Monday, June 18, 2018

Handout and slides from recent meetings

Here are my presentation materials from recent meetings. It will open a new window with a PDF file.

1) Slides from beginner's workshop on 6 June 2018.
2) Handout from the VVA summer technical meeting on 12 June 2018

Upcoming vineyard meeting at Rivah Vineyard

There will be a meeting in the 23rd of June (Sat) at Rivah Vineyards at The Grove, Kinsale, Virginia. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM. If you are in the Northern neck or surrounding area, please join us.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Location for tomorrow's VVA Summer Meeting

A few people asked me about the specific location for tomorrow's VVA summer technical meeting. The meeting will be held at Brown Bear vineyards (Formally Spring Hills), and the nearest address is: 229 Spring House Lane, Woodstock VA 22664.

Tremain prepared a set of screenshots to help you get there. (Click the images to expand)

Spring House Lane is off from Alonzaville Rd.
Your GPS may overshoot. When you see the vineyard in front of you, you should see the farm road on your right to get to the garage/barn.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Don't forget about powdery mildew!

Powdery mildew colonies at the center of two leaves in the picture

With this wet season, what we think most are downy mildew, black rot, Phomopsis, and Botrytis. Powdery mildew is often associated with a dry season, partially because this pathogen does not require rain for its infection process.

However, what they also like to do is grow on shaded leave because they are sensitive to the UV radiation. With very clouded canopy from strong growth triggered from heavy water input (= rain), there are lots of leaves shaded by other leaves. Well, at least that is true in my vineyards... Sure enough, when I took a look at these leaves, I found powdery mildew colonies. 

You can see a small white fuzz (= powdery mildew colony) on two leaves in the picture above. Note that how the leaves are shaded.

We have a fair number of options for powdery mildew management. Sulfur (FRAC = M2) is an economical option, and there are range of products with different modes of action (= FRAC code).  Examples are: a DMI fungicides (e.g., Rally, Elite, Mettle, Rhyme, etc, FRAC 3), Quintec (FRAC 13), Vivando (FRAC 50), Luna Experience (FRAC 7 + 3), Topguard EQ (FRAC 11 + 3), Aprovia (FRAC 7), Torino (FRAC U6), etc. Please make sure to rotate FRAC codes. Try to limit the use of a particular FRAC code to twice a season with an exception of ones starts from M. Unfortunately, we have widespread of QoI (FRAC 11, e.g., Abound, Flint, etc.) fungicide resistance powdery mildew isolates in VA, so, I would not count on the QoI material for powdery mildew management.


I mentioned about Botrytis in the previous post too, but just an another reminder. Development of Botrytis depends on what type of varieties you grow, as well as your canopy management strategies.  White-fruited varieties with tight cluster architecture tend to be more prone to Botrytis.  I.e., a red-fruited variety with loose clusters probably does not have many issues with Botrytis, especially if the canopy is well maintained. Since Botrytis pathogen likes high humidity, poorly managed canopy that traps humidity will help them to thrive. Bloom time is important for Botrytis management because this fungus can infect flower and flower debris, and come back later when berries are maturing. There is a number of Botrytis materials such as Rovral and Meteor (FRAC 2), Elevate (FRAC 17), Vanguard and Scala (FRAC 9), Luna Experience (FRAC 7+3), Kenja (FRAC 7), Switch (FRAC 9 + 12), etc. As with powdery mildew, QoI fungicides are no longer the best material for us due to the development of QoI-resistant Botrytis isolates throughout VA.

Also I should note that a research from Penn State showed that when Botrytis infect flowers, symptom development requires wounds on the berry skin. One of causes of wounds on grape berry skin is powdery mildew which damages skin cells to cause splitting. Also speaking of which, grape berry moth which also causes wounds on the berry skin tends to show up in the vineyards around this time of the year. Unlike diseases, you can wait until you see webbing on the clusters to make a decision on spraying against grape berry moth. More in formation can be found in Dr. Doug Pfeiffer's web page.

