By the Chemtura AgroSolutions team of experts
Spring vineyard preparation gets plenty of attention as grape growers and crop advisors gear up for another growing season, but finishing out a season with vineyards in top shape is just as important to prepare vines for dormancy and create positive conditions for next year.
That means tackling fall weed control because in addition to competing for vine resources, unwanted plants on the vineyard floor can also have a significant impact on populations of other pests like leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites and nematodes.
University of California experts also remind growers that weeds around the grapevine trunk not only compete directly with vine growth, but provide a good habitat for field mice or voles, which can girdle and kill young vines. Gophers are most prevalent in non-tilled vineyards and are common where broadleaf weeds, such as field bindweed and perennial clovers, predominate. These animals feed on the roots and weaken or kill young vines.
For optimum yields and vine health, control weeds like the yellow nutsedge seen nearby, especially in the area next to the base of young vines.
Now is a good time to make sure your weed control strategy is up-to-date and addresses current control issues as well as potential challenges during the upcoming growing season.
To evaluate your program, consider mapping and recording species and location of weeds found in your vineyard this season. These records can help you to track weed population information from year-to-year to better understand ongoing weed control problems, such as resistance.
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