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Weed management in establishing an organic wine grape vineyard

Weed management in new wine grape vineyards was identified as the primary constraint to organic production in the region. This project investigates weed management options for establishing an organic wine grape vineyard and includes 5 treatments: standard weed control of rototilling and mowing, the Wonder Weeder, and three grain/legume cover crop treatments. Local growers and wine makers prioritized the management strategies to be trialed. A 3-acre field block at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC was identified for this project. A barley cover crop was planted in summer 2008, harvested in fall 2008, and a rye cover crop was planted in fall 2008 to provide soil organic matter and reduce weed growth. Soil samples were collected and organic soil amendments made on May 19 and May 22, 2009. After cultivation, the plot was laid out and rows staked for planting. Trenching for installation of the irrigation system was completed by June 1, irrigation lines installed, and the cover crop treatments planted. using a drill. The trellis system was installed, and plants of ‘Pinot Noir Precoce’ and ‘Madeleine Angevine’ grafted on the rootstock Couderc 3309 were planted in the first week of June 2009. Weed biomass was collected and evaluated. Weed samples were separated by species, dried, and weighed. In each split plot, 5 plants were flagged and plant shoot growth was measured in midAugust.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 048
  • Project Status: Complete

2008

  • Principal Investigator(s): Miles, C.
  • Investigator(s): Miller, T., Moulton, G.
  • Grant Amount: $36,737

2009

  • Principal Investigator(s): Miles, C.
  • Investigator(s): Miller, T., Moulton, G.
  • Grant Amount: $32,916

2010

  • Principal Investigator(s): Miles, C.
  • Investigator(s): Miller, T., Moulton, G.
  • Grant Amount: $36,108

Publications

Miles, C., J. Roozen, G. Sterrett, and J. King. 2010. Organic vineyard establishment: trellis and planting stock considerations. Sustaining the Pacific Northwest. WSU Extension newsletter, Vol 8(2):5-8. http://csanr.wsu.edu/publications-library/SPNW/SPNW-v8-n2.pdf

Miles, C., J. Roozen, G. Sterrett, and J. King. 2010. Organic vineyard establishment: trellis and planting stock considerations. Web page http://maritimefruit.wsu.edu/Establishing_Organic_Vineyard.pdf

Bolton, C., T. Miller, and C. Miles. 2010. Weed management in an organic wine grape vineyard. NARF field day, July 8, WSU Mount Vernon NWREC.

Bolton, C., C. Miles, G. Moulton, M. Olmstead, J. Roozen, and T. Miller. 2010. Organic weed control in a newly established vineyard. Western Society for Weed Science, annual conference poster session, March 8-11, 2010, Marriott Resort, Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Bolton, C., T.W. Miller, J. Roozen, G.A. Moulton, and C. Miles. 2009. Organic wine grape research at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Wine Grape Workshop, WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, September 12, 2009.

Bolton, Callie. 2009. AVAs of Washington State. Graduate seminar, April 2009, Pullman, WA.

Miles, C., T.W. Miller, G.A. Moulton, M. Olmstead, J. Roozen, and T. Thornton. 2009. Weed management in establishing an organic wine grape vineyard. Tilth Producers Quarterly Spring 2009.

Miles, C., M. Olmstead, C. Bolton, S. Johnson, G. Sterrett, and J.King. 2009. Web page: Organic Viticulture Resources. http://winegrapes.wsu.edu/organic.html

Additional Funds Leveraged

Washington State Wine Advisory Commission, 2009 $10,000, 2010 $16,000

Washington State Center for Pesticide Registration, 2009 $10,500, 2010 $11,123

NARF and Puget Sound Wine Grape Growers, 2009 $5,000, 2010 $5,000

Impacts

Human resource capacity development: M.S. student Callie Bolton

In-row cover crops reduced vine vigor and weed biomass, mowing reduced weeding time and increased weed biomass as compared to clean tillage. However, future research is needed to determine if these factors positively or negatively impacts fruit yield and quality.

Specialty in-row grape cultivator, Wonder Weeder, provided good in-row weed management but caused significant damage to young vines.

Dissemination of information through workshops, field days and web sites. A new Extension publication on establishing a new organic vineyard is being developed.

The organic vineyard established by this project is being used to investigate organic disease management options in western Washington.