Continue on with your protective spray program, paying particular attention to Powdery Mildew. Thorough coverage and timing early in the season is critical in preventing disease outbreaks later.
Many blocks are either flowering or finishing flowering which means certain products are having WHP restriction windows closing rapidly, especially Botrytis controls. If you had botrytis last vintage, spore carryover into a new season is more likely, hence consider your control options now before these windows close.
Also, keep an eye out for Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) in developing bunches. Look for the little web and curling structures that may indicate LBAM is present. If enough of the pest is detected, it may warrant a control. For more information on LBAM, please see the attached Factsheet.
Water management must also be a focus, with growth stages approaching fruit set. Renowned scientist and educator Peter Dry, in his presentation and discussion with Riverland growers earlier in the year, was very forthright in co-relating increased fruit quality with planned, measured, controlled levels of vine stress in the immediate post fruit set period – without significantly compromising cropping levels.A mild level of stress post fruit set helped the vines switch their growth cycle from vegetative into fruit development and ripening.
Consider the amount of water and nutrition applied in terms of vine vigour. Why spend money growing a massive canopy, only to spend more time and money trimming it off a few weeks later?