HCC V&E March 15, 2017

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Welcome back to the HCC V&E Blog.  We’ve been on hiatus for awhile as the program has seen some staff turnover.  However, we’re back and ready to give good information to our students and the Kansas grape and wine industry.  Please allow me to introduce Randall (Randy) Miller, HCC’s new Viticulturist.  Randy manages the HCC vineyards, teaches our viticulture classes, and is our new vineyard guru regarding consultation for the industry.  I’ll let him tell a bit about himself and share our most recent thoughts regarding growing grapes in Kansas.

Hello, I’m Randy Miller.  I started as the viticulturist seven months ago in beautiful Wamego, Ks. I’m at least a third generation farmer/rancher. I went to Oklahoma State University and majored in Plant & Soil Science, minored in Entomology, and completed coursework for a MS in Range Ecology. My desire to help ag producers and conserve our natural resources led me to work for the USDA and, eventually the US Air Force on the Central Coast of California. This is where I developed my love of wine and started taking viticulture classes. The value added aspect of grapes as wine, was also a major factor in this.

I returned to Oklahoma and decided to start a grapevine nursery. I continued taking viticulture courses through OSU, Greyson CC, and the Texas Extension Service. In 2007 I started teaching viticulture at OSU-OKC (campus in Oklahoma City), but by 2009 the recession caused university wide funding reductions and termination of the program. Along with all of those other viticulture activities, I began taking enology classes through VESTA. The winemaking courses gave me a better sense of the broad picture of the industry from both the grower and winery perspective.

As we all have noticed, the 2016-17 winter hasn’t exactly been all that wintery.  Especially in January and February, temperatures have been unseasonably warm.  These warm temperatures got the HCC V&E staff (and many others) talking about the impending early bud-break and how to deal with that possibility.  This  recent warm weather was discussed in the following article published by K-State:

http://climate.k-state.edu/news/stories/20170303+Extremes+vs+March+Temperatures.pdf

The current cold spell (March 10-15) came just in time for the northern 2/3 of the state. Hopefully it will delay budbreak until after the last frost. Unfortunately some areas in the southern part of Kansas had budbreak around a month early, and likely experienced some damage.

Records show that December 18th (2016) was the record cold for some mesonet weather station locations. Many areas were at least -17 F (Table below shows temperatures in Rossville, KS). The low temperature extreme is highly dependent on location, and mostly elevation. Obviously we haven’t been to every vineyard in Kansas, but this low extreme killed both primary and secondary buds of many of the varieties we’ve seen. Many had canes and tertiary buds damaged as well. These were all north and east of Manhattan, so we hope the southern half escaped severe damage.

(Click photo to enlarge.)

We also saw a large amount of trunk/wood diseases such as bot canker (Eutypa). If it is not pruned out, those diseases can and likely will kill the vine.

If you haven’t started pruning yet then we recommend that you delay to see what is still alive and buds out, particularly in the northern half of the state. If you haven’t pruned in the southern part, you should also delay until the danger of frost has past. If you’ve already started pruning then you may want to leave extra buds to compensate for damage.

HCC V&E is hosting a vineyard workshop on April 22nd, starting at 9am in Wamego.  At this workshop we’ll cover all of these issues in more depth, as well as cold mitigation and cordon conversion (for excess vigor) at a workshop April 22nd at our Wamego campus.

One last item of note.  HCC V&E is proud to announce that we have hired a new Enologist.  Mr. Matthew Kahl will be joining us from New Mexico.  I’ll let Matt give the details about his background in another post.  His first day with HCC will be March 29th, 2017.  We’re excited to have him aboard!!

 

If you any inquiries about HCCV&E or are interested in consultations for your vineyard or winery contact us.

(785) 456-6006

Scott Kohl skohl@highlandcc.edu

Program Director

Randy Miller rmiller@highlandcc.edu

Viticulturist

New Enologist coming soon: Matt Kahl

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Research Vineyard Observations (growing season 2015)

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The following post describes the stages of growth of the different varieties planted in the HCC Research Vineyard through the 2015 growing season.  The phenolic stages will be described in common terms such as “bloom”, “grand period of growth”, “veraison”, and “harvest” as well as by the Eichorn-Lorenz (E-L#) system of tracking vine phenology.  The dates associated with the different stages are the dates on which these stages were observed in our vineyard.  This does not mean that it was the beginning date of a certain stage, or the end date, but only that the stage was observed on this date in our vineyard, which could only be scouted once every week or two at most.  There are also notes on yield as well as some common diseases affecting the different varieties within the vineyard.  It should be noted that pest and disease control was very difficult to maintain in this vineyard as all the varieties developed at different rates, and the timing of pesticide application was not ideal for every variety on any given day.

