Hello Wisconsin Fruit News subscribers and welcome back to Notes from the Field: A Grower’s Perspective! I had my fourth chat with Philippe on June 1…
Summer certainly feels like it’s here in Wisconsin! With temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s°F, grapes are pushing through phenological stages quickly. At Wollersheim, despite the hot weather there are no signs of vine stress. However, Philippe and his crew are preparing the drip lines for irrigation especially with the lack of rain in the forecast. With the heat and rapid progression of vine development, maintaining the vines water needs is critical right now.
With the reduced crop due to Spring freeze damage, fertilizer is being applied at a half rate. In general, many vines have rebounded and are green at Wollersheim! Primary buds are 14 to 18 inches long, and secondary buds on white varieties have good cluster counts; Philippe estimates a 40 to 50% crop on the white varieties. With few and small secondary buds on the red varieties, he estimates a 10 to 20% crop on the reds.
For disease and insect pest management, the first insecticide and fungicide were applied 7 to 10 days ago at Wollersheim. Philippe is planning a second fungicide application (pre-bloom) the week of June 5th. To read more about pre-bloom through post-bloom disease control check out my article here from last week’s Fruit Newsletter.
Bloom has already begun on a few vines at Wollersheim; Philippe notes that this is very early for bloom. Traditionally, he sees the onset of bloom between June 14 and June 20 in previous seasons. Due to the frost and the prevalence of secondary buds, he anticipates that bloom will be very uneven this year. This will in turn result in uneven ripening which will make harvest challenging to forecast.
In the meantime, Philippe (like many of us!) is hoping for rain to bring some much-needed relief to the vines. He is also renting a mulch screener to help filter out any “junk” (big pieces of wood, plastic bags, kid’s toys, etc.) from his mulch this year.
That’s all for now! Check out the notes from my next chat with Philippe in the fifth issue of Wisconsin Fruit News on June 16.
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.