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Summary

Georgia wine grape producers battle numerous diseases that threaten annual yield and long-term vine health. Frequent applications of fungicides and insecticides are critical to managing European grape varieties in Georgia’s humid climate. UGA Extension hosted a workshop for grape producers to ensure proper understanding of chemical application timing.

Situation

Wine grape producers in north Georgia deal with many fungal disease and insect issues in their European grape varieties (Vitis vinifera). Frequent applications of fungicides and insecticides are necessary to protect yields and vine health in Georgia’s humid climate. Although spray program resources are available, local grape producers expressed concern at their lack of understanding of how to properly design and implement wine grape spray programs.

Response

In March of 2020, the Dawson & Lumpkin County Extension agent, several north Georgia Extension agents, a UGA Plant Pathologist, and a UGA entomologist hosted a spray program workshop in Dahlonega. A total of 16 participants attended from eight different counties throughout Georgia. Full-season spray templates were provided to each participant and all participants worked collaboratively to fill out a season-long spray program. This format allowed questions and concerns to be raised to agents and specialists, as well as provide discussion on the pros and cons of different chemical usage. Spray programs for hybrid and native grape varieties were also discussed. Participants left the workshop with a fully functioning spray template suitable for use on their own vineyards.

Impact

One on one discussions throughout the 2020 growing season showed a marked increase in the confidence of vineyard managers in the efficacy of their pesticide spray programs. 2020 was a very wet growing season, as such, timely applications of efficacious fungicides and insecticides at the proper time of vine growth stage was critical. One vineyard manager stated, “Having worked on a completed spray template from the training, I was much more confident in my management decisions throughout the entire year. In the past, I was guessing on when to apply which fungicide. This year I had a plan from the training that I was able to stick to, and I was shocked at how little disease I saw, especially early in the season. I would definitely recommend holding similar trainings in the future.” With each acre of Georgia wine grapes valued at around $41,411, significant savings were realized in the 2020 growing season due to proper application and timing of pesticides.

State Issue

Plant Production

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: Multi-County
  • County: Lumpkin
  • Location: College Station, Athens
  • Program Areas:
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

  • MacAllister, Clark

Collaborator(s)

CAES Collaborator(s)

  • Brannen, Phillip M.
  • Eason, Nathaniel Paul
  • Hibbs, Garrett Thompson
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Extension Impact