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Recent Blog Posts

A new factsheet series developed by Dr. Erdal Ozkan, our Extension State Specialist in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) is now available on-line.  The series includes seven factsheets each covering a specific topic associated with effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. The topics include: best practices for effective spraying, selecting the right type and size of nozzles, strategies to minimize spray drift, strategies to maximize pesticide deposit and coverage on target, Calibration and adjustment of sprayers, new developments in spraying equipment, and overall best practices for effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. A list of all seven factsheets with links is provided below.​

This series of Fact Sheets is the most complete collection of all the essential aspects of spraying in vineyards and orchards. For example, Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards (FABE-533) provides details, with 41 photographs, about some of the different sprayers that are used to spray fruit crops. It is the first factsheet of its kind in the United States with information in one single publication on different kinds of sprayers: hydraulic, air-assisted, sprayers with adjustable spouts, multi-row adjustable sprayers, tower type airblast sprayers (Figure 1), air-assisted sprayers with multi-head fans, tunnel sprayers, and pneumatic air shear sprayers.  Another unique factsheet (FABE-538) gives information on advancements in orchards and vineyards. All the best practices one can follow to achieve best efficiency and effectiness in spraying vineyards and orchards. If you have not calibrated your sprayer because you think it is complicated, and if you want to use the air assist provided by airblast sprayers, you should take a look at FABE-537 which covers both topics: an easy way to determine the actual gallons per acre application rate, and adjustment of air flow to achieve maximum deposit of pesticides on the target while minimizing spray drift.

Although it is possible to get printouts of these publications once you reach them online using the links given below, Dr. Ozkan is currently working on designing user friendly print versions of the factsheets.  These factsheets will be available on-line sometime in February.  For more information of the factsheet series please contact Dr. Ozkan (


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Figure 1. One of the several tower-type airblast sprayers as shown in the factsheet Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards (FABE-533) by E. Ozkan and E. Gill


FABE-533: Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards

FABE-534: Selecting the Right Type and Size of Nozzles for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

FABE-535: Strategies to Minimize Spray Drift for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

FABE-536: Strategies to Maximize Pesticide Deposit and Coverage for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

FABE-537: Calibration of Orchard and Vineyard Sprayers

FABE-538: Advancements in Technology for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

FABE-539: Best Practices for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards


Posted In: Viticulture
Tags: Viticulture, Sprayers, Pest Management
Comments: 0

By: Imed Dami and Diane Kinney, HCS-OSU

This article summarizes the 2021 dormant and growing seasons and the impact of weather on grape varieties grown on the research vineyard at the OSU-OARDC in Wooster, Ohio. 

Weather: Temperature

Our weather trends for 2021 were nearly identical during January and March to 2020 with very warm temperatures.  We had a slight drop during February with a recorded low in Wooster of -2.4 oF on the 17th.  That was our lowest temperature for the winter months.  We were fortunate to avoid any spring frost events. Temperatures during the ripening period of August through October remained above the long-term average. October temperature was nearly 8F above average, which was ideal for fruit ripening. The fall killing frost occurred on November 3rd in Wooster. The year ended with nearly 10F above normal in December which is not ideal for vine cold acclimation.

Weather:  GDD

In comparison with 2020, although our average daily temperature was about 8 degrees warmer in January for 2021, we did not gain any GDDs until March.  But we doubled the average that single month.   In October, GDD (300) were more than double the 30-year average. Warm temperatures during the ripening season pushed us well above both 2020 (3000 GDD) and the 30-year average (3063 GDD) ending with 3295 GDD. 

Weather:  Precipitation

2021 ended with a total cumulative rainfall of only 30.99”.  Rainfall was below normal in 8 out of the 12 months, especially in the winter and spring months. The trend in the downward direction has continued over the past 4 years, which may be an indicator of drought cycle in Ohio that may linger for a period of time. July was the wettest month with 6.75”.  The ripening period was relatively dry which helped keep the fruit clean.

Vineyard Notes:

2021 Spring freeze injury:  Once again, we dodged the spring frost bullet in Wooster.   This was a very good thing as the warm temperatures in mid-March (low 60’s on March 24th) found bud swell occurring earlier than we would hope.  Thankfully, the temps dropped at the end of March and early April to slow growth down a bit.

Diseases and insects:  Our biggest enemy this year by far was a larger than normal population of bald faced hornets, yellow jackets and honey bees. We did observe some Downy Mildew in susceptible varieties.  The dry spring and early ripening period allowed for a clean fruit at harvest  Little damage occurred from wildlife this year which is dramatically different from past years.

Fruit quality: The dry/warm weather in August and September helped our fruit develop quickly with our first harvest being on August 23rd. After an initial burst, fruit ripening slowed to a more manageable  harvest schedule ending on October 19th. Crop yields were high in most varieties. In general, berry weights and sugars were higher and acid was lower than in 2020, an indication of more ripe fruit for 2021 vintage.