 

‘Jupiter’:

-Winter survival rate: 0/12

-Regrown from root sucker shoots

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines affected by mildews and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Concord’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Late bud swell (E-L#3) 4/13/15

-1-3” growth (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Early bloom (E-L#20) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Still not at veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/15/15

-Yield: 9.2 lbs/vine

-Vines affected by 2,4-D damage

 

‘Lakemont’:

-New variety planted this spring

-Bud break (E-L#4) 4/23/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

– Vines were not affected by diseases or pests

 

‘Mars’:

-Winter survival rate: 11/12

-Bud swell (E-L#2-3) 4/13/15

-Bud break (E-L#4) 4/23/15

-Pre-bloom (E-L#18) 5/25/15

-Veraison (E-L#34) 7/17/15

-Near harvest quality (E-L#37) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 8/15/15

-Harvest notes lost

-Vines were affected by 2,4-D  damage

 

‘ Vanessa’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Swell (E-L#3) 4/13/15

-Bud break (E-L#4-5) 4/23/15

-Pre-bloom (E-L#19) 5/25/15

-Early veraison (E-L#34) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 8/26/15

-Yield: 6.9 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Summer Rots and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Suffolk Red’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Early swell (E-L#2) 4/13/15

-Bud break (E-L#3-9) 4/23/15

-Pre-bloom (E-L#19) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 3.1 lbs/vine

-Vines affected by Black Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Arandell’:

-New vines planted in 2015

-Swell (E-L#2-3) 4/23/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines were not affected by any pests or diseases

 

‘Aromella’:

-New vines planted in 2015

-Swell (E-L#2-3) 4/23/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines affected by Black Rot and Anthracnose

 

‘Lemberger’:

-New vines planted in 2015

-Early swell (E-L#2) 4/13/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines affected by Black Rot

 

‘Muscat Ottonel’:

-New vines planted in 2015

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines were affected by Anthracnose

 

‘Zweigelt’:

-New vines planted in 2015

-Early swell (E-L#2-3) 4/13/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines were not affected by any pests or diseases

 

‘Reisling’:

-Winter survival rate: 2/10

-Early swell (E-L#2) 4/13/15

-Grand period of growth (E-L#7-17) 5/25/15

-All fruit removed for establishment season

-Vines affected by Black Rot

 

‘Frontenac’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Swell (E-L#2-3) 4/13/15

-Bud break (E-L#4-9) 4/23/15

-Early bloom (E-L#20) 5/25/15

-Early veraison (E-L#34) 7/17/15

-Full veraison (E-L#35-37) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/9/15

-Yield: 14 lbs/vine

-Brix: 23.8

-pH: 3.6

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Frontenac Gris’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Swell (E-L#2-3) 4/13/15

-Bud break (E-L#4-9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Early veraison (E-L#34) 7/17/15

-Full veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 10.6 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘La Crescent’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/13/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 8.6 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Edelweiss’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/3/15

-Yield: 13.0 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Bunch Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Marquette’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/13/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 4.3 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘LaCrosse’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 2.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and Bunch Rot

 

‘Catawba’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 10/2/15

-Yield: Unknown lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Bunch Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Brianna’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/13/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 6.8 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Bunch Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Chardonel’:

-Winter survival rate: 4/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/16/15

-Yield: 0.5 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Chambourcin’:

-Winter survival rate: 3/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/15/15

-Yield: 6.0 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Corot Noir’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/16/15

-Yield: 6.5 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Bunch Rot and Downey Mildew

 

‘Cayuga White’:

-Winter survival rate: 7/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 11.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Marachel Foch’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/13/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 5.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Fredonia’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 5.6 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by 2,4-D damage

 

‘Glenora’:

-Winter survival rate: 10/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) NA

-Yield: 0.0 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Anthracnose and all fruit dropped

 

