2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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timmy roos
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#151 Post by timmy roos » April 20th, 2020, 6:11 am

Stewart
Is it widespread or localized?
Btw enjoyed a Kendric chard over the weekend
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#152 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 20th, 2020, 1:24 pm

Lots of flower clusters out there. I thought with big crops the last two years the vines might take a breather....but no. A lot can happen between now and bloom/set but it looks impressive at this early stage.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#153 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 22nd, 2020, 6:12 pm

Summer is here so to speak. Forecast shows no rain and warm weather for a while. Crew now starting at 7:00 am, and in two weeks we'll be out there at 6:30 to beat the heat. Frost season is over...........OK not really but probably. Frost alarms won't be disconnected until June. With warm/dry ground and warm temps ahead, the vines are gonna crank. We will be at 9 hours days soon. Tomorrow will wrap our first sulfur spray. Weed control is paramount on years like this. We will be very diligent over the next two weeks. 2020 is finally ON NOW!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#154 Post by Stewart Johnson » April 23rd, 2020, 12:46 pm

timmy roos wrote:
April 20th, 2020, 6:11 am
Stewart
Is it widespread or localized?
Btw enjoyed a Kendric chard over the weekend
Thanks Timmy.
The chard budded out a little earlier than the pinot and took the brunt. Viognier at the bottom of the vineyard got a little scorched, but it was a little behind the chard and the burn is more scattered there. It's not all that bad. I've got to go over that fairly carefully with the crop insurance adjuster tomorrow, but it should just be a marginal hit.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#155 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 24th, 2020, 7:32 pm

It's full on now: crew will start 9 hours days Monday. First pass of sulfur is done. It's all about weed control now. On a dry year like this one, every day we have tall grass we are losing hundreds of gallons of water per acre. Crop still looking big but I'm obviously ahead of myself. Having some success marketing fruit but no details to offer at this time.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#156 Post by Merrill Lindquist » April 27th, 2020, 6:52 am

Accomplished the first spray of the season on Saturday morning. The growth looks healthy and fairly uniform. Not much else to say at the point. Except the weather is gorgeous!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#157 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 27th, 2020, 5:26 pm

Happy to see my guys getting the upper hand on weed control. I went to Sonoma county today for some trellis supplies and was shocked at very tall and somewhat dried out cover crop still standing. It made me feel even better getting back to our ranch. Deciding when the next sulfur spray will take place. Love this time of year when everything is working!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#158 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 30th, 2020, 2:18 pm

Covering more ground on foot now. Also getting a better grip on crop. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are pretty loaded. Lots of flowers and good sized. Chard just looks average.... although I still have more fields to walk. Gewurtz looks average right now. My young Gruner block is pretty crazy, huge flowers. Second sulfur spray begins tonight.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#159 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 2nd, 2020, 4:43 pm

Kind of experienced a few 'drizzly sprinkles' a couple of times today. Nothing measurable in the gauge however. I pre-sold 65 tons of fruit this week! Think I'll make myself a drink!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#160 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 2nd, 2020, 4:53 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 4:43 pm
Kind of experienced a few 'drizzly sprinkles' a couple of times today. Nothing measurable in the gauge however. I pre-sold 65 tons of fruit this week! Think I'll make myself a drink!
Our sprinkles never made it to the ground. Saw a bit on the windshield when I went out. A grey day just meant for napping.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#161 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 4th, 2020, 6:29 am

Anderson Valley is a trip!

Got an alert on my phone yesterday around 5:00 pm that said 'frost alert'. Well we got down to 33.7 in our coldest spot this morning. For the record I didn't say frost season was over, just likely over.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#162 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 4th, 2020, 7:25 am

I hears one machine go on at 4:00 this morning.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#163 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 6th, 2020, 6:15 am

We're going to see temps in the low 90's at week's end, then possibly a half inch of rain 3 days later? Temps going to drop 25 degrees as well? That should be exciting.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#164 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 7th, 2020, 10:48 am

Another unforeseen job on the ranch: patching holes in the deer fence made by the bears. During and after harvest the bears come looking for leftover fruit and have little respect for our very old 6 foot high fence. Well now as the hills start to dry up the deer are finding their way in and eating on the tender shoots. More man hours not doing actual vineyard work!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#165 Post by timmy roos » May 8th, 2020, 6:13 am

Casey
What is the sentiment in buyers looking for fruit? Are your signed contracts this year with existing relationships or new buyers?
Things are getting funny these day