2021 Harvest fruit composition of selected grape varieties at the Wooster research vineyard:


Harvest Date

100 Berry wt (g)

SS (%)


T.A. (g/L)
















Cabernet franc





















Crimson Pearl





















Frontenac blanc





















La Crescent














Petite Pearl














Sauvignon blanc 27





















Posted In: Viticulture
Tags: 2021 Season
Comments: 0

By: Maria Smith, HCS OSU

It’s like a scene out of the 1992 classic horror movie Candyman in the vineyard this fall. Yellow jackets, hornets, bees, wasps (1; Fig. 1)… but I promise, it’s the sugar content in the grapes and not because we’re summoning a man with a hook for a hand.

Fig. 1. Bald faced hornet in Frontenac blanc, Sep 2021

So, a real question: why so many stinging friends joining us in the vineyards this fall? (By the way, it’s not just us in Ohio, this same issue has been reported this fall in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota).

One suggested answer is the transition to newer selective insecticides that, in addition to being safer for us, are safer for the wasps (2). Another is that populations of these insects are cyclical, and they may just simply be more abundant (3). Whatever the reason, they are a problem for both the human pickers and for the grapes.

As previously mentioned, stinging insects are attracted to the increasing berry sugars as the grapes ripen. They may either feed on existing damaged berries or cause damage by boring into intact berries (Fig 2). Fruit quality may then be further compromised by the vectoring of yeasts and bacteria that induce sour rot (4; Fig 3). Wasps themselves have been found to be vectors of sour rot microbes (5), while other may come in following berry damage, including fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), and sap beetles among others.

Fig. 2. Dessicated, damaged berries following wasp feeding, Frontenac blanc, Sep 2021

Fig. 3. Wasp damage and sour rot in Sauvignon blanc, Sep 2021

Managing Sour Rot in the Winery

With harvest wrapping up, the focus now should be on how best to manage fruit rot in the winery. A 2016 article from Penn State Extension details some key take home points on how to minimize the impacts of fruit rot in wine and are summarized here:

  • Minimize rot coming into the cellar by sorting fruit from harvest
  • Select an appropriate yeast strain that can survive harsher fermentation conditions
  • Create a nutrient management strategy to maintain a healthy fermentation
  • Monitor and manage SO2
  • Improve wine sensory attributes using additives, including tannins and inactivated yeast products
  • Blend with low volatile acidity (VA) wines
  • Sterile filter wines prior to bottling for microbial stability

Looking to next year: ways to control wasp populations in the vineyard

Harvesting at night or very early in the morning when conditions are cooler can certainly help the pickers when it comes to exposure to wasps, but it doesn’t eliminate the problem for ripening fruit.

Control for these insects is challenging but can be more effectively managed by deploying traps along the perimeter of the vineyard at the onset of ripening (Fig. 4), eliminating nests (bee careful!), and ensuring that fruit is harvested at maturity. Additional information on trapping and eliminating nests can be found at

As for insecticides, information from UW-Madison suggests that Entrust, Mustang Maxx, and Delegate have “good” efficacy when it comes to wasp control. Although these insecticides are not labeled for wasps, they are used to manage fruit flies and other pests near harvest. Keep in mind, several low-PHI insecticides are restricted use and require a pesticide applicators license to purchase and use.

Fig. 4. Purchased wasp trap deployed in Wooster, Unit 2 vineyard, Sep 2021


  1. Guedot, C et al. 2018. Species Composition, Abundance, and Seasonal Phenology of Social Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Wisconsin Vineyards. Insects.
  2. Warner, G. 2014. The Increasing Problem of Yellow Jackets and Hornets. Good Fruit Grower.   
  3. Milkovich, M. 2020. Wasps Becoming More Worrisome for Grape Growers. Good Fruit Grower.
  4. Ivey, M et al. 2021. Sour Rot Disorder of Grape. PLPATH-FRU-50.
  5. Madden, A et al. 2017. The Emerging contribution of social wasps to grape rot disease ecology. PeerJ.

By: Maria Smith, HCS-OSU

Two recent press releases issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the arrival of the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma deliatula) in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and the first detection of SLF in Indiana.

The following statement was released yesterday from the Ohio Department of Agriculture:

Spotted Lanternfly Found in Cuyahoga County

ODA Plant Pest inspectors confirmed living, adult SLF are in the area. An inspector with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also confirmed a population of the SLF has been found at a secondary location, near the initial report.

A railroad line connects both locations.

ODA has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to do visual surveys, insect trapping, and outreach in the region.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grapevines, fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Adult SLF are attracted to the invasive Ailanthus tree, also known as tree-of-heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.

Now through November is the best time to spot the SLF because it is in its most recognizable stages as a colorful winged adult plant hopper. After hatching in the late spring, the SLF goes through four nymph stages. By midsummer, the nymph SLF can be identified by its red body, roughly a half-inch in size, with black stripes and white dots. During the late summer until roughly November, the SLF is in the adult stage. These adults are larger, roughly one inch in size, with black bodies and brightly colored wings.

The public is the first line of defense against the SLF. If you believe you have seen an SLF in your area, you can easily report a suspected infestation by going to ODA’s Spotted Lanternfly Information Page and filling out a suspected infestation report. You may also call the Plant Pest Control Division at 614-728-6400.

The following statement is the shared from the Indiana DNR:

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found in Indiana for the first time in Switzerland County earlier this week, the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species has a detrimental impact upon plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards.

