Weather

Texas A&M AgriLife Makes Verjus When Growers Experience Uneven Harvest Conditions

The Texas High Plains is home to 80% of the grapes that fuel a burgeoning Texas wine industry. But the High Plains is also home to some formidable obstacles to grape growing, which is why Texas A&M AgriLife has focused research initiatives to help growers find solutions. One of the people supporting that industry is Pierre Helwi, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the …

Spring Freeze Devastates Clarksburg CA Vineyards

Several wine grape growing regions of California were impacted by freeze events this spring. How severe are the impacts and how will this affect the 2022 vintage? Watch this brief interview with Tom Merwin from the Clarksburg Wine Growers & Vintners Association as he shares his perspective of what he’s seeing in the Clarksburg AVA. Please thank this video’s sponsor Suterra for …

Growing Cold Climate Grapes Online Course

The Minnesota grape and wine industry is expanding and contributes to over $80M in economic activity, and Minnesota grape growers have expressed a need for more introductory and continuing education for best sustainable viticultural practices. With funding and support from the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), a collaboration between the University of Minnesota’s Extension and the Grape …

Hotter, Drier Nights Mean More Runaway Fires

Thanks to the warming climate, the potential for more severe nighttime wildfires is increasing, and warmer nights mean firefighters will not be able to rely on cooler temperatures to help them get a handle on fires, a new study shows. Forty years ago, cool, moist nights regularly provided relief to firefighters, and “flammable nights” that facilitated fire activity were rare. …

Pesticides, Air Quality and Upcoming Statewide Notification System Explained

California has allocated $10 million to begin the development of a statewide system the provides information to the public about pesticides used around them. DPR is working in partnership with several agricultural commissioners on local pilot projects as part of the development of the system this year. Watch this brief interview with Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo as he …

How Extreme Weather Affects Ag and Wine Production Keynote Address at 2022 Unified Symposium

With so much attention paid to climate change, the 2022 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium this January has appropriately recruited the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) climate director to open the prestige three-day event. As Unified’s Tuesday luncheon keynote speaker, Dr. Steven Ostoja, director of the USDA California Climate Hub, will offer his  insights into how a changing climate …

Preharvest Conversations Growers & Wineries Need to Have Regarding Smoke Taint

“Uncertainty” seemed to be the theme of 2020 for all, and it was no different for the wine industry.  Unfortunately, this uncertainty continues this year for wine grape growers as they gear up for harvest amidst another threatening wildfire season.  With severe drought plaguing the American West, it’s not a question of if, but when more wildfires will occur and …

Preparing to Harvest Raisins Under Smoky Skies: What Growers Need to Know

Most agricultural news coverage of the wildfire impact last year focused on the wine grape industry.  Though raisins don’t share the same concern for smoke taint as wine grapes, the lack of radiant sunlight due to smoky overcast skies had a significant effect on the sugar accumulation and natural drying process for much of Central Valley raisin crop last year. …

Washington Issues Rules to Protect Farm Workers from Wildfire Smoke

Washington is under a state of emergency, with more than 600 wildfires reported already this year. That’s about double the normal rate, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Where there’s fire, there’s smoke that can expose outdoor workers in construction, agriculture, and other jobs to health risks from breathing particulate matter in the air. To help these and other …

Michigan Grape Growers Welcome Recent Rains, but Concerned about Disease

Michigan State University — Last week began cool with highs in the low 60s and lows in the 40s. A storm system entered Michigan on Thursday, bringing rain and very humid conditions. Northern grape-growing areas also saw high temperatures in the mid-70s and lows in the lower 60s. Southern areas were 5-10 degrees warmer. The heaviest rains came on Friday …

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