The recent rains and cool conditions have slowed baumés and harvest. Now is the time to catch up on sleep, repair and maintain equipment so that breakdowns are reduced when harvest recommences, spend time with family and friends.
Since the rain grape industry scouts have noticed increased fruit disease occurring with a wide variety of different infirmaries: bitter rot, sour rot, aspergillus, vinegar flies, botrytis etc have all been noticed out there. Take the time to inspect your remaining fruit, paying particular attention to tight bunches and susceptible varieties. Last week’s note described what to look for and potential control options. Be vigilant. Talk to your winery staff if you are worried about something. Limit water applications to take tension out of bunches and reduce humidity in vineyards. Trim where required.
Most will have noticed a very strong recovery of existing weeds and also a massive germination of both summer AND winter weeds and for those wishing to control those weeds, the next week or two will present a fantastic opportunity to lower weed/ seed numbers. Obviously, some fruit buyers have restrictions on chemicals that can be used and also WHPs so make yourselves aware of these restrictions before any applications are made.
If you do decide to go down the chemical route, ensure you choose your active ingredients wisely, having particular regard for off target impacts that may occur. Also, get your mix right. The most expensive spray is the one that doesn’t work so, if needed, buffer or pH adjust your water to appropriate levels, add adjuvants if necessary, consider adding a spike or penetrant if the targets require such.
Use weather information services to plan your spray in advance to days where winds are low and temperatures are cool.
Physical control options can also be considered with the damper soil conditions allowing most tillage equipment better functionality than
they achieve in dryer conditions.
Small, actively growing weeds are the easiest to control and current conditions present a good opportunity to do so.