A homeowner in Vevay contacted DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology (DEPP) with a picture that was taken outside his home of a fourth instar. DEPP staff surveyed the site and discovered an infestation in the woodlot adjacent to a few homes in the area. The site is within 2 miles of the Ohio River and the Markland Dam. DEPP and USDA are conducting an investigation to determine exactly how large the infestation is and where it could have come from, as well as how to limit the spread and eradicate the population.

Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture tried to limit the spread of this pest, but it excels at being a hitchhiker and is often spread unknowingly by humans.

Adult spotted lanternfly has two sets of wings, and the underwing has a very distinct red color with spots on the outer wings. The fourth instar of the insect is bright red with black and white markings. The egg masses of this invasive insect look like mud and they can be spread by vehicle transport including recreational vehicles, cargo carriers (truck transport) and freight trains. They can also be spread through trade materials sold in infested areas that are shipped out of state including nursery stock, outdoor furniture, lumber, etc. Anyone receiving goods from the east coast should inspect for signs of the insect, especially if the commodity is to be kept outdoors.

Spotted lanternfly prefers to feed on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but it has been found on more than 103 species of plant including walnut, oak, maple, and various fruit trees. This insect is often found on grapevines in vineyards. Adult insects have piercing, sucking mouthparts and weaken the plants through feeding on them, which can make it difficult for the plant to survive the winter months. Congregating spotted lanternfly insects produce a sticky substance called “honeydew” in large quantities that over time becomes infested with sooty mold that attracts other pests in the area.

The Indiana DNR is asking for all citizens to keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly. The bright color of both the fourth instar and the adults of the insect should be present at this time of the year. Anyone that spots signs of the spotted lanternfly should contact DEPP by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or send an email to For more information on this or other invasive pests see the following link


The updated map below shows the latest distribution of SLF in the eastern US. Currently, Ohio has two populations of SLF, one in Jefferson County (SE) and one in Cuyahoga County (NE).

Fig 1. Distribution of SLF infestations and positively identified individuals, updated August 30, 2021. Not included: Cuyahoga County population announced September 2. Map from

Reminder: Be on the lookout for adult SLF and egg masses!

Now through November is the easiest time to be looking out for SLF since most are in their distinct adult form (Fig. 2). During this time, egg masses containing upwards of 30 to 50 eggs per mass are laid by adults. These egg masses are commonly laid on hard surfaces near where SLF are feeding and contribute to rapid increases in local population size (Fig. 3). If you suspect sightings of either SLF nymphs, adults, or egg masses, contact ODA via the Spotted Lanternfly Information Page or by contacting the Plant Pest Control Division at 614-728-6400.

To date, SLF have not been found in Ohio vineyards. Help do your part to reduce the spread by having guests from known areas with SLF to inspect vehicles before arriving and departing your vineyard or winery!

Spotted Lanternfly adult, showing length of insect is one inch

Fig 2. Adult SLF. Photo credit: NYSIPM (

SLF egg masses

Fig 3. SLF egg masses take on a putty-like appearance at first and visually changes over time. Photo credit: Erica Smyers

For additional resources on SLF, visit:

NYSIPM SLF Resource List:

What should you do with Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses? (PSU):

Spotted Lanternfly Extension Resources (PSU):

Mark your calendars! Four upcoming Regional SLF Management Workshops for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022

OSU Extension in collaboration with the Ohio Grape Industries Committee will be providing 4 upcoming regional workshops on identifying, monitoring, and managing SLF. These workshops are being developed with separate sessions that target both commercial stakeholders and homeowners. Additional details and registration will be forthcoming.

By: Todd Steiner, Enology Outreach Specialist, HCS-OSU

Program Announcement and Overview:

The Ohio State University and The Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC) is pleased to announce an exciting program to better help the needs of the growing Ohio commercial wine industry through an Ohio Commercial Winery Virtual Enology Consultant Team. Considering there are currently 370+ A2 and A2f winery permit holders and 60+ applications pending, I have expanded the enology team and developed a virtual winery consultant program that is funded through the OGIC for FY22. This program has been developed to benefit the industry by disseminating current up-to-date wine production practices and procedures enhancing overall wine quality through this virtual consulting opportunity.

A team of five well-known and experienced winemaking consultants (listed below and highlighted further in the attached document) with high accolades have been developed to help address and manage the growing industry.

Each consultant will be available for six (6), one-hour virtual consultation times per quarter via the Microsoft Teams platform with an individual Ohio licensed winery/winemaker. If a winery feels more comfortable receiving consultation by phone, that is acceptable and will be scheduled accordingly. This is intended to benefit 30 wineries each quarter and an impressive 120 wineries throughout FY22. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, on a quarterly basis.

This opportunity is on a first-come, first-served basis. The first quarter consultations will take place beginning next week, Monday, August 23-Friday, September 3, just in time for harvest and cellar processing questions and concerns to be addressed. This also provides a great opportunity to simply confirm what our current processing practices are within our cellars pertaining to each quarterly focus provided in the attached flyer.

We hope that you will take advantage of this unique and educational opportunity. There is always room for additional refinement of our cellar procedures and practices in further improving wine quality. It does not matter on winery size or experience from new to veteran winemakers being able to benefit from this opportunity. These consultations are meant to take place in a relaxed and social format in reviewing our current cellar practices and procedures. Please take advantage of this wonderful program involving a good discussion with one of our consultant team members.