‘Geneva Red’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/9/15

-Yield: 3.6 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and Bunch Rot

 

‘Marquis:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) Never reached

-Harvest (E-L#38) NA

-Yield: 0.0 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Anthracnose and all fruit dropped

 

‘Leon Millot’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 3.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Bunch Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Niagara’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/16/15

-Yield: 8.5 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Melody’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/15/15

-Yield: 7.8 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Downey Mildew, Bunch Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Norton’:

-Winter survival rate: 7/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/9/15

-Yield: 3.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by 2,4-D damage

 

‘Noiret’:

-Winter survival rate: 3/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/9/15

-Yield: 2.0 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Bunch Rot

 

‘Rougeon’:

-Winter survival rate: 11/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 8.6 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Downey Mildew and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Regent’:

-Winter survival rate: 9/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 4.4 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot, Powdery Mildew and 2,4-D damage

 

‘St. Vincent’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/16/15

-Yield: 7.8 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘St. Croix’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-1-3” (E-L#9) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 3.5 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by 2,4-D damage

 

‘Steuben’:

-Winter survival rate: 12/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/3/15

-Yield: 12.8 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Seyval Blanc’:

-Winter survival rate: 11/12

-Bud break (E-L#2-4) 4/23/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/2/15

-Yield: 3.4 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and Bunch Rot

-Vines produced a second crop that was dropped before harvest due to young age of vines

 

‘Vignoles’:

-Winter survival rate: 11/12

-1-3” (E-L#9) 5/25/15

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Bunch closure (E-L#32) 7/17/15

-Veraison (E-L#35) 8/5/15

-Harvest (E-L#38) 9/5/15

-Yield: 2.7 lbs/vine

-Vines were affected by Black Rot and 2,4-D damage

 

‘Traminette’:

-Winter survival rate: All new vines

 

‘Vidal Blanc’:

-Winter survival rate: 1/12

-Bloom (E-L#23) 5/25/15

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

 

‘Valvin Muscat’:

-Winter survival rate: All new vines

-Vines were affected by Black Rot

D.R.

HCC Research Vineyard Observations (7-8-15)

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As many of you know, HCC substantially expanded the College vineyard acreage in spring 2014.  As our staff has found, keeping track of the expanded vineyard (5000 total vines!) has left little time to post in this space.

Rest assured, Viticulturist Dylan Rolfes has been diligently keeping track of data in the Research Vineyard through the spring and summer.  However, a giant chunk of data is difficult to compile and make readable while tending to all of the new vines.  The data will be posted when it’s ready.

Here are some “casual” observations by Scott after recently walking through the Research Vineyard:

First of all, we had some varieties that did not over-winter well.  Some recovered and some didn’t.  Most notably, the Jupiter (seedless) grapevines had grown and had beginning cordons trained on the wire in late growing season 2014, but in spring 2015 they started pushing new shoots from the roots.  Their cordons and trunks were completely dead.  We were very surprised at this finding.  The even more surprising finding is that the new growth from the roots has been SUPER-vigorous.  The new growth is all the way back up to the wire and new shoots trained to be cordons.  In fact, these vines have some of the biggest leaves I’ve ever seen.  I’ll post a recent photo of the Jupiter vines below.

There were a few varieties that did not fair well through the 2013 winter and eventually were chosen to be replanted with new varieties because all 12 vines were dead.  In Fall 2014 they were cut out and the soil prepared for new plantings. The varieties that were taken out of the vineyard were Neptune (seedless), Cabernet Franc (Vitis vinifera), Chardonnay (Vitis vinifera) and Gruner Veltliner.

These four varieties were replaced with Lakemont (seedless), two new varieties recently released from Cornell Arandell and Aromella, as well as Muscat Ottonel (Vitis vinifera).  So far these four are doing very well.

The other Vitis Vinifera were kept because at least half of their rows had survived through Fall 2014.  Replants were ordered and planted in Spring 2015 to replace those vines that hadn’t survived previous years.  Unfortunately, some of those vines that were alive in Fall 2014 did not come back in Spring 2015.  Therefore, we still have “half-rows” of Vitis vinifera in the Research Vineyard.  It could be that mother nature is trying to tell us something about vinifera at this particular site.

