#232 - March 11, 2013


Vineyard Frost Prevention Tactics and Resources

The temperatures are warming, the snow is melting and the pruners are starting to prune. It does not take long before the memories of last year’s early bud break and those devastating April frosts come to mind while working in the vineyard. Now might be a good time to review the many ways one can go about protecting vines from frost damage:
Long Pruning: AKA Double Pruning is the process of leaving 1-2 times more fruiting buds than needed when making your first pruning pass through the vineyard. You end up pruning away 80%+ of the canes during your first pass. The apical buds on the remaining canes are the first to break and suppress the lower buds to break approximately 3-7 days later. The final pruning pass is quickly completed after budswell. This allows the final pruner to get a better idea of the amount of winter damaged buds that are present on the vine and then pruning to compensate.
Site Selection: Not much you can do once the vineyard is planted. Planting a vineyard on a lowland site susceptible to frosts is not good. Keep those vineyards on upland sites.
Cultivar Selection: Selecting cultivars that break bud later in the season can provide an additional 1 to 2 weeks of frost protection. It takes much colder temperatures to kill a bud just starting to swell versus one that has burst open. Typical later bud breaking cultivars for Iowa would include: Cayuga White, Chambourcin, Corot Noir, Landot Noir 4511, Louise Swenson, Noiret, Petite Pearl, St. Vincent and Vignoles.
Low Wire vs. High Wire: Frost settles in low areas. A few feet of difference in the height of the exposed grape foliage and shoots can create a big difference in the amount of frost damage a vine will receive. Vertical Shoot Positioned (VSP) low wire cordon systems and the lower positioned canes on cane pruned systems are more susceptible to frost damage.
Misting Water: An official killing frost event among horticultural circles is considered to be 28°F for 4 hours. A continuous mist of water applied and freezing on tender plant foliage during a cold period may give frost protection down into the 24-25° range. Water as it freezes releases heat. It is called the " heat of fusion". It is critical to keep the misters spraying through the entire frost event or more freeze damage can occur to the plant. Large amounts of water and expertise is typically required to do this properly.
Wind Machines are common in the more established grape growing regions of the country. Some move cold air up to mix with warmer air above. Some blow warmer air above down into the cold vineyard below. Helicopters are sometimes used in emergency situations to protect high value vineyards. They work well if there is a warm air mass above the cold air mass.
Mulch vs. Bare Ground: Bare ground tends to absorb more heat during the day and release heat into the night and early morning. Living mulches (grass), organic and synthetic mulches typically reflect heat during the day providing no heat transfer at night.
Heaters are expensive and use a lot of energy and in most cases are not a good option because of the large number of heat sources that are required in a vineyard. They work best when there is an inversion layer lying low above the vineyard that traps the radiant heat close to the ground.
Smoke does not offer much if any protection from frost and is environmentally unacceptable.
Soybean Oil Sprays There are several people who have done and are doing research with delaying budbreak with oils. Most of the current the research points to Amigo Oil as the product of choice. Amigo oil is a spray adjuvant that contains 93% vegetable oil. Here is a brief summary of its use:
  • Depending on cultivar, it can delay bud break from 5 days to 3 weeks.
  • Applying to much can kill buds via suffocation.
  • Amigo oil is a vegetable oil. Mineral oils and petroleum oils will work, but can become phytotoxic to the buds.
  • Amigo oil seems to work by slowing respiration within the bud.
  • 3 yrs. of field studies at Max Creek Vineyards at Lexington, Nebraska showed that an application of 10% Amigo Oil in 40-45 gallons of water/acre seem to work best.