Please find the first quarter consultants and their available times below:

  1. Peter Bell
    1. Tuesday, August 24
      1. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
      2. 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
      3. 11 a.m. - noon
    1. Wednesday, August 25
      1. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
      2. 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
      3. 11 a.m. - noon
  1. Denise Gardner
    1. Wednesday, August 25
      1. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
      2. 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
      3. 11 a.m. - noon
    1. Thursday, August 26
      1. 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
      2. 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
      3. 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  1. Lee Lutes
    1. Thursday, September 2
      1. 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
      2. 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
      3. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    1. Friday, September 3
      1. 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
      2. 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
      3. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  1. Tom Payette
    1. Thursday, August 26
      1. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
      2. 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
      3. 11 a.m. - noon
      4. 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
      5. 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
      6. 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  2. Chris Stamp
    1. Monday, August 23
      1. 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
      2. 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
      3. 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
    1. Tuesday, August 24
      1. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
      2. 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
      3. 11 a.m. - noon

Register for one of these times slots at

OGIC/OSU Enology Consultant Team - You can book online!

You can now book and manage appointments using our booking page.


Due to the complex organization and implementation of this program, we apologize for the delayed announcement of the first quarter consultation times but expect more advanced notice for the remainder of the other three quarterly scheduling times.  

Please be sure to stay within your 1-hour time slot, as the consultants will need some time to get ready for the next winery consultation.  

I highly recommend taking advantage of this free opportunity Please don’t hesitate to sign up as the individual consultations start next week and run through September 2 in reserving your 1-hour time slot. We anticipate these spots will fill up fast.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (330) 263-3881 or Christy Eckstein at (614) 728-6438. All scheduling will occur through Christy Eckstein with the online link provided above.

Please see Flyer on the homepage for additional information.

Posted In: Enology
Tags: Enology, Consulting
Comments: 0

By: Dr. Maria Smith, Diane Kinney, and Dr. Imed Dami – HCS-OSU

Budbreak came far too early this year and along with it, problems with frost. Since the chilly days of early May, however, it’s felt impossible to keep up with the pace of growth this season. Let’s look at where we’re at as we head into the summer.


As discussed in April, exceptionally warm (nearly 6 °F above average!) and dry conditions throughout March lead to accelerated budbreak days to weeks ahead of average (Fig 1). The months of April and May, however, were much cooler (May was approximately 4 °F below average) and punctuated by several freeze events that damaged new shoots across the state (See: Impact of April Frost/Freeze on Grapes in Ohio). June has generally rebounded to warm, above average temperatures (Fig 2). Throughout the first half of the year, we have remained quite dry here in Wooster and throughout much of Ohio, while the perimeter of the state has seen slightly more rainfall, particularly over the past several weeks (Fig 1 and 2).


Fig 1. Average monthly temperature (left) and precipitation (right) in Wooster, OH from January through May for 2019, 2020, 2021, and the 10-year average.

Fig 2. Average state-wide temperature and precipitation departures from the 30-year average from May 23 – June 21, 2021. Figure from


As of June 21, Wooster is at 1024 GDD, which is approximately 60 GDD ahead of the long-term average. Current phenology of vines in Wooster varies between full-bloom to fruit-set (Fig 3), and all varieties completed bloom (50%) by the week of June 14th (Table 1). At this stage of growth, berries are rapidly growing and remain susceptible to major grape diseases through the next several weeks.

Fig 3. Phenological stages range between full bloom through fruit set on 16 July 2021 for varieties at Unit 2 in Wooster (photo credit: Diane Kinney)

Table 1. 2021 Bloom dates and corresponding GDD of selected varieties grown at the research vineyard in Wooster.




50% bloom

GDD                   1 Jan - bloom

GDD                    1 Apr - bloom





































Petit Manseng












Sauvignon blanc








Cultural Practices at OARDC Wooster:

Pruning for the 2021 season started late this year towards the end of March.  Up to this point, we had a very mild winter with some very unseasonably warm weather (60 oF on the last day of February) with our lowest recorded temperature of -0.9 oF.   Therefore, “normal” pruning was conducted without adjusting for bud injury like we did in the past few years.

Budbreak across the vineyard occurred very rapidly within a 12-day period one to two weeks earlier than expected in mid-April.  May followed with a bit more rain and warm temperatures which encouraged rapid shoot growth.  Besides taking some time to plant replacement vines including Cabernet franc on different rootstocks we also replaced a couple of varieties that were not faring well with completely new varieties.  It has been a race against shoot growth to keep up with training and suckering younger vines in both VSP and high cordon training systems as well as tucking shoots in the VSP.  We have had very good fruitset across the vineyard after an early bloom.  Leaf removal will be coming up very soon followed by cluster thinning to desired crop loads.

We have applied 3 fungicide cover sprays to the vineyard to this point in mid-June and will begin watching for the Japanese Beetle’s arrival in the coming week. 

Timely management reminders – midseason:

Vegetation management: Tucking (VSP), combing (HWC), hedging/skirting, fruit-zone leaf removal

The goal of vegetation management in the midseason is ensuring that the canopy is open for air flow, sunlight exposure, and adequate fungicide coverage. Open canopies with optimal sunlight exposure of the fruit provides the best environment for disease management and fruit ripening later in the season.

