Hello Wisconsin Fruit News subscribers and welcome back to Notes from the Field: A Grower’s Perspective! I had my third chat with Philippe on May 16…
With the warm Spring weather settling in, Philippe is starting to observe more buds breaking on the vine, a welcome sign following freezing temperatures earlier this Spring. However, there are not as many secondary or tertiary buds on the red grape varieties as hoped. Many buds (primary, secondary, and tertiary) froze completely due to the phenological stage they were at when the below freezing temperatures hit. At Wollersheim, Philippe observed that the Millot variety (cousin of Foch) is holding up better than the Foch vines following the freeze events.
Adventitious buds are starting to break all over the vines. The emerging green shoots from these adventitious buds represent pruning wood for next spring. With roughly two more weeks until Philippe and his crew can get a sense of bud survival for the white varieties, they are working to perfect the steam machine. So far, Philippe feels that the best fit for steam control of weeds is on smaller acreage vineyards (< 5 acres) and on small weeds (0.5-1-inch height). This means that steam should be considered as an early season management approach, because as weeds grow, they will become more challenging to manage with the steam alone.
Starting next week, Philippe will be making the first insecticide and fungicide applications in the vineyards. Early season insect targets include flea beetle and cutworm. Several worms have already been observed at Wollersheim, so minimizing damage now when they are most active is critical. To read more about flea beetles and cutworms and their management, check out this 2022 article from Christelle Guédot here. The first fungicide spray of the season will target Phomopsis cane and leaf spot infections. Phomopsis infections occur from bud break through bloom so fungicide applications early in the season can reduce initial inoculum. To read more about Phomopsis spread and management, check out this 2022 article here.
That’s all for now! Check out the notes from my next chat with Philippe in the fourth issue of Wisconsin Fruit News on June 2.
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.