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An unseasonably warm winter and hot spring means the grape harvest date could be two weeks earlier than last year, according to Michelle Moyer, assistant professor and Extension viticulturist at Washington State University in Prosser, WA.
That would put harvests about a month ahead of the regular schedule, in which grapes are generally starting to be picked in early to mid-September.
Damage from herbicide drift can cost a grower hundreds of thousands of dollars in crop loss, reduction of wine or juice quality, and serious harm to grape vines that can reduce future production.
Traditionally, it has been phenoxy herbicides, such as 2,4-D, that have been responsible for the bulk of herbicide damage observed on grapes, but now more damaging chemistries are available for use in this region.
Shannon Dininny joined Good Fruit Grower as senior editor in 2015.(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)" width="620" height="422" srcset=" sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" /Caleb Foster, left, presents the Restaurant Appreciation Award to Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck during the Washington Association of Wine Grape Grower meeting in Kennewick, Washington, on February 10, 2016.(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington, was named Restaurant of the Year, an award given annually by the Grape Growers to a restaurant that’s done an exceptional job showcasing Washington wines.It is essential that the complexities of herbicide damage to grapes are understood as well as the need to adequately prepare appropriate information regarding grapes prior to filing a complaint with WSDA.It is very important to fully understand both the quantity and quality of information required before a thorough and effective investigation can proceed.
Research by WSU-FEQL and the Department of Agriculture-Pesticide Management Division has provided grape producers with tools to provide critical and necessary data for an investigation’s proper procedure.