As for casual observations (as opposed to pruning weights, cluster numbers, etc.) I can say the Research Vineyard is growing marvelously, for the most part.  The varieties that were part of the original planting look like 4- or 5-year old vines even though they are only in their 3rd year.  Many have trunks larger around than the old C-size batteries used in flashlights years ago.  These older varieties are all fruiting this year and will be harvested in Fall 2015.  The fruit will likely be made into a large blend of wine this year, but plans are in the works for potentially create a winemaking research project to parallel the grape growing research.  Such a project will take LOTS of time, making up to 44 small batches of wine and keeping them all separate.  The project is in the works, but by no means a done deal just yet.

Other observations are that this vineyard was hit by chemical drift again this year, twice.  The initial hit was around mid-June when all of the area farm fields finally dried out enough for the soybean farmers to spray and plant beans.  There was about a three-day window when this happened, but it’s impossible to know which field caused the drift.  More recently a much more damaging hit of drift found the vineyard.  Likely around a week to 10 days ago.  This second dose of chemical drift has wildly damaged the vines, many vines having shoots with severe damage to 6-8 young leaves.

As expected, some varieties are less sensitive than others to the drift damage, but there are no varieties that show zero damage.  I’ll provide details about which are suffering the most in my next post, likely next week.

Here are some recent photos.

Jupiter Grapevine Leaf - HCC Research Vineyard - July 7, 2015

Jupiter Grapevine Leaf – HCC Research Vineyard – July 7, 2015

HCC Research Vineyard - June 19, 2015

HCC Research Vineyard – June 19, 2015

HCC Research Vineyard (10-2-14)

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Sorry about the break in entries to this blog.  It seems the world got super busy for a bit (and there’s not much to report about the research vineyard in August/September when there are no grapes to harvest).  Since the last entry to this blog, the HCC staff has grown.  Dylan Rolfes has joined our team as the vineyard manager and viticulture instructor.  He recently graduated from Iowa State University with a master’s degree in Horticulture (emphasis in Viticulture).  Dylan and I walked through the vineyard today and noted several things about the vines as the weather has begun to cool off.  I’m handing off the blog to Dylan to make entries from this point forward.  Thanks to all for the kind comments and not giving me too hard of a time about reporting observations without having a formal education in Vit.  Good Luck to Dylan, and I hope everyone enjoys his writings here!!

On October 2, 2014 Scott and I inspected the research vineyard for 2,4-D damage from the previous season. 2,4-D is the common industry name for 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a synthetic auxin based general broad leaf herbicide.  This is a very common herbicide used in pastures, cereal grain crop, and lawn and turf areas for broad leaf weed control.  The mode of action for this herbicide is systemic (meaning that it will be absorbed through the leaves and translocated to the meristems of the plant tissue, eventually causing unobtainable growth rates, leaf curl-over, and potential vine death).

Rougeon approx one month after drift event 07-14-14 p3

Rougeon vine approximately one month after drift event. Note the distance between nodes on the left part of the photo versus the right.

2,4-D is also very susceptible to spray drift from neighboring fields, especially in hot and/or windy weather.  This can be a very serious problem for grape growers, especially in the Midwest, where cereal crops and pasture land often surround our vineyards.  The best methods for preventing drift damage  from 2,4-D out of neighboring areas is to maintain good communication with neighbors, and to let them know that you are growing a crop that is highly sensitive to 2,4-D and that extra precaution should be used while spraying.  Using a tree line as a wind break may also be an effective method for protecting a field from drift damage, but this should be considered in conjunction with the necessity of good airflow through the vineyard to mitigate the threats of disease and frost damage associated with stagnant air.

One obvious tactic to prevent 2,4-D damage to your grapevines is to plant varieties that are resistant to 2,4-D damage.  the following table shares our findings in the research vineyard as of October 2, 2014.

