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
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.