Hello Wisconsin Fruit News subscribers and welcome back to Notes from the Field: A Grower’s Perspective! Spring was off to a slow start, but warmer weather is in our future. I had my second chat with Philippe on May 2.
On April 24, many of our readers saw that Philippe shared with the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association the significant primary bud loss experienced at Wollersheim following the below freezing temperatures. These cold temperatures occurred after a sizable temperature increase that led to bud swelling in several early varieties. Some of these early varieties such as Foch, Marquette, and Brianna suffered the most severe cold damage. These sentiments of primary bud loss were echoed in other southern Wisconsin vineyards, and we observed primary bud loss at the West Madison Ag. Research Station in several varieties; see Amaya’s article about this here.
Philippe is hoping to see adventitious bud growth in the coming weeks and has not yet seen the secondary buds. With the current warm up, growth should be stimulated and help provide a clearer picture of bud viability. Sap was running so this is a good sign, and hopefully it means that the woody tissues in the canes did not suffer any cold damage. The big question on Philippe’s mind now is where will pruning wood be for next year? These cold damaging events not only impact the current seasons production, but they impact the vines in subsequent seasons. Philippe notes that fertilization programs will need to be adjusted for vines with cold damage. Additionally, as growth is stimulated with warming temperatures, decisions will need to be made about retraining trunks. Since the extent of the cold damage is not yet known, maintaining canes at the base of the trunk provides options for retraining. The next task at Wollersheim includes herbicide applications and firing up the steam machine for the smaller weeds in the vineyard.
That’s all for now! Check out the notes from my next chat with Philippe in the third issue of Wisconsin Fruit News on May 19.
This article series is NOT intended to be prescriptive for other vineyards. It is simply an opportunity for our readership to hear from other growers about their experiences growing fruit crops in Wisconsin.
Growing the same crop does not always justify the same practices. Management decisions at your farm should be tailored to your operation and take into consideration location, regional climate, disease and pest history of your vineyard, and your varieties.
The mention of a product is NOT an endorsement. Always follow the instructions on product labels and consult weather stations (ex. NEWA) in your area for current weather forecast and disease and pest prediction models.This article was posted in Notes from the Field and tagged Leslie Holland, Notes from the Field, Philippe Coquard.