#169 - June 3, 2011

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Tis the Herbicide Drift Season

Quite a few people contacted me this week in regards to herbicide drift symptoms showing up in their vineyards. Some caused it themselves when they just had to kill those dandelions. The majority of the calls involved corn and soybean field applications by farmers or commercial ag dealers. Most of the applications had Roundup (glyphosate) and/or 2,4-D in the mix.


These are the most typical questions I get asked:

  1. Question: I think I have herbicide drift on my grapes. How can I tell?
    Answer: Take some high resolution pictures (that are not blurred) and e-mail them to me or contact a local agronomist or horticulturalist to stop by and take a look.
  2. Question: How much are the grapes damaged?
    Answer: Time will tell. Slight leaf disorientation and/or discoloration probably just gave the vines a serious headache and they should recover. Moderate to severe leaf and/or shoot symptoms probably has caused some serious injury or set up the plant for a higher potential of winter injury. The true extent of the damage will not be known until the grape plant completely recovers or dies in 1-3 years.. In most cases, looking at the hanging grape crop the next season will give a good indication of the extent of the damage. Older plants typically will recover much quicker than younger plants.
  3. Question: How can I determine where the herbicide drift came from?
    Answer: I can’t recall ever being on a herbicide drift case where I could not find the source of the drift. The vineyard area showing the worst damage symptoms should give you an indication of the direction the drift came in from. Herbicide drift will typically affect other plants along its journey. Like Dorothy in Kansas, just Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
  4. Question: How do I go about getting compensated for the damage.
    Answer: Start a written diary with documented dates, pictures and yields. You need to decide if you are willing to settle the situation with a friendly neighbor in an informal manner OR start building your case in a formal manner. I normally recommend going the formal route. Vineyard damage is costly and the extent of the damage cannot be fully documented for 1-2 seasons. People forget, minds change and people you are dealing with come and go over time.
  5. Question: Who do I contact?
    Answer: In Iowa, I recommend people contact the Pesticide Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture (515-281-8591). They have field personnel who investigate pesticide drift cases. They will interview the parties involved, take pictures and take plant samples for chemical analysis. There is no charge for this service. Results from their investigation can be used out-of- court or in court for settlement. The perpetrator of the drift will often get a written reprimand and /or a fine and may lose their pesticide applicator’s license depending on the applicator’s pesticide misuse history or blatant pesticide misuse in this case.
    Note: Most Departments of Agriculture in other states also have personnel who
    investigate pesticide drift cases. Many require that the drift case be reported
    within 30 days of the application. The sooner the better!
  6. Question: The insurance company guy wants to settle-up now. Should I?
    Answer: No, unless the settlement seems VERY high. This is a common game played by insurance adjusters. It costs them more to service a claim for 1-2 years and their liability tends to grow over time. They want to get the settlement check out ASAP.
  7. Question: What should I do with the vines?
    Answer: All, or a proportion of the fruit should be pulled from moderate to heavily damaged vines. This is somewhat a seat-of-your pants determination based on the physical symptoms and type of herbicide causing the damage. Over cropping a herbicide damaged vine will cause more stress and a longer period of recovery.

Use your normal good vineyard growing practices that you are accustomed to using for the rest of the season. Fungicide applications designed to protect the fruit should not be needed if the fruit has been removed.

In summary, herbicide drift into vineyards happens and needs to be dealt with. I recommend that professional commercial growers handle a drift case in a professional manner. Document everything and report the drift case to your State Department of Agriculture for investigation. Handling a pesticide drift situation in a formal manner sends a message that will lessen the potential of future herbicide drift problems. mlw

The following resources may be of value in dealing with pesticide drift:

