Although harvest has arrived for many grape growers across the state, weed management continues to be a critical part of a vineyard’s overall health. Weed management can be just as important during the winter months as it is in the spring and summer seasons. During this time, vines can be forced to compete with weeds for nutrition and water, causing havoc on a vineyard’s health. The best plan of action a grape grower can have is to be prepared with all of the right tools.
In California, growers should be aware of weeds such as glyphosate-resistant marestail, fleabane and ryegrass. Stopping the problem is easiest when they are still growing and measure less than 3-4 inches tall. Failure to control these weeds can pose two main problems. Glyphosate-resistant weeds can use up large amounts of water. If there is limited rainfall in the spring, the weeds can dry the soil and negatively affect the vines. To make matters worse, the weeds can also attract a variety of diseases and insects, causing double the trouble for yield and vine vigor.
Planting cover crops that don’t compete with the vines can be an effective way to reduce weed populations between rows. Winter annual cover crops often include fall-seeded cereal crops such as oat, cereal rye or barley, according to University of California.
Most importantly, grape growers and PCAs should be prepared with a robust line of pre and post-emergent herbicide solutions to combat winter weeds. For dependable weed control in grapes, UPL offers a portfolio of products including LIFELINE®, SATELLITE® Hydrocap, and CASORON® Herbicides.
A non-selective, post-emergent herbicide, LIFELINE provides broad-spectrum weed control of some of the most challenging weeds, including glyphosate-resistant marestail, hairy fleabane, malva, and filaree. Using a unique mode of action, LIFELINE inhibits glutamine production in the weeds which leads to a breakdown in photosynthesis.
For another option in pre-emergent weed control, grape growers can turn to SATELLITE Hydrocap. The newly developed and patent-pending encapsulation method offers growers a stable formulation to provide good shelf life and excellent mixing characteristics. SATELLITE Hydrocap delivers excellent control of grasses such as barnyardgrass, ryegrass, seedling johnsongrass and witchgrass and troublesome small-seeded broadleaf weeds such as lambsquarters and waterhemp. In addition, tank-mixing SATELLITE Hydrocap with LIFELINE herbicide in a pre-emergent application will provide burndown of emerged weeds, and effective pre-emergent control in a single application.
CASORON is an excellent choice for control of glyphosate-resistant marestail, fleabane and ryegrass, as well as other hard-to-kill weeds such as Bermudagrass, bindweed and horsetail (Equisetum spp.). CASORON is a broad-spectrum pre-emergent and early post-emergent herbicide that provides a highly effective, long-lasting, non-selective herbicidal barrier that controls both germinating seeds and young, existing weeds by inhibiting growth of roots and shoots.
When weeds are left unchecked, yields can suffer. To learn more about the UPL portfolio of crop protection products, contact your local UPL sales representative or visit www.upl-ltd.com/us.