No news is pretty good news thus far for California’s Central Coast grape growers. Pest pressure has been almost nonexistent and disease has also been a non-event.
“I haven’t seen any vine mealybug, glassy-winged sharpshooter or mites,” says Neil Roberts with Roberts Vineyard Services in Paso Robles. “So far there’s been no evidence of powdery mildew either. I use a lot of Sytlet oil, and I think that’s really helped the situation. However, the mildew index is creeping up now, so we’ll start spraying again this week because it’s getting high enough to be concerned.”
Overall, the crop looks about average to maybe a little above average, according to Roberts. “Right now things look pretty good,” he says. “But it’s hard to say what’s going to happen as we move forward. Water is probably going to be an issue later on in the season. Even with drip, it could be hard to compensate for the shortage Mother Nature dealt us over the winter.”