  1. Preventing Herbicide Drift and Injury to Grapes, ES8860 Oregon State Univ:
  2. Phenoxy Herbicide Leaf Index and Severity Rating, Washington State University:
  3. Protecting Oklahoma’s Vineyards from Phenoxy Drift: Ok State:
  4. Avoiding Phenoxy Herbicide Damage to Grapes, Ed Hellman, TX A&M:
    http://winegrapes.tamu.edu/grow/phenoxy.htm l
  5. Questions & Answers About Vineyard Injury From Herbicide Drift, KSU:
  6. Preventing Hormonal-Type Herbicide Damage to Grapes, KSU:
  7. 2,4-D Drift Limits Grape Growing in MO, 1st qt. 2002 - Vineyard & Vintage View, pp 6-9:
  8. Phenoxy Herbicide, 2,4-D Injury, Michigan State University:
  9. Organic Acid Herbicide: volatility and side reactions, 1998 Farm Note 47/97 Western Australia
    Dept. of Ag: http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/pw/weed/herb/f04797.pdf
  10. Hormone Herbicides: What you should know, 2008 Farm Note 61/99, Western Australia Dept. of Ag: http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/pw/chem/f06199.pdf
  11. Herbicide Injury Symptomology, Univ. of Missouri Weed Science:
  12. Herbicide Injury of Grapes, Tom Zabadol, Michigan State University:
  13. CDMS directory of Pesticide labels and MSDS documents:


Rules/Permits for serving Alcohol on RAGBRAI XXXIX

The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) is scheduled from July 24 to July 30 this year. The 2011 RAGBRAI host communities are: Glenwood, Atlantic, Carroll, Boone, Altoona, Grinnell, Coralville, and Davenport. The Iowa Alcoholic Beverage’s Division has posted the information on the rules and permit application process for alcohol vendors here: http://www.iowaabd.com/education/outreach/ragbrai


Vineyard Canopy Management Workshop – Farnhamville, IA

When: 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 11, 2011
Registration will begin at 8:30 AM
Where: Richard Black’s vineyard at 3228 Xenia Ave. Farnhamville, IA (515-467-5574)
Who: Dr. Paul Domoto, ISU Commercial Fruit Specialist will lead a presentation and hands on
workshop in the vineyard, discussing canopy management concepts.
Cost: $10 for members, $12 for non-members.
Note: Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a sampling of Iowa wines in the
vineyard atmosphere following the workshop.
Sponsored by: Northwest Iowa Grape Growers Association
Contact: Norm Lewman, Secretary, Northwest Iowa Grape Growers Association


5th annual 2011 Mid-American Wine Competition at DMACC

The 2011 Mid-American Wine Competition will be held July 8-10, 2011, in Iowa and will focus only on the wines of the Midwest. The competition will be open only to commercial wineries of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The competition is held on the campus of the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, which is just north of Des Moines. The college has the longstanding Iowa Culinary Institute which provided the infrastructure for the competition.

The Chief Judge for the Mid-American Wine Competition is noted wine expert and veteran wine judge, Doug Frost of Kansas City. Frost is one of only three people in the world to earn the title of both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier.

The Competition director is Bob Foster, founder and first director of the San Diego National Competition. Foster has been a wine judge and competition director for over 25 years and also directs the Temecula Valley Wine Competition in California. He is a long time wine judge for the Missouri State Fair Wine Competition and the Jefferson Cup Wine Competition held each year in Kansas City.

Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, Director of the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University is a technical adviser to the competition and also serves as one of the wine judges.

All bonded wineries in the Midwest region are invited to enter. Any winery needing additional information may contact the competition at winecompetition@dmacc.edu .


Mid American Wine Competition: Goes Green

This year the MAWC has chosen to send out email invitations to wineries, rather than mail out invitation. This allows us to keep our costs down and reduce lag time in getting in contact with the wineries. If there are any wineries that have not received the email invitation that was sent out, or would prefer a paper copy, please contact them at winecompetition@dmacc.edu or give them a call at 515-965-7310.


Mid American Wine Competition: Food Wine Paring Back to the Basics

The MAWC includes a blind tasting of wines with food, allowing wineries the opportunity to have their wines judged against carefully selected, food friendly dishes. This is the only competition in the United States to offer this format. “Typically wine competitions judge wines only against other wines. And typically the biggest wine wins. But wine is supposed to be consumed with food. So we’re going to judge these wines in a setting more conducive to wines of balance, and by judging the wines with food we think we’ll see a different outcome than the usual “Bigger is Better” response, said Chief Judge Doug Frost.