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#166 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 8th, 2020, 9:25 am

timmy roos wrote:
May 8th, 2020, 6:13 am
Casey
What is the sentiment in buyers looking for fruit? Are your signed contracts this year with existing relationships or new buyers?
It's a mixed bag. However the signed contracts this year are with existing clients buying more. I still have fruit to sell but I'm SO happy that I've placed a good amount.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#167 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 8th, 2020, 2:07 pm

Second spray goes on tomorrow. Lining up some suckering activity.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#168 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 10th, 2020, 2:07 pm

Well things might just get a little interesting over the next 7 days or so. Rain and showers are predicted, starting tomorrow and will be around for most of the period. We have no bloom yet, but Pinot Noir especially is not fond of prolonged wet spells during the growing season. Y'all stay tuned.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#169 Post by Paul Gordon » May 11th, 2020, 8:55 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 2:07 pm
Well things might just get a little interesting over the next 7 days or so. Rain and showers are predicted, starting tomorrow and will be around for most of the period. We have no bloom yet, but Pinot Noir especially is not fond of prolonged wet spells during the growing season. Y'all stay tuned.
Casey

The weather pattern looks remarkably similar to May 2019 except this year maybe 2in of rain compared to 7in last year. Interesting how weather patterns so often go in year pairs.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#170 Post by Paul Gordon » May 11th, 2020, 9:37 am

After a busy couple weeks I finally have the time to do my growing season monthly update.
Our average high for April was 59F and average low was 41F. That is right on our average for the last 6 years and compares to Cote Rotie historical averages of 58F and 42F. Damn hot in the Northern Rhone yet again - Ampuis had an average high of 71F and average low of 47F.
We had some frost early in April. The bulk of the vineyard was unaffected but one block that we pruned earlier (in the second half of January) had some damage. Fortunately we left extra buds anticipating the possibility of frost and will have an average crop - this year we are also helped by fertile basal buds.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#171 Post by Emilio Castelli » May 11th, 2020, 10:13 am

Solid rain in Green Valley; should last all day. Also cool enough to get the wood stove going. Good time to take a break.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#172 Post by Edward H. Earles » May 12th, 2020, 4:57 am

I just perused the 10-day weather animations over at Windy.com and it looks like Northern California is in for a long stretch of cool, cloudy weather. Is 2020 turning into 2011 yet?

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#173 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 12th, 2020, 7:01 am

Edward H. Earles wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 4:57 am
I just perused the 10-day weather animations over at Windy.com and it looks like Northern California is in for a long stretch of cool, cloudy weather. Is 2020 turning into 2011 yet?
No - why would you want to project that? We haven't even had bloom or fruit set yet. It's May 12.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#174 Post by Paul Gordon » May 12th, 2020, 8:03 am

Edward H. Earles wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 4:57 am
I just perused the 10-day weather animations over at Windy.com and it looks like Northern California is in for a long stretch of cool, cloudy weather. Is 2020 turning into 2011 yet?
This year's weather pattern is almost identical to last year except much less rain likely the next week (around 2in) compared to the 7in the same period last year. Nothing like 2011, which was much colder in April and May.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#175 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 12th, 2020, 10:26 am

IMG_20200512_101826751.jpg
Someone say bloom? Anderson Valley Chardonnay this morning. I KNEW there was a reason I woke up grumpy today.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#176 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 12th, 2020, 11:28 am

I called a grower rep buddy of mine. Sonoma Chard and Pinot around 50% bloom
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#177 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 12th, 2020, 4:38 pm

I just walked my place and everything is tight. No fraying at the edges - nothing. Forecast does look on the cool side, but no real concern. The ground is nicely damp, which will help later on in the growing season when water runs low.

The vineyard is freshly suckered, so it is easy to see where the flower formations are. Looks - right now - like a good crop.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#178 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 13th, 2020, 4:54 pm

I had a client inform me that they will not be buying any fruit from me this year. They have been buying about 5-6 tons each of three different varieties for over 7-8 years. Some years we write up a contract, others we just have an informal meeting and work it out. This is the third smaller winery asking to pass or drastically back off on tonnage. Very disappointing.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#179 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 13th, 2020, 8:52 pm

Sprayed today and spotted a couple rootstock vines flowering, so the rest of the vineyard should be getting there in a few days. Drizzly today, and it looks that way for the next week. It's not good timing, even if I'm not flowering yet, because this steady moisture isn't going to help the caps dry up and fall off the flowers. It's not enough to really effect moisture in the rootzone. The only thing it's good for is to make the next pass with the disc more effective. I try not to disc very often but this was a dry enough Winter that I'm doing the whole vineyard.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#180 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 16th, 2020, 9:02 pm

