Grape growing has become increasingly popular in Northwestern Wisconsin. Both commercial and backyard vineyards are popping up in response to the niche agro-tourism and wine industry in the region. To help grape growers better understand the pest management options for this new industry, the UW-Extension Fruit Team, is sponsoring a Grape Pest Management Workshop Thursday, August 14 at Martell Vineyards, near Somerset, Wis.
Martell Vineyards was one of NW Wisconsin's first commercial vineyards. With over 10 years of experience in commercial grape industry owners, Tom and Deb Martell will be the host for this workshop. Their vineyard is located 4 miles north of Somerset off County Highway I.
The workshop starts at 8:30 a.m. with registration and will conclude by 3:30 p.m. Cost of the workshop is $35 per person, which includes, lunch, breaks and written material. Additional participants from the same vineyard will be admitted for $10.
According to UW-Extension Area Agriculture Development Agent, Kevin Schoessow, grape growing is widespread throughout Wisconsin with more than 400 acres under cultivation. As grape acreages expand, pest complexes also intensify. The best way to manage grape pest is through integrated pest management (IPM).
Schoessow adds, "IPM is a pest management strategy that uses a combination of methods, including scouting, economic thresholds, forecasts, and biological and cultural controls. Learning and applying IPM practices allows growers to eliminate, reduce, or improve the timing and effectiveness of pesticide application in vineyards."
The University of Wisconsin-Extension is hosting three one-day sessions about Integrated Pest Management across the state. In addition to the Somerset session, other locations and dates are August 12 at Parallel 44 Vineyard and winery in Kewaunee, and August 15 at Vernon Vineyards in Viroqua.
Each workshop has a morning classroom session and an afternoon field session. Session topics include:
-- Identifying and managing grape insect and disease pests
-- The biology and ecology of major grape insect and disease pests
-- Practices to monitor grape pests
-- How vineyard sprayers operate and the importance of spray dispersion
-- Identifying and managing weeds in the vineyard
Participants may request a registration form for the workshop by contacting the Spooner Area UW-Extension office, at 1-715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914 or registration information can be found online at http://www.uwex.edu/ces/sars/programs.html.