Traditionally, competitions judge a series of wines from the same category; essentially, the wine is evaluated in the context of other similarly styled wines. But the Mid-American Wine Competition has implemented the Food-Wine Pairing Competition in order to evaluate wines based on synergism and appropriateness with food. The style of wine that might receive acclaim in a traditional competition may be different from the style of wine that perfectly matches with a variety of foods.

The wines selected will be matched with one of the following dishes. Each winery should select the dish that corresponds to their wine and alongside of which the wine should be tasted. This year's food choices have been simplified to allow more straightforward choices for wineries seeking to highlight their wines in the best possible light.


Category 301 - Sauteed Shrimp, spicy remoulade sauce
Category 302 - Poached Sole, light butter sauce
Category 303 - Pizza Margherita (simple pizza with basil, tomato and mozzarella cheese)
Category 304 - Grilled Chicken, skin on, no sauce
Category 305 - Smoked Pork Ribs (no sauce, dry rub only)
Category 306 - Marinated Flank Steak (marinated in balsamic vinaigrette)
Category 307 - Chocolate brownie, with nuts

The recipe for each dish can be found on their website: http://www.midamericanwine.org/


DMACC offers Online Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard Series Again in 2011

The June online Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard have been scheduled for the dates listed below. The sessions start at 9pm and generally last about an hour. For more information about these sessions see Wine Grower News #165.

Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard June 13

Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard June 27


Entry Deadline for Iowa State Fair Amateur & Commercial Wine Competition

The entry deadline for both the Iowa State Fair Amateur and Commercial wine competition is July 1st, 2011. Entries will be judged on Saturday, July 30th. Winning entries will be displayed to the public at the Wine Experience in Grandfather's Barn at the Iowa State Fair, August 11 to 21, 2011.

A charge of $3.50 per entry will be made in the Amateur competition with 1 bottle of wine required per entry. A charge of $25 per entry will be made in the Commercial competition with two bottles required per entry.

Full details of the Iowa State Fair Amateur wine competition and entry form can be found here:

Full details of the Iowa State Fair Commercial wine competition and entry form can be found here:

Questions about the commercial wine competition should be directed to Barbara Rasko at:


WI State Fair Wine Competition Announces Judges for 2011 Competition

Wisconsin State Fair is excited to announce Paul Gospodarczyk, Tom Payette and Dr. Valery Uhl as judges for the inaugural 2011 Wisconsin State Fair Wine Competition. These judges have many years of experience evaluating wines across the United States and internationally. In addition, all have experience and passion for the grape varieties grown and the wines produced in the upper Midwest.

Paul Gospodarczyk has been selected to head the panel as the lead judge. He brings a diverse set of competition experience ranging from judging at international competitions to polishing glassware. He co-founded the Mid-American Wine Competition and is an active wine judge participating in the INDY International, Florida International, International Cold Climate, Illinois State, and Michigan State wine competitions. In addition, Mr. Gospodarczyk is the Executive Director for www.todayswineprofessional.com and a Certified Sommelier at a James Beard Nominee Restaurant. His broad production and service experience has instilled a unique appreciation for wines made from vinifera, hybrid, and American grape varieties. He has a B.S. in Enology and has worked at wineries in New Zealand, Oregon, Colorado, and Oklahoma. In 2006 he became the Associate Professor of Enology/Wine Service with the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College during which time he was the consulting winemaker for 3 start-up wineries in the upper Midwest.

Tom Payette studied under famed Bordeaux enologist Jacques Boissenot, and has been working in the wine industry since 1985 which includes 7 years of experience in ultra-premium Bordeaux varietal wine production in Napa, California, before crafting still and sparkling wines in Virginia. In 1999 he was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine—a title he still holds today. In addition to winemaking, Mr. Payette is a noted national speaker and recognized International wine judge.

Dr. Valery Uhl is the Chief Judge and Director of the "North of the Gate" Wine Competition for the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. She has experience judging wines produced from hybrid and American grape varieties at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the Grand Harvest Awards, and the Mid-American Wine Competition. Being a supporter of all types of wines (and a former resident of Illinois) she has toured wineries of the Midwest and Southeast U.S. to learn about the unique character of non-vinifera grape varieties.