As I noted in the previous post, grape clusters are sensitive to infection by powdery mildew, downy mildew, and black rot infection from bloom to 4-6 weeks after bloom. The length of this critical time depends on cultivar. For example, it should be 3-4 weeks for American grapes (V. labrusca),  5-6 weeks for French grapes (V. vinifera), and somewhere between the two for hybrids. I know spraying vineyards are not a fun activity, but please make sure that you have a good coverage during the critical period. In a typical year, once we pass the Fourth of July weekend, we can relax a bit.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Bloom time fungicide application suggestions

Although our bud break was about two weeks behind of a typical year, the wet and hot May pushed our vines forward rather quickly.  Many people in northern VA are about to see blooms (our 3-year old young Chardonnay vines are trace bloom), and I am sure rest of regions are going through bloom by now. This means that many of us are in the critical time for cluster infections by downy mildew, powdery mildew, and black rot. Bloom time is also the critical period to prevent Botrytis, ripe rot, and bitter rot, because pathogens of these diseases can infect flower parts and develop symptoms later.

With all the rains we observed, many people are concerned about downy mildew and black rot. In our vineyards, I did not see much sign of downy, but there are many leaves with black rot. It is probably because we did not have major downy mildew outbreaks in past three years.

We do have materials with kick-back activities against downy (Ridomil products (FRAC=4), phosphite (FRAC=33, Prophyt, Phostrol, etc.) and black rot (myclobutanil (FRAC=3, DMI), etc.), but infection on flowers and young fruits can happen very fast. Unless we have a very dry season (and we do have a wet season!), this is the time where you have to be proactive.  Also please note that recent warm and humid nighttime conditions (e.g., when I checked last night, RH was 90% and the temperature was in the 70’s) are favoring spore production of downy mildew pathogen.

What I recommend often is a use of protectant materials to protect tissues for 4-6 weeks for V. vinifera varieties, and 3-4 weeks for V. labrusca varieties, which should translate into 3-4 sprays for V. vinifera, and 2-3 sprays for V. labrusca.  If you have hybrids, they are somewhere in between, so, 4-5 weeks to be protected.  As usual, please make sure to rotate mode of action groups.

Here are three examples I thought of considering current conditions.  (Note:  I will add a phosphite product for downy mildew whenever we have many rain events)

Plan A (my "standard" program)
  1. At bloom: mancozeb + sulfur (FRAC=M2) + myclobutanil or another DMI + Vangard (FRAC=9, or other Botrytis material)
  2. First cover: mancozeb + sulfur + Quintec (FRAC=13) (or other PM material, such as Vivando (FRAC=50) or Torino (FRAC=U6))
  3. Second cover: mancozeb + sulfur + myclobutanil or another DMI
  4. Third cover: captan (FRAC=M4) + sulfur + Quintec (or other PM material, such as Vivando or Torino) (Note: if I do not see any evidence of powdery mildew, I may omit Quintec from this spray)

Plan B (if your major concern is downy mildew: note: I will add a phosphite or Ridomil product based on rain condition)
  1. At bloom: mancozeb + sulfur + Revus Top (FRAC=40+3) + Vangard (or another Botrytis material) (note: Revus Top contains a DMI)
  2. First cover: mancozeb + sulfur + Quintec (or other PM material, such as Vivando or Torino) (I may add Ranman (FRAC=21) to add more protection against downy here)
  3. Second cover: mancozeb + sulfur + Revus Top
  4. Third cover: captan + sulfur + Quintec (or other PM material, such as Vivando or Torino) (Note: if I do not see any evidence of powdery mildew, I may omit Quintec from this spray)