Leaf removal has received the most questions recently, in regard to timing.

When is the best time to remove leaves surrounding the clusters? Leaf removal should be performed between fruit-set and pea-size berries. While leaf removal can be done earlier just prior to or during bloom (“early leaf removal” or ELR), the best timing for leaf removal for most varieties begins at fruit-set. When performed between fruit-set and pea-size stages, potential yield reductions are minimized (this contrasts with ELR) and the risk of berry sun is reduced.

Can leaves be removed later? Yes, there are still benefits to disease management and phenolic developments when leaves are removed later in the season, but again, berry sunburn is a concern and more caution for exposure intensity should be considered.

Leaf removal intensity may depend on vineyard location, variety, and training system. White varieties, very early ripening varieties, and those trained as HWC may only require defoliation on the shaded side of the canopy (usually East side with rows oriented North/South) instead of both sides of the canopy to avoid overexposure to sunlight and higher temperatures.    

Crop load management: Planning for cluster thinning, crop estimation

Some high-yielding varieties with high cluster counts (3+ clusters per shoot), large clusters, or very late ripening varieties benefit from moderate yield reductions to improve fruit maturity and winter hardiness. Examples include: Chambourcin, Cabernet franc, and Regent.

If there is a need to cluster thin, the optimal time to complete is between pea-size and bunch closure stages. This maximizes the impact of thinning on fruit ripening while minimizing berry size increases due to compensation from cluster removal. In some cases, retaining 2 clusters per shoot is sufficient to fully ripen the remaining crop, and in more severe over-cropping cases, retaining only 1 basal cluster may be necessary.

**For growers with new vines, removing clusters benefits shoot growth in the initial years of vine establishment. If clusters have not yet been removed, you should do so.

Crop estimation is very useful for managing vineyard economics and identifying potential vine imbalances in crop level. There are several methods for predicting yield, one of which is called “lag-phase method” and is based on midseason cluster weight at the lag-phase of berry development (See: Crop Estimation of Grapes).

Nutrition management: Watch for symptoms of deficiency, plan for veraison tissue analysis

Many vine nutrient deficiencies begin to appear in older leaves just after the nutrient-intensive periods of bloom and fruit-set. Since deficiency symptoms may take on a similar appearance, it is best to positively identify the deficiency and possible causes through tissue and soil analysis before attempting to correct. Monitoring vine and soil nutrient status on a regular basis aids in reducing acute onset of nutrient deficiencies. For more information on sampling vine tissue analysis, see: Grapevine Nutrient Management: Petiole Sampling and Analysis.

Welcome Megan!

The viticulture program would like to welcome our new hire, Megan Soehnlen.  Megan is a recent graduate of Walsh College and joined us in May as a Research Assistant. 

Posted In: Viticulture
Tags: 2021 Season, Vineyard Update
Comments: 0

By: Dr. Maria Smith, HCS-OSU

From Ashtabula to Cincinnati, the growing season is here. Usually, budbreak is a stratified process over several weeks from the south to the north, but not this year. An unusually warm spring has heralded in the start of the season in an uncanny uniform fashion and without regards to cultivar or geographical region (Fig 1). This year’s budbreak pattern, which is anywhere from days to weeks ahead of historical averages, can largely be attributed to the abnormally warm, dry conditions that increase in intensity from south to north (Fig 2).


Fig 1. Phenology among several Vinifera and hybrid cultivars at Wooster, Unit 2, Apr 16, 2021 (Photo credit: Diane Kinney).

Fig 2. Temperature (left) and precipitation (right) deviation from the long-term average from March 17 through April 15, 2021 (figures from

Despite the recent pleasantly warm weather, Ohio unfortunately remains at risk for below freezing conditions for another 2 to 4 weeks (Fig 3). This week will be a stark reminder of that, as both below freezing temperatures and the chance of snow accumulation are forecasted courtesy of a cold front moving across the state later this week (Fig 4).

Fig 3. Median date of last 32°F for Ohio (figure from

Fig 4. Forecast and minimum temperature maps for the week of Apr 19, 2021. (figures from NOAA,

Given the upcoming forecasts, let's review some lessons from the 2020 season freezes

Stay calm and optimistic!

Just because temperatures reach < 32°F does not automatically mean that all the shoots will die. Grapes are resilient when it comes to coping with environmental stress, and spring freezes are no exception. The good news over the past few days is that cooler temperatures have slowed growth and development of the vines. This is crucial since we know that buds/shoots that are less advanced can withstand colder temperatures than those which are more developed (Table 1). Additionally, grapes are comprised of compound buds, so that if there is loss of the primary shoots, secondary and tertiary shoots can emerge to resume growth. Although these secondary and tertiary shoots are less fruitful than primary shoots and are developmentally delayed, many common French American and cold-hardy hybrids grown in Ohio have highly fruitful secondary shoots that can temper potential yield losses.

Table 1. Estimated critical temperatures for Pinot noir at different stages of bud/shoot development (Gardea, 1987)



Bud break

First leaf

Second leaf

Third leaf

Pinot noir






Review the tools for successfully “weathering” this week’s freeze

One of the first questions that come up when a spring freeze event approaches is “What can I do to protect the vines?”. Once vines have reached budbreak, the options for protection are limited, and the efficacy of the options is highly dependent upon the type of freeze event (Table 2). For many small vineyards, the best options are those that need to be considered and used in advanced of any predicted spring freeze events.  