Rain .....I'm going to bed.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#181 Post by Wes Barton » May 17th, 2020, 10:11 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 4:54 pm
I had a client inform me that they will not be buying any fruit from me this year. They have been buying about 5-6 tons each of three different varieties for over 7-8 years. Some years we write up a contract, others we just have an informal meeting and work it out. This is the third smaller winery asking to pass or drastically back off on tonnage. Very disappointing.
It's curious what will happen. March wine sales are up 27.6% over 2019. Of course there's massive disruption, so wineries aren't seeing that. The supply chain squeeze should correct to some degree. A lot of small winery models won't be viable going forward. I hope there's more clarity and enough normalization as harvest approaches that demand for grapes will reflect the future need. It'd be dumb to see a winery wine shortage at many after crop is wasted.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#182 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 17th, 2020, 5:19 pm

Good story in NY Times a few days ago about growers deepening concern about wineries cutting back fruit purchases. Going to be some pain on all sides of this thing. If anyone could find and post that story? I'm obviously just a dumb hillbilly!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#183 Post by Bdklein » May 18th, 2020, 3:08 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 5:19 pm
Good story in NY Times a few days ago about growers deepening concern about wineries cutting back fruit purchases. Going to be some pain on all sides of this thing. If anyone could find and post that story? I'm obviously just a dumb hillbilly!
Might be behind a paywall:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/dini ... Position=1
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#184 Post by timmy roos » May 18th, 2020, 6:53 am

We are in Lake County and still have some unsold fruit. In years past we have sold too many of the labels that are doing very well in the supermarkets. I know that there is a glut of bulk wine and I have heard that there has been some movement as of late but the grape market is very quiet still at this point
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#185 Post by Paul Gordon » May 19th, 2020, 9:32 am

Clearing skies today. We had just over 3in of rain from May 11 thru yesterday (5/18). A nice top-up to the soil moisture after a dry winter.
Looks dry and warmer from here.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#186 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 19th, 2020, 3:40 pm

A walk through the vineyard just now showed the tiniest bit of fraying on a couple of flower formations on a few vines. It's the start, and the warmer, drier days ahead should help get this going.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#187 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 19th, 2020, 5:19 pm

.87 rain from the last event. Just a total pain in the f_cking ass, not enough to irrigate, but enough to irritate. Sulfur go-round begins tonight......if it doesn't frost.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#188 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 22nd, 2020, 8:48 am

The warmth of the past couple of days has brought on bloom very nicely. May the weather stay calm, absent of rainfall, and nicely warm to get us through bloom to a nice fruit set. Same wish each year!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#189 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 22nd, 2020, 11:40 am

Round three of sulfur completed last night without incident. We're on a lucky streak with lack of breakdowns this season.

Walked some fields this morning with a cool breeze blowing. Quite the mixed bag. Chard crop is unimpressive in some areas. Chard bloom is certainly underway. Other varieties just at the front edge of bloom.

I'm disappointed at some of the suckering that happened with the first pass. Need to stop assuming that my folks know their doing with more supervision from me.

After the holiday weekend we'll get back on weed control (mowing and discling) while the crews will be very busy tucking shoots and lifting wires. A second pass of suckering will have to be fitted in somehow on some fields.

Still working on selling this extra fruit, including Pinot Gris, Chard, Pinot Noir and Gruner.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#190 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 22nd, 2020, 9:36 pm

Heading into bloom, and the heat this weekend is just what the Dr. ordered. It was shaping up to be a crappy and drawn out set period, but I hope a little heat will push things along.
On a completely separate note, have other CA vineyard folk noticed that 2020 is the year of the super fast tick? Ticks have been a fact of life for most of my life, but they've always moved pretty methodically. This year, they seem to have cross-bred with spiders -- longer legs and they can really skedaddle.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#191 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 23rd, 2020, 5:49 am

Have not seen a tick and typically don't. Are you talking in the vineyard itself?
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#192 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 23rd, 2020, 6:40 am

39 degrees this morning. No too shocked as there was a cool north wind all day.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#193 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 23rd, 2020, 8:14 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 5:49 am
Have not seen a tick and typically don't. Are you talking in the vineyard itself?
Yes, in the vineyard. I'm surrounded by creeks, woodlands and pasture, so maybe I get more than in areas that are more vineyard adjacent. I also don't usually cultivate much, so there is often more grass for them to live in. I'll say that I never quite appreciated just how many there were until I got a smaller dog. I always got a few on myself and a few on the labradors, but the new addition, possibly a beagle/dachsund mix, can come home with 40 ticks on a bad day.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#194 Post by Gary Schulte » May 24th, 2020, 6:47 am

Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 8:14 pm
Yes, in the vineyard. I'm surrounded by creeks, woodlands and pasture, so maybe I get more than in areas that are more vineyard adjacent. I also don't usually cultivate much, so there is often more grass for them to live in. I'll say that I never quite appreciated just how many there were until I got a smaller dog. I always got a few on myself and a few on the labradors, but the new addition, possibly a beagle/dachsund mix, can come home with 40 ticks on a bad day.
My vineyard is similar to yours with forest, pasture, & wetlands surrounding it. I'm just starting to see ticks around one of my shipping containers as I always do each year. Must be mice/voles under there that are carrying them. I periodically spray Sawyers permethrin on my lower pant legs and boots and that seems to do a good job at keeping them off me. This past week I have been clearing brambles and invasive plants that border my vineyard on two sides where there are woods. After several days on over 1400 ft of clearing I did not find a tick on me. That surprised me. As usual dogs always seem to be a prime target for ticks. I really dislike ticks after 2 previous sessions of antibiotics from Lyme disease.....Oh I'm only about 20 miles from Lyme, CT which was the epicenter once upon a time.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#195 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 24th, 2020, 1:35 pm

We don't keep any long grasses here. We are totally on the Valley floor. My less-than-an-acre spot which is surrounded by Frediani Vineyards, gets disked down to the dirt. His 180 acres as well. That's just the way we farm.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#196 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 1:35 pm
We don't keep any long grasses here. We are totally on the Valley floor. My less-than-an-acre spot which is surrounded by Frediani Vineyards, gets disked down to the dirt. His 180 acres as well. That's just the way we farm.
We only 100% disc our old vine dry farmed Beaujolais clone Pinot since it gets no irrigation. Young vines (less than three years old) will also be total cultivation. Everything else gets the every other disc/mow program you see so often. The mowed rows give habitat for beneficial insects. It also serves as dust control. If we have a rogue shower and need to get the sprayer back in, we have firm ground to drive on. Lastly during harvest we pull the picking bins down the cultivated rows giving our crew firm and even ground to walk on.
Ordway's Valley Foothills

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Paul Gordon
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#197 Post by Paul Gordon » May 24th, 2020, 10:45 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 9:36 pm
Heading into bloom, and the heat this weekend is just what the Dr. ordered. It was shaping up to be a crappy and drawn out set period, but I hope a little heat will push things along.
On a completely separate note, have other CA vineyard folk noticed that 2020 is the year of the super fast tick? Ticks have been a fact of life for most of my life, but they've always moved pretty methodically. This year, they seem to have cross-bred with spiders -- longer legs and they can really skedaddle.
We had a lot of ticks in 2014 and 2015 after the warm, dry winters. Not many the last few years as we returned to cooler winter temps. Only seen one tick this spring - I suspect the below freezing temps the first four days of April did the trick especially the 28F on the 2nd.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#198 Post by Sean Devaney » May 25th, 2020, 8:16 am

I guess I am just a wine geek but I find the info on ticks fascinating and another thing I would have never thought about grape growing and wine making without this thread. This why I love this thread and all who participate [cheers.gif]

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#199 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 25th, 2020, 7:28 pm

First day of the heat wave in the vineyard, and it was a rough one. I have a half acre grafted over from pinot to chard, and those plants need water early and often. This is the 4th time I've irrigated already, and I'd never consider irrigating regular vines before June or July. It's a section that I normally dry farm -- which is why I'm taking the pinot off of it -- too deep soil, too much available moisture and too much vigor for pinot to shine there. I've sold it previously and then used it for rose the last couple of years. This grafting to chard is with an eye toward a blanc de blanc. Anyway, those grafts send out suckers at an amazing rate, and they have to be removed to direct the vine's energy toward the grafted buds. That all takes place right around ground level, and my back was letting me know that I'm getting too old for this kind of work. Or, at least that a half acre of grafting in any one year is about my limit. Gonna beat a retreat to the comfort of the winery tomorrow.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#200 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 26th, 2020, 3:34 pm

A short walk out in the 98 degree heat in the vineyard showed what I suspected I would see: full on bloom. It seems very uniform, though I did not spend a lot of time out there. Seeing it is not going to change it, and the heat....

I saw cool temps and rain?? coming for Saturday. Hope the weather changes its mind.
Merrill
EMH Vineyards - Home of the Black Cat
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