 Plan C (if your major concern is Botrytis and powdery mildew)
  1. At bloom: mancozeb + sulfur + Luna Experience (FRAC=7+3, Luna Experience contains a DMI) (Using FRAC=7 will give you an opportunity to use other Botrytis material (say, FRAC=9, 17, etc), if bloom last longer than expected or use these FRAC at the other spray timings (bunch closure and veraison))
  2. First cover: mancozeb + sulfur + Quintec (or other PM material, such as Vivando or Torino)
  3. Second cover: mancozeb + sulfur + myclobutanil or another DMI
  4. Third cover: captan + sulfur + Quintec (or other PM material, such as Vivando or Torino) (Note: if I do not see any evidence of powdery mildew, I may omit Quintec from this spray)
The spray interval depends on the weather conditions; so, I cannot give you a specific number.  However, in general, I would aim for shorter intervals for sprays #1, #2, and #3 (7 to 12 days), but I may relax a bit for #3 and #4 (10 to 14 days), especially if weather conditions do not favor downy or black rot.  Please note that I was saving my DMI and Quintec (or Vivando, or any other new powdery material) usages for the critical period, thus this is the only time we spray these materials.

I would like to use a mancozeb product around bloom and critical because it has activities against multiple pathogens including pathogens for black rot and ripe rot. Captan is not as effective as mancozeb when it comes to black rot management. The third cover may become too close to the 66-day PHI, so, you need to be careful with the usage of a mancozeb product.

Of course, the examples above are just examples, and there are many other options.  For example, there are many materials available for both downy and powdery mildew management in recent years.  Please refer to our PMG for more details. The 2018 PMG can be found on the right-hand menu of this blog.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

More about options for current rainy situation

I have added more information to the yesterday's post. Please check it out.

Options against current rainy condition.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Rain rain rain... What should we do?

As if almost a week of thunderstorms and rains was not enough, it looks like we are expecting even more rain in the coming week.

Hopefully, you had a good protection before the rain, but even if you did, rain more than 1-2 inches can wash the material away from the canopy. Please see the article from Dr. Annemiek Schilder about rain and wash off of fungicide. Her work suggests that although only a 0.04 inch of rain can wash a certain percentage of a material from the leaf, it takes about 1-2 inches to actually having a negative effect on the efficacy since the rate you apply is typically much higher than the threshold for the efficacy of the material.

When we have the next chance of application, what material(s) should we apply? I think many of us are about 2-4 weeks away from the bloom, so, the major concern is downy mildew. If you think you have missed the window (i.e., there were more than 2 inches of rain from the last application of a fungicide against downy mildew, or it has been more than 10 days from the previous application), it is probably a good idea to have a phosphite material (FRAC = 33) such as Prophyt, Phostrol, etc. It has a kickback activity against downy mildew (i.e., it can stop the ongoing infection process). While you are at it, it probably a good idea to mix with a protective material (e.g., captan (FRAC = M4), or mancozeb, ziram (FRAC = M3), or Revus, Forum (FRAC=40), or Zampro (FRAC=40+45), or Ranman (FRAC = 21)). If your vines are within two weeks of bloom, it is probably better to include mancozeb plus a QoI (FRAC=11, e.g. Abound, Flint, etc) or a DMI (FRAC=3, e.g., Rally, Mettle, etc) for black rot.

The other potential scenario is that you have applied materials just before the recent rain events, so, you might not be too concerned about the missing window, but you want to have an insurance against the upcoming week of rain. If that fits, a copper (FRAC=M1) material might be a good fit. It is more economical than other materials, has a good efficacy against downy mildew, and it tends to do better under frequent rain condition. There are several newer copper materials that cause fewer phytotoxicity issues even on relatively copper sensitive cultivars (e.g., Cueva, Champ, etc). The copper material is not effective against black rot, so, if your vines are near bloom, make sure to have mancozeb plus a QoI or a DMI for black rot.

