It is very common for all life forms be they humans, animals or plants to be affected by some diseases. Can you then expect vines and grapes to be an exception? No, of course not.
Also the crops and fields get attacked by different pests and so do the vineyards. So what are these pests and diseases affecting the vineyards? Except for a few, these diseases are regional.
The diseases affecting the vineyards can be listed as follows:
· Downy mildew- fungal infection
· Powdery mildew - fungal infection
· Black rot – due to hot and humid climate
· Grey rot – fungal infection
· Fan leaf – viral infection
· Pierce’s disease- the leaves get yellowed early
The pests that attack the vineyards are:
· Grape leafhopper
· Grape moth
· Birds and animals
Usually preventive measures are the best solutions any time but when diseases are found it is natural that treatments should be given and to control the pests some remedial measures need to be taken. Usually fungicides are used as a preventive measure for the vineyards. Good canopy management also ensures its healthy growth.
Let us find what treatments work.
For the Pierce’s Disease which is native to California region you need to combat its carrier the sharpshooter using the biological method and use of insecticides can be effective. Certain pests are also controlled by the biological methods.
Both downy mildew and powdery mildew are fungal infections are treated with the application of Bordeaux mixture
Proper air circulation
Giving proper air circulation black rot can be prevented which is caused due to hot and humid climate
Pruning of leaves also allows proper air circulation and helps the healthy growth of vines. Grey rot can be prevented by this.
Removing the vines
Vines affected by fan leaf, a viral infection should be removed and also the roots allowed to rot, so that the nematodes that attack and cause this infection will also perish. One or two seasons the vines are not planted in such regions.
Phylloxera an aphid affects the vines in Europe region but the American vines are unaffected by it. Grafting of the former with the latter this infection can be combated.
Planting resistant rootstock
The resistant rootstock is planted along with vines. This prevents the nematodes attacking the vine roots and no harm is caused to the vineyards.
Use of specific contact insecticides
With the application of these insecticides moth and other pests will not loom over the vines. Thus preventing the damage to the grape leaves and hence the vines.
Introduction of parasites and predators
Pests can be controlled using a biological method that is by introducing of certain kinds of parasites and predators. Grape leaf hopper gets controlled with this method.
Every region has a different or specific predator like monkeys in South Africa, boars in Argentina and the like. These need local application and preventive methods like putting up nets or hunting these animals.
Specific treatments have to be tried after knowing the disease and the pests attacking the vineyards. Then the damage to the vineyards controlled for the good and healthy growth of the grapes. This will lead to getting good wine out of them.