The 2011 Wisconsin State Fair wine competition will take place on June 23rd and 24th in the Tommy G Thompson Youth Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. Winning wines from the contest will be on display during the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair, August 4th to 14th!

For additional information about the Wisconsin State Fair Wine Contest go to www.wistatefair.com/fair_competitions/other_contest.htm or contact the Wisconsin State Fair Entry Office at 414.266.7052.


Winery Sustainability & Design Workshop – Springfield, IL

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 9, 2011
Where: Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) Truter Center, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL
Who: Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, Virginia Tech University
Cost: $150 each, includes lunch and booklet
Sponsored by: LLCC’s Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts Program & theIllinois Grape
Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA)

Registration: Contact Megan Pressnall, director of external relations for IGGVA, at 217.726.8518 or
Details & Flyer: http://www.illinoiswine.com/cgi-bin/news/news.pl?record=13


Notable Quotables

  1. “Are all wines under an arbitrary $10 price mediocre or poor? Are all wines above $50
    outstanding and those above $100 ethereal? A resounding no is the answer on all fronts. An
    expensive wine does not ensure greatness anymore than a low price wine is guaranteed to

    From: Myths about wine pricing by Alan R. Balik, 6-2-11
  2. “….livestock wines (cheap brands with cute animals on the label.)”
    From: The next big thing in wine, 6-2-11 - Jeff Segal’s blog - The Wine Carmudgeon,


Marketing Tidbits

  1. 8 Reasons Every Ecommerce Site Should Get Serious About Video , 6-2-11 - Mashable


Show n Tell

What! A Iowa college grad who did not leave IA? This is the kind of economic development Iowa needs more of.
6-2-11 mlw

While visiting family in Shenandoah, IA I stopped by the Wabash Wine Company to see how things were going. Joe & Shelly Skahill opened the winery in 2010. Their son Dusty (left) came back after college to work at the winery fulltime.







(Left) Posters designed by Dusty Skahill line the wall in one of the Wabash winery event rooms. You can read more about the Wabash winery here in this HubPage’s article: Iowa Fine Wines 76 and in Wine Grower News #125. 6-2-11 mlw







(Left) Only in Iowa would you see a town festival for ―"Roundup" herbicide. Just kidding!

Bridgewater is a small town in Adair County, IA. Adair County is the spot where the Mormon migration first encountered Indians on the Mormon Trail. Bridgewater has a population of approx. 156 people.





(Left) Only in Iowa would you see a John Deere 45 2- row corn combine made into a patriotic lawn ornament. Located on the north side of Hwy 92 approx. 8 miles west of Massena, Iowa. 6-2-11 mlw







(Left) This picture of a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) was sent in by an Iowa vineyard operator wanting and ID. These beetles may or may not have 6 ivory colored spots on their wing covers. They typically are 7/16‖ to ½‖ long. They are most often seen around wooded areas. The Tiger beetle is a ferocious predator. They eat insects, arthropods and spiders. They are VERY fast and will pounce and grab their prey with strong mandibles. They are considered beneficial insects. They do no harm to grapes. 6-3-11




Articles of Interest

  1. Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Commission Elects New Chairperson, Iowa ABD News Release
  2. Mobile bottler is the toast of B.C. wineries, 5-30-11 – The Globe & Mail – Toronto, CA
  3. Rodent Control in Vineyards, 6-1-11 – Vines & Wines Magazine
  4. Winery amendment discussed, 6-2-11 – Omaha World Herald
    (Council Bluffs proposed zoning amendment would require wineries and orchards to have a
    conditional-use permit for festivals or large special events.)
  5. Is biodynamic wine better, 6-2-11 – Orange County Register
  6. Agriculture programs face funding axe, 6-3-11 Western Farm Press
  7. Feds seize elderberry juice concentrate from Kan.. winery, say health claims make it a drug,
    6-3-11 – Dailey Journal, from the Associated Press
  8. Peninsular budget worries - WI, Door County's agricultural research station braces for cuts,
    6-4-11 – Door County Advocate


Videos of Interest

  1. Grace Hill Winery Tour and Tasting, Whitewater, KS – 5-30-11 by the thetastespot:


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. 2011’s Top 50 Powerful People in the World of Wine, Decanter.com:
  2. the tastespot.com: http://www.thetastespot.com/
  3. Ohio Grape News – Facebook page
  4. Environmental Working Group’s 2011 Sunscreen Guide – Find the best of 1,700 sunscreens, SPF
    lip balms, moisturizers and makeups.