    • They applied their first application at mid to late Feb. and then every 2 weeks until bud swell.
  • Amigo Oil costs approximately $22 / gallon in 2.5 gallon containers and is made by Loveland Industries. Most Ag Dealers in the Midwest should be able to get it.
  • Long pruning the vineyards is highly recommended prior to spraying. The idea is to spray until dripping. It takes less spray to cover pruned vines.
According to a conversation I had with Max McFarland of Max Creek Vineyards on 3-1-13, there is some research in Bavaria showing that one application of Amigo Oil at the same 10% concentration the end of March worked just as well as multiple applications.
Additional Resources on Spraying Oils:
Potassium Sprays: Past research with potassium (K) and frost has shown that plants with adequate potassium levels will have a higher % of potassium in their plant cell sap. This tends to increase turgor pressure within the cell. This, along with a higher salt content of the sap creates a natural anti-freeze solution within the cell. The research varies as to the effectiveness of using K sprays for frost protection.
Quite a few vineyard owners sprayed a solution of KDL (0-0-24) manufactured by Agro-K in Minneapolis, MN last spring prior to the multiple frost events we encountered here in the Midwest. All the TESTIMONIALS that I heard from vineyards who used it last year were positive. They felt that the KDL gave them another 3-5°F degrees of frost protection. They either received no frost damage or reduced the amount of frost damage where they sprayed the KDL.
KDL (0-0-24) is liquid K fertilizer derived from potassium carbonate and some seaweed combined with a dextrose/lactose sugar combination. Both the sugar and K is said to go into the cell sap creating an anti-freeze solution. Agro-K recommends spraying it onto frost sensitive tissue 36 to 24 hours prior to a predicted frost event. They recommend 1 gallon of KDL and 1 qt. of System Cal per acre in combination. KDL costs approximately $21 gal. in 2.5 gal. containers and System-Cal costs approximately $35/gal in 2.5 gal. containers FOB Minneapolis. Agro-K suggest that this treatment can give another 2-5°F degrees of frost protection.
Note: I would highly recommend tagging a few non-sprayed vines within your vineyard for comparison if you do use a potassium spray.
Additional Resources on Potassium Sprays:
b. Potassium and Frost Damage Prevention, Agrichem Liquid-Logics Factsheet – Australia
c. Frost Management in Cool Climate Vineyards, 8-15-01 – University of Tasmania
Here is a list of frost prevention and management resources that may come in handy:
1. John Marshall of Great River Vineyards at Lake City, MN produced an excellent article "Frost Damage Protection for the Small Grower" that was reprinted in Midwest Wine Press back in January that can be read here: http://midwestwinepress.com/2012/01/19/frost-damage-protection-grape-grower/
2. "Understanding & Preventing Freeze Damage in Vineyards", a 108 p. publication from the Missouri Grape & Wine Institute excellent resource on this subject. Free PDF Download, $30 printed copy. http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=WG1001
3. "Frost Protection in Vineyards" is an excellent 22 minute Online webinar narrated by Dr. Tom Zabadal of Michigan State University here:
4. Methods of Vineyard Frost Protection, Powerpoint by Dr. Paul Domoto, ISU Horticulture, 6-28-06:
5. Vineyard Frost Protection – A guide for Northern Coastal California, 22 pages :
6. Factors Related to Spring Frost Damage: What Are the Options, Dr. Stanley Powell, Michigan State Univ.:
7. Frost Injury, Frost Avoidance, and Frost Protection in the Vineyard, eXtension:
8. Frost Protection in Orchards & Vineyards, USDA – ARS, 20 pp. :
9. The 2002 Grape Growing Season: Lessons for the 21st Century, Dr. Stanley Powell, Michigan State University, 8 pp.:
10. Freeze Protection Methods for Crops, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs:
11. Reducing Cold Injury to Grapes Through the Use of Wind Machines, CanAdvance (Canada) 36 pp.:
Critical Temperature for Grape Buds
PPT slide provided by Dr. Paul Domoto, ISU Horticulture

