Weather

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 …

Mid-April Freeze Events Result in Some Damage to Missouri Vineyards

Air temperatures fell well below freezing throughout many areas of Missouri last Wednesday, April 21 (Figure 2) and Thursday, April 22 (Figure 3). A grape grower in Macon County, MO reported 21 °F on Thursday morning. The Marechal Foch shoots were completely damaged by these low temperatures the grower reported. Other growers have reported damage from the frost/freeze events. After a couple more days pass, …

Early Season Vineyard Management for Indiana Growers

Grapevines are in various stages of early growth throughout Indiana, ranging from bud swell to 2-4 in shoot growth. A cold weather event came across the state from 4/20-4/22 bringing temperatures as low as 27 F. Damage is still being assessed, but if significant primary bud damage occurs we will expect to see emergence of secondary shoots. With rising temperatures …

Determining Cold-Injury to Grape Buds

The recent extreme cold–temperature events resulting from the “Polar–vortex” should have you thinking about grape bud injury. A brief primer on the anatomy of a grape bud will help you further understand the evaluation process. The primary bud is in the center, the secondary bud is above the petiole leaf scar and the tertiary bud is on the opposite side …

Microbes Escape Wildland Fires on Smoke Particle ‘Life Rafts’

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — and also lots of microorganisms, according to a new study from the University of Florida. For the first time, researchers have measured the number of microbes in smoke from fires in wilderness areas, also known as wildland fires. The researchers also found that a surprisingly high percentage of microbes survive the blazes and are lofted into …

CAWG Addresses Grape Grower & Winemaker Smoke Exposure Challenges

Last month’s widespread lightning storms resulted in multiple fast-moving and devastating wildfires that affected many regions of the state. More than 1 million acres have burned, resulting in lives lost, damaged structures and property, and smoke-filled days. These wildfires have produced unprecedented challenges for California’s winegrape growers and wineries. Growers and wineries have been challenged to determine with certainty how …

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