Table 1. 2,4-D Damage to Research Vineyard October 2014.
Cultivar 2,4-D Damage Recovered 2nd 2,4-D Damage
Jupiter Y Y N
Neptune Y Y N
Vanessa Y Slight Y
Chardonnay
Lemberger N Y Slight
Zweigelt Y Y Y
Frontenac N N N
La Crescent N Y Slight
Marquette Slight Y Slight
Catawba Y Y Y
Chardonel Y Y N
Corot Noir Slight Y Slight
Marechal Foch Y Y Y
Glenora Y N New growth abscised
Marquis Y Slight Y
Niagra Y Y Y
Norton (Cynthiana) Y Slight Y
Rougeon Y N New growth abscised
St. Vincent Slight Y N
Steuben Y Slight Y
Vignoles Y Y Y
Vidal Blanc Y Y Y
Concord Y Y Y
Mars Y N N
Suffolk Red Y Y N
Cabernet Franc
Gruner Veltliner N N N
Riesling Y Y N
Edelweiss N N N
Frontenac Gris Y Y Y
Lacrosse Y Y Y
Brianna N N N
Chambourcin N N N
Cayuga White N N N
Fredonia Y Y Y
Geneva Red Y Y Y
Leon Millot Y Y Y
Melody Y Y Y
Noiret Y N N
Regent Y Y N
St. Croix Y Y N
Seyval Blanc N N N
Traminette N Slight N
Valvin Muscat Y N Y

Column 1 lists the cultivars grown in our research vineyard.  Column 2 refers to the initial damage caused by drift from nearby fields that took place in early-mid June. ‘Y’ means that ‘yes’ 2,4-D damage was noted on the older leaves of these vines. ‘N’ means that ‘no’ such damage was noted. ‘Slight’ means that the damage was minor compared with other cultivars.  Column 3 notes whether or not the vines recovered from the 2,4-D damage and began to produce regular shoots and leaves again later in the season.  Column 4 notes a second drift event that we believe to have taken place near our harvest time in late August to early September.  This event was noted as very young leaves, definitely not present during the first drift event, with signs of recent 2,4-D damage.  Notice that several cultivars were injured by the initial drift event, recovered mid-season, and were then injured again by the second drift even (see Zweigelt for example).

Attached below is an extension bulletin from the Cooperative Research Center for Viticulture outlining the threats and possible mitigation strategies of 2,4-D damage to vineyards:

http://www.crcv.com.au/resources/Environment/Additional%20Resources/CRCV%202,4-D%20Spray%20Drift%20Brochure.pdf

HCC RESEARCH VINEYARD OBSERVATIONS (7-14-14)

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While walking through the Research Vineyard today with Nick Martin (Vineyard/Winery Mgr and Vit/Eno Faculty), we made some decisions on which varietals to replace with a new varietal next year.  Some of these failed miserably in the vineyard this year for various reasons, most notably the brutal winter last year.  Then we added insult to injury with the May 15 freeze.  The varietals that we are going to replace are: Neptune, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.  We also decided that since we just planted an acre each of Chambourcin and Traminette across the highway less than 1 mile away that we would also remove those two varietals from this vineyard to make space to try other hybrid varietals to compare with everything else.

There were a few varietals that did not do particularly well in the Research Vineyard after one year, but we want to give them a second chance to see if it was just a fluke winter or if they really should not be planted in this particular location.  These are Lemberger, Zweigelt, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc and Valvin Muscat.  We will replant the dead vines in these rows and hope next year will yield better results.

It is worth noting here that we are also pulling our Cabernet Franc in the Oregon Trail Vineyard as only 4 of the 25 two-year-old vines survived last winter.

Two weeks ago we mentioned that the vineyard suffered a hit from chemical drift.  The signs of that event are still quite evident throughout the vineyard.  Nearly every vine shows at least a few leaves with chemical damage.  Photos from the vineyard will be posted below.  The varietal with the most notable damage is Rougeon.  All 12 vines survived the winter and late freeze; however, these vines have nearly stopped all growth since the drift event.  You can see from the photo below that the internode lengths have gone from roughly 4 inches down to just 1 inch, and every leaf grown in the past few weeks shows severe damage.

Most of the table grape varietals also show dramatic damage since the drift event.  These varietals have leaves nearly the size of a soccer ball (or futbol as it is called in World Cup competition).  However, most of the growth since the drift event is producing leaves the size of a golf ball or smaller.  The photos below will show that stunted growth in both Jupiter and Concord vines.

Finally, the KS Department of Agriculture has set some insect traps in the vineyard.  There are photos of the two types of traps below as well.

Rougeon approx one month after drift event 07-14-14 p3

Rougeon vine approximately one month after drift event. Note the distance between nodes on the left part of the photo versus the right.

