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Disease control programme for wine grapes

UK Grapevine disease management overview

Disease management is a persistent issue in wine grape growing. The three most economically damaging diseases are powdery mildew, downy mildew andbotrytis. At present, disease control relies on conventional chemical fungicides. However, these programmes are expensive, ecologically damaging and are experiencing a rise in resistance to active ingredients.

Introducing Fargro's ecological spray programme

Biopesticide use is yet to gain widespread use in the sector – but by using a targeted mix of products, we have delivered a high level of broad-spectrum control whilst also being environmentally sustainable, low-cost and free of the risk of resistance. Accordingly, in terms of commercial appeal, biopesticides align with consumer desires for high-quality wines produced to a high environmental standard.

Our programme combines three biopesticides: Taegro, Romeo and SB Plant Invigorator

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain FZB24
 - Bacteria colonises the plant surface and secretes anti-fungal compounds to inhibit establishment of spores.

Cerevisane (denatured brewers yeast) 
- Denatured yeast cells are recognised as fungus by the plant and elicit natural plant anti-pathogen defences.

SB Plant Invigorator
Mix of ecologically friendly and phyto-safe surfactants - Degrades fungal hyphae and spores.

The programme in practice

We trialled the spray programme at Gusbourne Estate's Sussex site.

Application area:  0.3ha split evenly across two fields, 75m elevation, west facing
Crop: Grapevine
Variety: Chardonnay
Target application type: Boom spray (tractor mounted)
Spray start date: Week commencing 26th June 2023
Harvest: Week commencing 2nd October 2023
Water Rate: 500L/ha

"The spray programme was easy to apply and achieved a high level of control of powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis. We lost significantly less than 1% of bunches to disease." Adam Foden, Grower, Gusbourne.

To find out more about this trial and the ecological spray programme, click here.

Taegro: MAPP Number 19204 Romeo: MAPP Number 19170. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. Further detail on warning symbols and phrases is included on the labels and leaflets.

Speak to a technical expert

For advice or to discuss any of the products mentioned, please contact our technical experts on 01903 256 856 or email