Calendar of Events:

6-4, 4-8 p.m., 5th Annual Swine Festival – where cork meets pork – Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Details: http://www.swinefestival.com/

6-(4+5), Kothe Distilling Summer Workshop, Kothe Distilling Technologies, Chicago, IL.
Details: : http://www.kothe-distilling.com/en/component/content/article/15-workshop-information/75-kothe-summer-2011-workshop

6-7, Viticulture Field Day, Missouri Grape Growers Assn. (MGGA) & the Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology (ICCVE). Details here: http://www.missourigrapegrowers.org/

6-(7 & 8), Clark Smith's popular "Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry" short course, 1951 Food Sciences Building, Iowa State University, Ames, 6-3 registration deadline. Details: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Wine/Events.htm

6-(9+10), Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Farm Tour, American Legion Hall and Eridu Farms in Hartsburg, MO. Details at http://www.riverhillsharvest.com or call 573-424-9693

6-11, Vineyard Spraying Tailgate Workshop at Mike & Lisa Steinert’s Glacial Edge Vineyard, 1526 SE 85th St. Wakarusa, Kansas Grape Growers and Wine Makers RSVP : Mike Steinert at steinmic@ksmail.net

6-11, 9 a.m. to noon - Vineyard Canopy Management Workshop at Richard Black’s vineyard at 3228 Xenia Ave. Farnhamville, IA (515-467-5574). Norrthwest Iowa Grape Growers Association
Contact: Norm Lewman, Secretary, Northwest Iowa Grape Growers Association

6-18, Winemaking Tips & Techniques, Kite Hill Vineyards, Carbondale, IL. VESTA, Rend Lake Community College and Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Assn. Contact: Rachel Cristaudo, IL VESTA Coordinator Ph: 618) 437-5321 Ext. 1724 or cristaudor@rlc.edu

6-(20-24), American Society for Enology & Viticulture – Portola Hotel & Monterey Conference
Center, Monterey, CA: http://asev.org/national-conference-2011/

6-23, Effective Spraying of Orchards Course - Galesville, WI Sponsored by the Center for Integrated Ag Systems 6-1 registration deadline. Registration details and brochure:

6-25, Effective Vineyard Spraying workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell, Univ. ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. Details: contact Mike White at mlwhite@iastate.edu .
(Note: This is rescheduled from the 5-21-11 workshop which was cancelled due to airline delays.)

7-9, Winery Sustainability & Design Workshop – Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) Truter Center, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL. Details & Flyer: http://www.illinoiswine.com/cgi-bin/news/news.pl?record=13

7-(11-14), 36th American Society of Enology & Viticulture - Eastern Section Conference, 1 Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel Baltimore, Maryland. Details: http://www.asev-es.org/

7- (12-13), 7th Annual Wine Technology Symposium – Napa Valley. Registration & details: http://wineindustrytechnologysymposium.com/

7-(26-28), Iowa Wine Growers Association’s bus trip to the 22nd Annual Michigan State University Viticulture Day on 7-27-11at the Southwest Research & Extension Center near Benton Harbor, MI. Details soon.

8-24, Seedless Table Grape & Winegrape Field Day, Univ. of WI – Madison, West Madison Ag Rearch Station, Questions: Please check blog at: www.universitydisplaygardens.com for more information e-mail Judy at jreithrozell@wisc.edu or Rebecca at harbut@wisc.edu .

11-(16 & 17), 1st North American Wine Tourism Conference – Napa Valley. Details HERE.


Total Circulation of 1,350+ recipients in AZ, CA, CO, FL, OH, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, SD, VA, VT, WA, WA DC, WI, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway & Turkey

Michael L. White,
ISU Extension Viticulture Specialist
909 East 2nd Ave. Suite E, Indianola, IA 50125-2892
ph: 515-961-6237, fax: 6017, cell: 515-681-7286


Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

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