2013 U.S. National Wine Competition – 3-21-13 Deadline

The National Wine Competition represents the multitude and diversity of grape varieties (native, hybrid and vinifera) and growing regions that exist from shore-to-shore that are unique to our nation’s historical footprint.
Its focus? To recognize excellence in winemaking by awarding medals to wines produced in any of the 50 United States.
The U.S. National Wine Competition also provides a yardstick for successes in U.S. winemaking. Each wine will be judged on its own merits by qualified, experienced judges from the wine industry, wine journalism and wine trade and restaurants.
Entry Fees - Save $10 per wine when you enter online $75 by paper entry form, $65 online

Iowa Specialty Crop Grant Applications – May 3, Deadline

Groups promoting fruits and vegetables, nuts and flowers encouraged to consider applying or comment on program priorities
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The grants are available to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa.
The Department is tentatively scheduled to receive approximately $271,000 in grant funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program which is run by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. This funding is contingent on the federal funds being made available to the Department.
"The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funds to support food safety, research and marketing efforts that will encourage Iowans to choose the products that are produced right here in our state," Northey said. "Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products."
Grant funds shall be used for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops that benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.
Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, and producer, industry, and community based organizations are all eligible to apply for funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. In addition, single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.
Grant awards will be considered up to a maximum of $24,000 and projects can have a duration of up to 30 months (2 ½ years).
"Specialty Crops" that are eligible under this program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Both fresh and processed specialty crops are eligible.
Proposals must be received by IDALS on or before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2013. For more information visit the IDALS Specialty Crop Block Grant program at the Department’s web site at www.IowaAgriculture.gov/Horticulture_and_FarmersMarkets/specialtyCropGrant.asp .
The Department is also establishing a Review Committee to help review, evaluate, and make recommendations on grant proposals submitted to the Department.
Those interested in participating in the Review Committee should have knowledge of specialty crops, and/or grant writing or grant management experience, and the ability to devote the necessary time to complete the review process. Additional information about reviewer responsibilities, meeting dates and an application form can also be found at www.IowaAgriculture.gov/Horticulture_and_FarmersMarkets/specialtyCropGrant.asp .
Applications to participate in the Reviewer Committee are due Friday, March 29, 2013 by 4 p.m.
In addition, to ensure that funds are used in the most efficient manner possible, the Department is asking specialty crop stakeholders and organizations to submit public comments on program priorities. The comments will help the Department identify priorities, establish the criteria used to evaluate the projects proposed for funding, and to determine how the reviews are conducted.
Iowans interested in submitting comments about the program can do so online by emailing HorticultureAndFarmersMarkets@IowaAgriculture.gov or by mail to Horticulture and Farmers Market Bureau, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, 502 East 9th, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319. Comments received by May 3, 2013 will be presented to the review committee to assist in prioritizing projects.
"The Specialty Crop Block Grant program has been a tremendous benefit to Iowa and it is important we understand the priorities of the specialty crop producers as we consider this year’s applications," Northey said. "The public comments will allow us to hear from all segments of Iowa’s specialty crop industries and give them a means to participate in the decisions surrounding this program."
Society of Wine Educators logo
The next Society of Wine Educators, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) exam held on the ISU campus in Ames, Iowa will be from 2-3 p.m. Monday, June 3rd, 2012. (82 days)
Complete information here: http://www.societyofwineeducators.org
Questions: Contact Michael L. White mlwhite@iastate.edu
or 515-681-7286
Malic Acid: A moderately strong acid that is found in abundance in unripe grapes but decreases as the grapes ripen and is the primary input to malolactic fermentation.

 3-(14-16), Iowa Wine Growers Annual Conference - West Des Moines

Iowa Wine Growers Association logoThe Iowa Wine Growers Conference is this week! The conferencewill be held March 14 – 16 at the West Des Moines Marriott.
This event offers attendees time to learn, network and have fun with their peers, customers and the public.
We would like your help promoting is the Friday night All Iowa Wineries Open House from 7 – 10 p.m. This Iowa wine tasting reception is open to the public. The amateur wine competition results will be announced at this event. Appetizers and live music by Hot Tamale & the Red Hots will add to the fun filled festivities.
Please contact the IWGA offices with questions or to register at 515-262-8323 or 800-383-1682.
WARNING: Beware of the 44+ traffic cameras surrounding Des Moines if you are driving to the IWGA Conference this weekend. The revenuers will be out.
Des Moines Traffic Cams
FREE Midwest Wide CLASSIFIEDS for vineyards and wineries at Midwest Wine Press here:

3-16, WGGA Spring 2013 Vineyard School – Alma, WI

WGGA logoWhen: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, 3-16-13
Where: Danzinger Vineyards & Winery, S2015 Grapeview Lane – Alma, WI
Cost: $30 members, $45 non-members
9:30 a.m.—Registration, coffee, milk and pastries
10:00 a.m.—"Making The Most Of Fungicides: Old and New" by Patty McManus, UW-Extension Fruit Pathologist
11:00 a.m.—Break
11:15 a.m.—"Northern Grapes Project Update" by Dean Volenberg Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent
12:15 p.m.—"Build Your Own Sandwich Lunch Bar"included with registration fee
1:00 p.m.—"The Vineyard Equipment Used at Danzinger Vineyards" and "The New Mechanical Pre-Pruner" by Mel Danzinger
2:00 p.m.—In the vineyard demonstration of the mechanical pre-pruner and final hand pruning – come prepared for the walk out into the vineyard
2:30 p.m.—Break into small groups in the vineyard for pruning demonstrations on mature VSP and Hi Cordon vines and 2 year old vines. Observe the demonstration of an electric hand pruners,
3:00 p.m.—Adjourn and go back to the winery for grower sharing and wine tasting (included withregistration fee)
Registration Deadline: Monday, 3-11-13 (100 person limit.)
Registration: Make Checks Payable to: WGGA
Mail to: WGGA, 211 Canal Road, Waterloo, WI 53594
Charge to my (Circle One): VISA MASTERCARD
Card Holder:
Card #:
Exp Date: Last 3 Digits On Back
QUESTIONS: 920/478-3852 or info@wigrapes.org

