California Flooding leads to Emergency Application Alert

Severe drought conditions were a regular burden to many California grape growers throughout the 2016 season, but due to this year’s unusually wet weather, flooded vineyards and orchards are appearing across the Sacramento Valley. This standing water can lead to heightened disease pressures and make ground applications of fungicides difficult.

To help combat the economic losses expected from the flooding, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA DPR) has approved an emergency application of fungicides, including Pristine® and Merivon® fungicides from BASF, to orchards with standing water. The emergency application is in effect for orchards in Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Merced, San Joaquin, Sutter, Stanislaus, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba counties. Emergency applications are approved until June 1, 2017.

Unfortunately, emergency applications of these fungicides were not approved for vineyards, only orchards, with standing water. This could leave budding grapes vulnerable to developing high levels of annual diseases such as powdery mildew and Botrytis.

“Saturated grapevine soil can affect long term Plant Health by causing severe nutrient loss,” said Megan Andriankaja, Technical Marketing Specialist, BASF. “While grapevines are relatively more tolerant to standing water than other specialty crops, root rot can still develop.”

It is important growers get a fungicide application on vines as soon as water has cleared the vineyard. Pristine fungicide stops fungi from spreading in multiple ways. It deprives fungal cells of their energy source, interferes with fungal cell respiration and eliminates the availability of chemical building blocks for synthesis of essential fungal cellular components.

Pristine fungicide was developed after years of extensive research and development to help growers protect their grapes from troublesome diseases. It is the first dual-action fungicide for grape crops, combining two active ingredients and modes of action.

In addition to helping grapevines fend off yield-crippling diseases, Pristine fungicide can boost vines ability to handle stressors. Growers can rely on the proven Plant Health benefits from Pristine fungicide, including increased growth efficiency and crop quality. These Plant Health benefits allow for more photosynthesis during critical plant-development stages.

Grape growers should work with their PCA to determine the best method of application for their vineyards where standing water is present.

To learn more about applying Pristine fungicide, contact your local BASF representative or visit www.GrowSmartGrapes.com.

To learn more about the emergency application for orchards with standing water, please visit https://www.co.sutter.ca.us/contents/pdf/ag/Emergency%20Application%20of%20Fungicides%20to%20Orchards%20with%20Standing%20Water.pdf