.

Then there was another set of thunderstorms went through the area from 5:40PM on 5/14, then the estimated wetness event ended around 10:20AM on 5/15 (15 h 30 min) with an average temperature of 67F.  Once again, it was warm and long enough for Phomopsis, black rot, and downy mildew infection to take place.  A total amount of recorded precipitation at Winchester airport is about 0.25 inches.

Moreover, as I type this entry in, I hear thunder and see dark clouds moving up from the west of me.  Based on the weather map, it seems that a cold front is passing.

If you have experienced the same type of weather over the last few days, chances are (especially with rapidly growing shoots), you are probably concerned about infections at this point.  Unless, you had a chance to apply materials late last week, which I did not.  Luckily, we have options for both black rot and downy mildew that can be applied after infection event.  Either Phosphorous acid products or Ridomil products are good against downy mildew (if you see active sporulation, Phosphorous acid would be a better choice, considering a risk of fungicide resistance), and either QoI's (e.g., Abound), and mycrobutanil (e.g., Rally) would be a good choice for black rot.

The question is when you can apply them.  It looks like we are looking at a few more rains during next few days...  Hopefully we can find a window (note: typically materials need 2-3 hour of drying time, otherwise rain can wash it off).  I wish you all a good luck.  (and I need one too!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Disease risks from today's rain

Winchester area received a short shower this morning from 7:20 AM to 8:20 AM or so.  Although the relative humidity was high (>90%) until 8:40 AM, it was probably too short even for downy mildew.  The average temperature during the estimated wet event was 54F.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain

Winchester area (and many other central to northern VA areas) received rains from the evening of 5/3 to the morning of 5/4.  For us, it started around 8 PM on 5/3 and ended around 8:40 AM on 5/4 with 0.24 inches of precipitation.  The relative humidity was above 90% until 10 AM or so.  Thus, it was about 14 hours of estimated wetness event with an average temperature of 53F.  It was long enough for black rot risk and moderate Phomopsis risk.

We are expecting a few more nights with low temperature (I hope it won't be a frost event), and more rains during this weekend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vineyard meeting at Horton

We will have a vineyard meeting tomorrow at Horton Vineyard.  I will cover early season disease management and fungicide updates, and Tony and Tremain will cover viticulture updates.  It will start from 11AM.  If you have a time, please stop by.

I started to observe Phomopsis symptoms on some of our Chardonnays.  Make sure to protect your vines from upcoming rain events.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Disease risks from yesterday's rain

We received about 0.02 inches of rain at Winchester.  Showers came in and out since around 1:40 PM until 5:00 PM (3 hrs 20 min).  The air was dry during the time of rain (< 90% RH), and the average temperature was 55F.  It was not long enough for either Phomopsis or black rot.  Although the temperature was lower than the optimal, it was probably warm and long enough for downy mildew.