Technique

Pesticides in the Vineyard: Tips from the Pros

Growing grapes is a lot of work. In addition to wildlife, many varieties are susceptible to disease that, if unprotected against, can claim your vines very quickly. Two pros from different regions detail how they protect their vines from disease. Winemaker: Bernie Parker, Oliver Winery, Bloomington, Indiana For south-central Indiana where we usually have cool, damp springs followed by humid summers with plenty of rain, our biggest threats that we are spraying against are black rot, phomopsis, and downy mildew. We develop a spraying plan at the beginning of the season to ensure we are rotating chemicals by FRAC (fungicide resistance action committee) code and between systemic and residual sprays. We then will purchase the pesticides for the first 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 of the season. This allows us the flexibility to alter the schedule as needed due to problems that develop or the need to conduct timely canopy management. Our general routine consists of Roper Rainshield at the beginning of the season and then we alternate it with systemic products like Pristine and Quadris Top. We also rotate products with