Jupiter approx one month after drift event 07-14-14 p2

Jupiter vine approximately one month after drift event. Note the large, healthy vines below and then the scrubby growth since the drift event atop the vine.

KS Dept of Ag insect trap 07-14-14 p1

KS Dept of Ag insect trap

KS Dept of Ag insect trap 07-14-14 p2

KS Dept of Ag insect trap

HCC Research Vineyard Observations (7-1-14)

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My how time flies.  I thought I’d skipped two weeks, but it’s been almost a month!  Sorry about the delay.

As with the last post, the numbers of surviving vines has essentially remained the same.  Today while walking through the vineyard I took note of any leaf damage.  Here is a document showing photos of leaves damaged due to chemical drift and one photo of the disease leaf phylloxera: Leaf damage – drift and disease.

While walking through the vineyard a couple of weeks ago, I thought I noticed some interesting, strange, irregular growth in some of the new leaves.  I wasn’t sure if it was drift damage or just new leaves on adolescent vines growing funny, so I decided not to write a post that week.  Wait and report what happens was the approach I took.  Here we are three weeks later, and I was correct.  It was drift damage that I noticed, in nearly every variety of vines.

The varietals that appear to be hit hardest are the table grapes (Concord, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Suffolk Red, and Vanessa) as well as Lacrosse, Fredonia, Marquis, Norton, Rougeon, Regent, and St. Croix.  Hardest hit of all is the Rougeon.  It seems those vines stopped in their tracks since the event and have either had no or very little growth since.

The table grapes all show the classic symptoms.  They not only have the wicked looking leaves (see photos in document above), but the internodes; that is, distance between nodes are much shorter than earlier in the season.

The chemical drift hit is bitter-sweet.  It’s unfortunate to see the vines damaged after the long hours and financing needed to plant them, but it is also a good test to see which vines were hit hardest and which weren’t.  Of course, wind conditions and the direction of the sprayed field, among other things also have an effect on which vines are hit hardest.  To see the locations of the rows in the vineyard which were hit hardest, refer to the vineyard map on the opening page of the blog.

Other observations in the vineyard include the Frontenac has made a new set of flowers trying to make fruit, even though we already pinched off the beginnings of berries a month ago.  Same thing with the Seyval Blanc, just like last year.  I suspect the Seyval will probably go again once more before the summer ends.

HCC Research Vineyard Observations (6-9-14)

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Not a lot has changed since walking through the Research Vineyard last week.  We spent quite a bit of time training the vineyard as it is all second-year vines.  Most everything is up to the wire now.  A couple of standout exceptions that seem to pretty low in vigor (excluding the dead vines!) are Cayuga White and Regent.

The numbers of vines that survived (and didn’t) hasn’t changed in a couple of weeks, so I’ll refrain from reporting all of those numbers again this week.  Since these vines are only second year, we’re not allowing any of them to produce fruit.  So there is no report about disease, cluster/berry sizes, etc.  We’re dropping 100% of the fruit on the ground.

One thing that is noteworthy is that we’ve received excessive amounts of rain the past couple of weeks.  Over six inches!  That’s a lot of rain, even if we weren’t feeling effects of years-long drought.  With the late freeze (May 16) and the damp, rainy summer so far it will be interesting to see how the fruit-bearing vines in our Oregon Trail Vineyard will fare.  We’ve certainly been on top of our spray schedule with all the moisture.  At last glance, it appears that our Chambourcin vines have generally the usual fruit load, but Traminette may be a little light.  Time will tell.

I also thought it would be fun to include a snapshot from the Research Vineyard showing the difference between the vinifera vines and the adjacent rows.  From left to right (with surviving numbers in parenthesis), the varietals are Chardonnay (4/12), Lemberger (4/12), Zweigelt (6/12), Frontenac (12/12), Lacrescent (12/12), Marquette (12/12, endpost not in photo).  Also note, the vineyard consists of half-rows.  The six varieties at the far end of the row are not the same as the six at the near end.  ((The photos are small here.  Click on the photo to zoom in.))

 

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Here is a shot of the same rows from the other direction, from right to left: Cabernet Franc (0/12), Gruner Veltliner (1/12), Riesling (3/12), Edelweiss (12/12), Frontenac Gris (12/12), Lacrosse (12/12, endpost not in photo).

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