3-(16 & 30) Using Amigo Oil to delay budbreak - 2 field days

The Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association (NWGGA) will host two field day workshops focusing on the benefits of spraying dormant vines with Amigo Oil to delay bud break and thus minimize damage from late spring frost and freeze events
First Field Day: Saturday, March 16th, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mac’s Creek Winery & Vineyards 43315 Road 757, Lexington, NE 68850
The cost is $10 to cover lunch.
Second Field Day: Saturday, March 30th, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
James Arthur Vineyards 2001 West Raymond Road, Raymond, Nebraska 68428
The cost is $10 to cover lunch.
Each day will have a morning classroom session and a hands-on session in the afternoon.
RSVP requested: Jennifer K. Montgomery, Executive Director
Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association
jmontgomery@nebraskawines.com or 703-405-4540 cell

3-(19-20) Local Food Conference – Ames, IA

 Lynn Heuss, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Producers, consumers, business owners and anyone interested in developing Iowa’s local food system are invited to register for an upcoming conference, "Road Map for Resilience: Empowering Iowa’s Local Food Economy." The conference, sponsored jointly by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will take place on March 19-20, 2013, at the ISU Scheman Building.

3-(22-24) Siouxland Garden Show, Sioux City, IA

Siouxland Garden ShowWhen: Friday, March 22, Noon – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 24, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Siouxland Convention Center - Sioux City, IA
For more information: http://www.siouxlandgardenshow.org
or 712-276-2157
Organized by:
Extension sponsors
Winegrower's Workshop
Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo
NCPN-Grapevine Red Blotch Disease webinar
Grapevine red blotch disease was first identified in 2008 as a syndrome that affects fruit ripening. Virologists in New York and California have identified a graft-transmissible virus, called Grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) that is associated with the symptoms. Infected vines have been identified in California, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
Join Cornell University virologist Marc Fuchs, University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Rhonda Smith, and University of California- Davis Foundation Plant Services director Deborah Golino for an informational session on red blotch disease. We will describe the virus, its impact on vine health, what informal field observations have told us, and what measures are being taken to test and identify infected vines and planting material.
Dr. Tim Martinson, Senior Extension Associate, Cornell University, will moderate.
To register, fill out the on-line form posted at: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9RWAGgg3sXYHC85
by 7 AM Central Standard Time on Tuesday, March 26. You will receive an email with connection instructions later in the day.
This webinar is a product of the NCPN-Grapes outreach committee, and is funded by USDA Farm Bill Section 10201 funds awarded to Cornell University.

4-(4-6), Midwest Aronia Berry Conference

Midwest Aroni Association logo
When: Thursday – Saturday, April 4-6 2013
Where: Holiday Inn Northwest 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50322
Pre-Registration Deadline: March 13, 2012
Malolactic Fermentation: a biochemical process by which lactic bacteria convert malic acid to lactic acid, thereby reducing a wine’s acidity and altering the flavor profile, with carbon dioxide as the primary by-product.

Marketing Tidbits

1. Wine medals allow bottles to stand out in crowded market place, 3-6-13 ABC Rural:
2. Craft Beer is becoming like wine, 3-3-13 – the Drinks Business:

Notable Quotables

"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."
-Benjamin Franklin
"Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age."
-Pope John XXIII
"The wine-cup is the little silver well, Where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell."
-William Shakespeare


1. Identification of eutypa dieback and what to do if found in your vineyard, 8-15-08, Lake Erie
Region Grape Program, 8-15-08 – 3:28 min.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxHpxDpx9fs
2. Discover Iowa: Cooking with Iowa Wines, Meats and Other Iowa Products, 2-17-13 1.38 min.

Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

1. How to do the wine in an upside down glass party trick, YouTube 1:12 min.:
2. Wine OH TV:

Articles of Interest

1. Promising Wine Grape Varieties for the Midwest, 3-3-13 – Midwest Wine Press:
2. NE: Nebraska Grape and Winery Board seeks grant proposals, 3-4-13 Beatrice Daily Sun:
3. MO: 2013 Midwest Grape Conference Biggest in Central USA, 3-4-13 – Wine Industry Insight:
4. The Latest in Grape & Wine Research, 3-4-13 – Wines & Vines Magazine
5. NY: GRAPES 101 Untangling the concepts of vine size, capacity, crop level, vigor, and vine Balance, Dr. Alan Lasko - Appellation Cornell, Cornell University
6. MN: Expand beer, wine to more U of M arenas, Legislator says, 3-6-13 – Star Tribune:
7. IL: Quincy Convention and Visitors Bureau promoting area wineries, 3-6-13 – WGEM.com:
8. NE: Bill would regulate herbicide spraying, 3-7-13 – McCook Daily Gazette:
9. IL: Challenge to The 3-Tier System Inevitable as Illinois, 3-7-13 – Libation Law Blog:
10. MO: Wineries Join up to form Mississippi Hills Wine Trail, 3-8-13 – Southeast Missourian:
11. KS: Hearing on bill to expand liquor sales draws crowd, 3-8-13 – Kansas City Star:

Show n Tell

Murli(Left) Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari bottling some research wine at the Tassel Ridge Winery facility in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Tassel Ridge Winery has donated facilities, grapes, and equipment to use in the Northern Grapes research
project. 2-28-13
Danielle Foss Stephanie Groves
(Above, Left) Danielle Foss, student lab technician testing alcohol content of wines at the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute. 2-26-13
(Above, Right) Dr. Stephanie Groves checks out mold and yeast specimens from her new incubator she will be using when doing microbiological assays of wines. This is a new service the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute has just started. 2-26-13

Calendar of Events

3-(12-14), Wineries Unlimited at Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA: http://www.wineriesunlimited.com/
3-12, The Northern Grapes Project Webinar Series – Vineyard Nutrition. Register here prior to 8 a.m. (Eastern), Friday, March 8th: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3WToOsRa5Ik9BZ3
3-(14-16), Iowa Wine Growers Association Annual Conference at the West Des Moines Mariott. Details later: http://www.iowawinegrowers.org
3-(16 & 17), Wine & Must Analysis Workshop, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) – Green Bay, WI. Contact Lynn.White@nwtc.edu or 920-491-2623
3-(16 & 30), Two Amigo Oil Application Field Days, Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association (NWGGA) Questions: Jennifer Montgomery jmontgomery@nebraskawines.com or 703-405-4540 cell
3-(22-23), Siouxland Garden Show, Sioux City, Iowa Convention Center http://www.siouxlandgardenshow.org or 712-276-2157
3-24, 1- 6 p.m. Winegrower’s Workshop, Carlos Creek Winery – Alexandria, MN. $10 each. RSVP by calling: 320-846-5443
3-(24-28) UC Davis Wine Executive Program. Complete Information: http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/wine-executive-program
4-(4-6), Midwest Aronia Berry Annual Conference, Des Moines IA. Details: http://midwestaronia.org/
4-(4-6), 10th Annual Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo – Denver, CO. Details: http://www.distilling.com/
4-(16-18), License to Steal – Geneva on the Lake, Ohio. Details here: http://www.nationalwinemarketing.com/
4-(28-30), Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America 70th Annual Convention & Exposition – Grande Lakes – Orlando, FL: http://www.wswa.org/meetings.php?EventID=10
5-(16-18), Winemaker Magazine Conference - Monterey, CA. Full Details & Registration: http://www.winemakermag.com/conference
6-(9-14), First International Elderberry Symposium at Columbia, MO. Details here: http://muconf.missouri.edu/elderberrysymposium/
6-(24-28), 64th American Society of Enology & Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference, Portola Hotel & Monterey Conference Center – Monterey, CA: http://asev.org/national-conference-2013/
7-31 to 8-2, 37th Society of Wine Educators Annual Conference, Renaissance Hotel at Sea World in Orlando, FL: http://www.societyofwineeducators.org/conference
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Michael L. White - CCA, CPAg, CSW
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ph: 515-961-6237, fax: 6017, cell: 515-681-7286
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 The secret to enjoying wine
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