(Addendum 17 May 2018) I received an email about the use of Ridomil products (FRAC = 4 + M3 (MZ) or + M1(Copper)), which have excellent kick-back activity against downy mildew. Typically, I recommend the use of phosphite as noted above because Ridomil products have known fungicide resistance issue. However, with the current rain situation (plus more on the forecast), Ridomil products could be a good option too. Please make sure not to spray too many times. Although you could apply up to four times according to the label, my recommendation is to limit the use of it to twice a season. We have too many fungicide resistance issues in our state, and and the overuse (and misuse) of a product is the most likely cause. Also, although Ridomil MZ has mancozeb, the concentration of mancozeb will be less than our typical recommendation (3 lb/A). You may want to adjust it by adding mancozeb (to meet 3 lb/A) or other a material(s) to cover black rot.

Another question came to my attention was about the difference between the QoI and DMI in regards to their kickback activity against black rot. In between them, the DMI is known to have a better (i.e., reach out longer) kickback activity than the QoI. So if you are in doubt about black rot, a DMI maybe a better option (but also think about powdery mildew. With this rain, I am not too concerned about powdery now, but you may need to keep the DMI for powdery too.)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bud break and rain...


Bud break for our younger (2-3 years old) Chardonnay happened around 4/20/2018, and for older Chardonnay, it was the last weekend, (4/27/2018). Looks like we are about 1-2 weeks behind of a "typical" spring.

But as with a typical spring, rain comes when grapes break buds! Looks like we will see some precipitations this weekend. Please make sure to have a good protection against Phomopsis as we discussed in the previous post. 

Let's hope that our season will be as good as 2017.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Early season disease (Phomopsis and Anthracnose) management tips

Our Chardonnay and some of the hybrid vines are in bud swell stage as of this week, and others are tagging along.  It looks like we will see bud break very soon with warmer temperature (but next week should be cooler).


One of the diseases you need to consider this time of the year is Phomopsis cane and leaf spot.  It causes minor leaf spots, which is more obvious to our eyes, but the more important damage is caused by necrotic lesions on shoots and rachis. It also causes berry rot; however, it is not common with wine grapes because of our spray programs. Materials for black rot and downy mildew are often effective against Phomopsis. Thus, the fungicide coverage for these diseases is also working as management of Phomopsis, especially later in the spring and early summer. Some cultivars, such as Viognier and Seyval Blanc, are more susceptible to Phomopsis than the others.

Phomopsis takes a while to establish in the vineyard. It may take 5-6 years for Phomopsis to become noticeable if you start a new vineyard. However, once established in a vineyard, it is difficult to get rid of this disease. Phomopsis tends to become noticeable as a vineyard gets older because of its life cycle. The fungus survives in canes and trunks that were infected in previous years. During the spring, it will produce spores on the surface of infected tissues, and these spores are splashed by rain onto new shoots or leaves. Luckily, the pathogen (Phomopsis viticola) produces spores mainly during the springtime. Thus, unlike the other diseases we face, there is only one major infection period throughout the season. Because of that, the spread of Phomopsis does not happen rapidly as other grapevine fungal diseases, such as downy mildew.

Phomopsis spores can cause infection under the relatively cooler environment (the upper 40s). Thus, springtime rain events are ideal for Phomopsis to produce spores and cause infection. Unfortunately, we do not have curative fungicides for Phomopsis management; therefore, it is important to protect young tissues when they come out from the older canes and trunks. Since shoots will grow rapidly, you may need to spray 1-2 times against Phomopsis, depending on how much rains we receive.
 
If rain events are coming into the picture after bud break, mancozeb (FRAC=M3, Penncozeb, Dithane, Manzate, etc.), Ziram (FRAC = M3), and captan (FRAC = M4) are effective protective materials against Phomopsis. In a typical year, one or two applications from 1-2 inch shoot growth will be sufficient, because your downy mildew or black rot applications, which happens in the late spring, will cover Phomopsis. QoI (FRAC = 11), such as Abound and Pristine, as well as SDHI (FRAC = 7), such as Luna Experience and Aprovia, work too. However, you don't want to use them this early in the season because you will need these materials for the latter part of the season to control other diseases.  Once again, protection is the only mean of chemical management because no materials are effective after the infection.