Table 2: Characteristics of radiation vs advective freeze events. Table from

Radiation freeze

Advective freeze

Winds less than 5 MPH

Winds higher that 5 MPH

Clear sky

May be cloudy

Cold air mass 30 to 200 feet thick

Cold air mass 450 to 3,000 feet thick

Inversion develops

No Inversion

Cold air in the low spots


White or black frost damage


Easier to protect

Difficult to protect

Below is a republishing of methods that can also be found from our OGEN article from APRIL 2020 - Spring Freeze Issue.  Drs. Imed Dami and Michela Centinari (PSU) also discussed these methods in a recent March webinar. Click here to view the presentation.

Methods prior to frost event

  • Delayed pruning: similar to 2020, vines have more advanced phenology than normal and buds are pushing earlier as a result of above average temepratures. Delayed pruning helps with delaying budbreak.
  • Double-pruning: the rationale is similar to delayed pruning. With 1st pruning, you leave extra buds per vine. Due to apical dominance, apical buds push earlier than basal buds. If frost occurs, basal buds (which are delayed in growing) will be less likely to be injured. With the 2nd pruning, apical shoots (injured or not) will be pruned by retaining a final bud count per vine. Note: the 2nd pruning should occur when apical shoots are less than 2" in total growth to avoid potential issues with fruitless shoots developing from the basal buds regardless if you are past the last date of freeze.
  • Row middle and cover crop: bare ground in row middles provide more heat to keep vines warm during a frost event. Mowed grass cover crop will also do the same. So, it is crucial that you mowed your grass as short as possible for added frost protection.
  • Products that delay budbreak: Some products can be effective, but it is too late to apply now if you have not already done so. Please view the recorded webinar presentation with Dr. Imed Dami (link) for an overview of the available budbreak delay products.  
  • KDL (0-0-24) fertilizer: Even though growers would like to use this product, research has shown that KDL does not protect shoots against frost injury once vines resume growth. Therefore, it is not recommended. Dr. Smith researched this product and can be contacted directly for more information.
  • Copper: has been shown to protect young shoots against frost injury by killing ice forming bacteria present on vine foliage. You may start spraying as soon as budbreak and repeat every 5-7 days (washes off easily and must be reapplied after an inch or more of rain) until you’re out of the frost threat period (2 – 3 weeks) in your vineyard. Read the label for the application rate. In CA, 0.75 actual copper per acre was used. Read the label to avoid plant injury. To avoid injury, apply when not cold or wet (slow drying) and use formulation with lime.

Methods during a frost event

  • Wind machines: wind machines, although expensive, are effective against radiative spring frost events (clear, cold nights with temperature inversions).
  • Overhead irrigation (sprinklers): None of our growers in OH has this system. Having said that, DO NOT SPRAY YOUR VINES WITH WATER USING A SPRAYER. You will cause more damage than doing nothing.
  • Heaters: same as above; not a common method in Ohio. When temperature inversion exists, heaters are effective alone and best with wind machines. However, cost of fuel and pollution are main limitations.

Although there are still a couple of days until the predicted freeze event, it is a good idea to also review the recommendations for managing the vineyard if the forecasted freeze causes shoot injury. Those recommendations can be found in the APRIL 2020 OGEN.

Posted In: Viticulture
Tags: Viticulture, Spring Freeze, 2021 Season
Comments: 0

Elizabeth Y. Long, Horticultural Entomologist, Purdue University
Adjunct Horticultural Entomologist, The Ohio State University

A natural wonder will occur in 15 states this year: the emergence of the Brood X, 17-year periodical cicadas! Also known as “17-year or 13-year locusts” the last mass emergence of these insects occurred in 2004. Now, 17 years later, the immature cicadas will emerge from the ground, molt one last time to gain wings, and “sing” loudly to find mates and lay eggs in trees and woody shrubs.

Periodical cicadas: where and when?

Many of you likely remember when the Brood V, 17-year periodical cicadas emerged in Ohio in 2016 (Fig. 1, purple shading on map). That emergence occurred in key grape-growing counties in northeastern Ohio. However in 2021, activity of the Brood X, 17-year cicadas will be heaviest in west-central and south-west Ohio (Fig. 1, yellow shading on map), with emergence taking place late May through June.

Figure 1. Active periodical cicada broods of the United States. Yellow-colored counties indicate areas where 17-year cicadas are predicted to emerge in 2021. Image credit: AM Liebhold,

You will see two distinct life stages of these charismatic insects: the nymphs and the adults.

Although there is no single degree-day model to predict the emergence perfectly across regions, it’s generally agreed that when soil temperatures warm up to 65 °F or so, the nymphs will begin to emerge from the soil. The nymphs are wingless, just a bit creepy, and dark golden-brown in color (Figure 2). After emerging from the ground, nymphs crawl up tree trunks and items like patio furniture, to molt - leaving behind their cast skin (exoskeleton).

