By the Chemtura AgroSolutions team of experts
IPM principles apply to every spectrum of vineyard management, including weeds, of course. As activities wind down for the season, take some time to consider your integrated weed management program and put it to work mitigating the effect of weeds causing the most impact on your crop.
Integrated weed management practices vary considerably from vineyard to vineyard, as they should, because every vineyard is different. Location, climatic conditions, soils, irrigation practices, topography, and grower preferences significantly influence vineyard floor management decisions and the tools used, say integrated pest management specialists with the University of California.
As you know, soil characteristics are important to weed management just as they are important to your vines. Soil texture and organic matter influence which weed species are present, the number and timing of cultivations required, and the activity and residual effects of herbicides, note experts at the University of California.
Annual species, such as puncturevine, crabgrass, horseweed and Panicum spp., or perennials like johnsongrass, nutsedge and bermudagrass are more prevalent on light-textured soil whereas perennials such as curly dock, field bindweed and dallisgrass are more common on heavier-textured soils.
While generalities like these are helpful, there’s nothing like walking vineyards and surrounding areas to get a handle on the species you are dealing with.
Here are a few hints for surveying vineyards for weeds:
• Take a look at your vineyard in the coming weeks to identify unwelcome winter annuals and perennials. Plan to do this again in late spring or early summer after summer annuals have germinated.
• Pay attention to “wet spots,” as these may be problem areas in terms of weed growth.
• Survey areas around vineyards, too, since these areas could be a potential source for wind disseminated weed seeds such as marestail, fleabane and more.
• Mark areas on a sketch of your vineyard where perennials were found.
• Keep records of survey results. By knowing what species are present, you will be able to make appropriate control decisions.
Information collected over a period of years tells you how weed populations may be changing and how effective your management operations have been. This way you can see how well your weed management actions are working and where you may need to fine-tune your program.
Firestorm® herbicide from Chemtura AgroSolutions™ can be a great partner in your weed control program. With 3 pounds of active ingredient per gallon, Firestorm is a contact herbicide for control or suppression of a broad spectrum of emerged weeds and grasses. It is an ideal burndown partner when applied in preplant or preemergence burndown situations to sustain glyphosate performance and helps prevent glyphosate-resistant weeds from surviving and producing seeds that will emerge the following season.
Discuss late-season pest and weed management with your PCA or Chemtura AgroSolutions representative for additional ways to enhance your control program so you can maximize control and enter the 2014 growing season ready for success:
• Mike Ansolabehere, Southern San Joaquin Valley: (661) 304-3023; email Mike.Ansolabehere@Chemtura.com
• Matt Loftus, Central San Joaquin Valley: (559) 960-1112; email Matthew.Loftus@Chemtura.com
• Eric Leer, North Central California: (209) 531-6478; email