The other disease that you may need to consider around this time of the year is Anthracnose, which is more common with a certain hybrid species. Typical symptoms are black necrotic lesions on leaves,  shoots, and fruits, and often time, the black lesion has an ash-colored center, as if you burnt the leaf or shoot tissue with a cigarette. The management strategies will be similar to that of Phomopsis, and Topsin-M (FRAC = 1) is also known to be effective. For more information on Anthracnose, please refer to this link (Michigan State's Extension Website on grape Anthracnose management).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Slides from NJ "Grape Expectations" meeting

Thank you for who attended NJ's "Grape Expectations" meeting two weeks ago. (I think it is a very cool name for an Extension meeting.) Sorry for not able to post my presentation sooner. I have been out for other meetings.

Click here for slides from my presentation. It will open a PDF file on Google Drive.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

More slides from the 2018 VVA meeting

Here are slides from my student's presentations. The link will open a PDF file on Google Drive. Please note that many of data presented here are still preliminary and we are working on publications.

1) Wong and Nita "Evaluation of Rhizobium vitis ARK-1, A Biological Control Agent For Crown Gall of Grapevine, Using R. vitis Isolates From Virginia Vineyards"

2) Oliver and Nita "Laboratory and field fungicide testing for control of Colletotrichum species isolated from Virginia vineyards"

Friday, February 23, 2018

Slides from the 2018 VVA meeting

Thank you again for those of you attended one of my sessions.

Here are links to my presentations. It will open PDF files on Google Drive.

1) Interactive grape disease management

2) Advanced topic in grape disease management: Fungicide resistance

Please note that we will have more meetings coming up:

16 March 2018
Pruning workshop at Breaux Vineyards (Northern Virginia)

17 April 2018
Vineyard IPM workshop at Early Mountain Vineyards (Central Virginia)

6 June 2018
“Beginner’s” Grape Growing workshop
Virginia Tech’s AHS Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Winchester VA

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Change in Presidio label: grape is no longer listed.

The label of Presidio has been changed, and unfortunately, the grape was removed from the list of hosts. This means that we no longer able to purchase Presidio to control grape downy mildew.

If you already have it, it is still legally OK to use it for the grape, as long as you keep the original label. (and if you do, please make sure to mix with another mode of action such as mancozeb, captan, copper, since the active ingredient for Presidio is known to have the fungicide resistance issue, and required by the label to mix.)



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Disease considerations at pruning time 2018

Here's this year's handout for pruning time disease considerations (this link opens Google Drive with this year's recommendation for trunk disease management). As I noted in this handout, the first line of defense against trunk diseases that may infect through pruning cut is a cultural control. Make sure to pick dates when you are expecting several days of dry weather.

In this handout, I refer to Topsin-M as a choice of trunk disease management, especially for Botryosphaeria canker, which is very common in our area. The product has been transferred to a new company in 2017, and there are changes in the label. [Note: The US distributor is still the same (UPI), thus, I do not think it will affect where you can purchase the product.] 

If you are using Topsin-M for pruning wound protection, please update your label. You can download the new label by clicking this link (will open Google Drive).

If you are pruning, and wondering whether you can protect pruning wounds from infections by trunk diseases, there is a supplemental label of Rally for control of various trunk diseases (Botryosphaeria, ESCA, and Eutypa).  

You can apply them with a sprayer or as a paint.  It would be a very good idea to use them, especially when you are making a big cut.  The timing of application would be soon after pruning and before a rain. 

Also, double pruning (early winter rough cut followed by the final cut in early spring) showed to reduce 95% of trunk disease in a CA study.

Also, speaking of trunk diseases, I have been involved in a research effort to develop management strategies for various trunk diseases. Please check our project page which contains not only research reports, but also extension information, such as disease keys, management guides, and economic tools to estimate the benefit of trunk disease management over the life of a vineyard.