Figure 2. Periodical cicada nymph (cast ‘skin’). Photo: John Obermeyer

The adults are 1.5 to 2-inches long, with black bodies and reddish-colored legs, wing margins, and eyes (Figure 3). Newly emerged adults may appear pale or white in color until the exoskeleton has hardened and darkened (Figure 4). Adult periodical cicadas live for ~1 month, and during this time the males produce shrill “songs” to attract females using vibrating organs called tymbals - how romantic! Females cut slits into twigs of woody plants to lay eggs that hatch in 6-7 weeks. After hatching, the next generation of 17-year cicada nymphs drop to the ground and dig down into the soil, where they will remain for another 17 years feeding on sap from tree roots.

Figure 3. An adult periodical cicada on my arm


Figure 4. A newly emerged adult periodical cicada, before its exoskeleton has hardened and darkened. Photo: Jane Chandler

Why the mass emergence? This is a life history strategy to satiate predators (Figure 5, they can’t eat them all!) and maximize the chances that the majority of periodical cicadas will survive to mate and lay eggs.

Figure 5. Periodical cicadas have many predators, including chipmunks. Photo: Emily Keith


  • The good news is periodical cicadas do not bite or sting people, or pets.
  • The bad news is females lay eggs in 200+ woody tree species and can cause severe damage to young trees and grapevines (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Cutting/slitting egg laying damage caused by female periodical cicadas on grapevines. Photo: E. Y. Long

Apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and grapevines are at high risk, because these hosts are preferred for egg laying by female cicadas. However, any young trees and grapevines with main branches, stems, and canes between 3/16-inch and 7/16-inch in diameter are susceptible to damage and should be the main focus of protective efforts.

Egg laying physically weakens and damages branches and canes, which may turn brown, die, and break off (“flagging”). Under heavy attack, the loss of branches and canes can cause serious damage or death to young trees and grapevines. It is also possible that nymphs feeding on roots reduces vigor.


Step #1: Cultural control

  • Delay new plantings in 2021, either until the emergence has ended, or next spring.
  • Plan accordingly for future emergence of periodical cicadas broods in Ohio: (Table 1, below).

Table 1. When and where 17-year periodical cicadas will emerge in Ohio in the future.

Brood number


Year to appear

Where they will appear

XIV (14)



South-west/south-central Ohio.

Step #2: Mechanical control (recommended for small orchards/vineyards, backyard fruit trees/grapevines, and organic production)

1. Net grapevines with mesh screening (no larger than 1/2-inch openings), when first males begin singing (before egg laying begins), to prevent females from accessing the plant to deposit eggs.
Cover grapevines and secure the netting to/near the trunk, the ground, or lower trellis wire (Figure 7). Remove after adult periodical cicada activity ends.

Figure 7. Example of netting grapevines to exclude female periodical cicadas. Photo:

Step #3: Chemical control (recommended for settings where netting is not feasible, like large/commercial vineyards)

IMPORTANT: Chemical control is not as effective as netting. While netting is applied once to exclude egg-laying females, insecticides must be applied repeatedly against “waves of cicadas” during the ~1-month activity period of adults to prevent or reduce injury to grapevines.

Insecticides are not recommended to protect mature grapevines, because these vines can tolerate egg laying damage. However, insecticide applications can reduce periodical cicada injury to young grapevines:

1. Once egg laying begins, insecticides may be applied:

  • Every 3-4 days, to help prevent injury, or
  • Every 7-10 days, to help reduce injury
  • Soil-applied, systemic insecticides are not effective against periodical cicadas.

Scout vineyards every 2-3 days during egg laying to evaluate how well insecticide applications are protecting young grapevines.

Pyrethroid insecticides are recommended against periodical cicadas because they have fast knock down and good residual activity; however, commercial producers should beware flare-ups of spider mites when using pyrethroid insecticides like Baythroid XL (active ingredient: cyfluthrin), and Mustang Maxx (active ingredient: zeta-cypermethrin) against periodical cicadas, because they also kill beneficial, predatory mites that typically keep spider mites at bay. Pyrethroids like Danitol (active ingredient: Fenpropathrin) and Brigade (active ingredient: Bifenthrin) are unlikely to cause spider mite flare-ups when used below the maximum rate.

Commercial producers can refer to the 2021-2022 Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide for insecticide recommendations.

Homeowners can use products with active ingredients permethrin (Bonide Eight), zeta-cypermethrin (GardenTech Sevin), or gamma-cyhalothrin (Spectracide Triazicide Concentrate for Lawns and Landscapes) against periodical cicada on backyard fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs.

For your safety, always read and follow the instructions on pesticide labels.

In summary, here are some quick “take home messages:”

  • 17-year cicada emergence will occur in west-central and south-west Ohio late May through June.
  • Female cicadas damage twigs, branches, and canes 3/16-inch to 7/16-inch in diameter by cutting into them to lay eggs.
  • If you have an orchard, vineyard, or backyard fruit trees/vines: prepare to take action when you hear the first males begin to “sing.”
  • Focus protective efforts (netting, insecticide applications) on young trees and grapevines, because they are most vulnerable.
  • Select and use insecticides judiciously to reduce flare-ups of secondary pests, like spider mites.
Posted In: Insect management
Tags: Cicadas, Insects, 2021 Season
Comments: 0

Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.

A special project group of the North Central Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center wants to learn about your concerns and experiences with herbicide drift. The group is surveying growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in the upper Midwest.

