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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315582

Research Project: Sustainable Vineyard Production Systems

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Making the economic case for early adoption of practices to prevent trunk diseases

Author
item Baumgartner, Kendra
item KAPLAN, JONATHAN - California State University
item TRAVADON, RENAUD - University Of California

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2015
Publication Date: 3/16/2015
Publication URL: http://www.lodigrowers.com/making-a-case-for-early-adoption-of-practices-to-prevent-trunk-diseases/
Citation: Baumgartner, K., Kaplan, J., Travadon, R. 2015. Making the economic case for early adoption of practices to prevent trunk diseases. The Lodi Winegrape Commission. Available: http://www.lodigrowers.com/making-a-case-for-early-adoption-of-practices-to-prevent-trunk-diseases/.

Interpretive Summary: All California vineyards become infected at some point by one or more of the following trunk diseases: Botryosphaeria dieback, Esca, Eutypa dieback, and Phomopsis dieback. The symptoms do not become obvious until the vineyard is approximately 6-8 years old. Trunk diseases limit the productive life of infected vineyards, in some cases to only a few years beyond the breakeven point. This can make for very poor returns, in fact negative net returns over a 25-year lifespan, on an investment in grape production. While the preventative practices of delayed pruning, double pruning, and applications of thiophanate methyl (TopsinM) have been shown to reduce pruning-wound infections in field trials, our survey of Lodi growers in 2013 revealed that only a relatively small proportion are using these practices starting when the vineyard is young; that is, starting to prevent disease before the vineyard is infected. The economic analysis we feature in this article suggests that early adoption of preventative practices reduces the economic losses from trunk diseases, in some cases by as much as 96%. These economic gains do not materialize until many years after the practice is adopted, when a vineyard realizes many more years of profitable returns over an infected vineyard in which no action is taken. We hope this article is a convincing argument in favor of preventing trunk diseases starting when the vineyard is young.

Technical Abstract: All California vineyards become infected at some point by one or more of the following trunk diseases: Botryosphaeria dieback, Esca, Eutypa dieback, and Phomopsis dieback. The symptoms do not become obvious until the vineyard is approximately 6-8 years old. Trunk diseases limit the productive life of infected vineyards, in some cases to only a few years beyond the breakeven point. This can make for very poor returns, in fact negative net returns over a 25-year lifespan, on an investment in grape production. While the preventative practices of delayed pruning, double pruning, and applications of thiophanate methyl (TopsinM) have been shown to reduce pruning-wound infections in field trials, our survey of Lodi growers in 2013 revealed that only a relatively small proportion are using these practices starting when the vineyard is young; that is, starting to prevent disease before the vineyard is infected. The economic analysis we feature in this article suggests that early adoption of preventative practices reduces the economic losses from trunk diseases, in some cases by as much as 96%. These economic gains do not materialize until many years after the practice is adopted, when a vineyard realizes many more years of profitable returns over an infected vineyard in which no action is taken. We hope this article is a convincing argument in favor of preventing trunk diseases starting when the vineyard is young.