To truly understand the frequency, severity, and economic impact of herbicide drift on specialty crops, we need to hear from growers: growers who have experienced drift damage, growers who can share their concerns around this issue, and even growers who have not dealt with drift but who grow sensitive crops in drift-prone regions. Survey responses are needed to establish herbicide drift as a serious economic and regulatory concern in Ohio and across our region.

Please complete the survey at

Who should take this survey?

The study is for commercial growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, or WI. Even if you have never experienced herbicide damage, we would still like to hear from you if you grow specialty crops in one of these states.

Why is this survey necessary?

Dicamba and 2,4-D drift damage has made headlines in recent years, but no study to-date has attempted to quantify the overall impact drift has on the specialty crop industry. While all states have a way for growers to file a drift complaint, the process and requirements are inconsistent and may involve time and information that a grower does not have. In most states, for instance, the source of the drift must be identified. Research has found that dicamba and 2,4-D both have the potential to travel for miles in specific weather conditions, making source identification difficult.

What good will this survey do?

This study is designed to assess the potential and actual frequency of drift damage, along with the severity and economic impact of such damage. The survey includes questions on grower awareness, experience, actions, and decisions related to herbicide drift and drift-risk management. The responses will help establish needs for research on drift mechanisms, prevention, and remediation; and/or the need to review current policy and reporting requirements.

How long will it take?

The survey takes 5-20 minutes to complete, depending on your experience with drift damage.

How will this data be shared?

Summarized survey data will be shared broadly with regulatory agencies, university educators and researchers, agricultural policy makers, grower support organizations, and the general public using news articles, report summaries, and peer-reviewed journal articles. While this study is administered by The Ohio State University, it was planned in partnership with industry experts across the region who will assist with sharing results. Participants may also request a copy of the study summary.

How will my data be used and protected?

Your privacy is important. No individual survey data will be released or shared beyond the limited group of project staff. The survey questions and procedures have been reviewed by the institutional review board at The Ohio State University and are designed to protect your data and identity. Additional details on privacy and confidentiality are provided at the beginning of the survey.

How can I learn more?

The North Central IPM Center’s special project group created a series of fact sheets on herbicide drift especially for specialty crop growers. The series includes: Overview of Dicamba and 2,4-D Drift Issues, Frequently Asked Questions, Preparing for Drift Damage, and Responding to Drift Damage. Fact sheets and more information about our special project group and study are available at

This study is facilitated by The Ohio State University and is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through agreement 2018-70006-28884.This study is being conducted in cooperation with regional universities and non-profit grower organizations, including Ohio State Extension.

Posted In: Weed management
Tags: Herbicide Drift, Viticulture
Comments: 0

By: Melanie Lewis Ivey, Assistant Professor, Extension Fruit Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology

You probably noticed that in 2020 we did not publish an updated Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide (although updates were added to the on-line version). This was because the Midwest Fruit IPM Working Group spent 2020 working on a new format for the guide. The new format is driven by a database and will allow the group to develop a mobile-friendly version of the guide. The printed copy of the guide will continue to be revised every other year, with critical updates/corrections made in real-time to the on-line version of the guide.

For the 2021-2022 publication changes were made to the apple and grape sections only. The new format provides users  with same  information  as previous guides but is more concise and in our opinion easier to understand. Over the next two years we will transition the other crops in the guide to this format.

The grape and apple sections now include charts displaying pest emergence by stage and tables that incorporate product efficacy, REI, and PHI into the spray charts. The new charts (Figure 1) allow users to make side by side comparisons of products for efficacy and target pests throughout the crop season! Instructions on how to make the most of the new charts are also included.

Figure 1. Example of the new chart format in the Midwest Fruit Pest management Guide that allow users to make side by side comparisons of products for efficacy and target pests. Table layout and database development was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2018-70006-28883).

We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions on the newly formatted apple and grape sections. A short on-line survey has been set up to collect your feedback. Even if you don't grow apples or grapes, we appreciate your feedback to improve the new layout design and its usefulness and effectiveness. The new layout for apple and grape will be applied to the remaining crops in the 2022 guide.

You can access the survey by scanning the QR Code below or you can click here. If you don’t have access to the internet and want to give us your feedback you can call an OSU Extension Specialist or your county Extension office. We will record and submit your feedback.

As with all pesticide spray guides, the recommendations for product usage (i.e., rate, PHI, REI, number of applications) are based on information provided in the product label. Remember, the label is the law!

How to get a copy of the 2021-2022 Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide?

Download for free. To download a free digital copy of the 2021-2022 guide, click here (

Purchase from the Purdue Website. A print copy can be purchased directly from Purdue University at a cost of $15 (plus shipping) per copy.

Purchase from OSU. Print copies can be purchased directly from OSU at a cost of $15 per copy. There is no charge for shipping. Due to the state mandated COVID-19 restrictions in-person pick-ups are not permitted at this time.

You can request a print copy of the guide by contacting your county OSU Extension office or Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey (; 330-263-3849). Cheques should be made out to "The Ohio State University" and mailed to Melanie Ivey, Department of Plant Pathology, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, OH 44691. Please do not send cash through the mail.

Posted In: Disease mangement
Tags: Pathology
Comments: 0