The economics and quality impacts of leaf removal, cluster positioning and shoot positioning

Initiation Date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Project status: 
In progress
Author: 
Dr. Kevin Usher

Leaf removal affects are variable and dependent on application timing and climate. The research in this activity examines early season leaf removal under Okanagan climatic conditions and how it impacts quality, sustainable production and economics. There are gaps in the understanding of when leaf removal should be applied and what effect it has on grape quality for both red and white grapes. This research will provide a better understanding of the process and the benefits for grape and wine producers. Introduction of this knowledge will be through oral and written reports to the industry, interaction with producers collaborating on field trials and though field days where producers can immediately see the research and discuss results.

  1. A survey will be developed to determine current leaf removal practices used by the industry and the goals that growers expect to achieve.  The survey will provide researchers information on current leaf removal practices including timing and level of exposure. A representative sample of grape growers (approximately 100) in the Okanagan valley will be surveyed in person followed by a site visit to the vineyard to record fruit exposure levels. Researchers: K. Usher
  2. Field trials with both red and white varieties will be established and maintained to investigate ESLR timing and severity on grape production for improved quality and pest control (emphasis on leaf hoppers). Researchers: K. Usher, T. Lowery, P. Bowen, C. Bogdanoff
  3. When treatments are applied to the ESLR field trials (6.2) the economics of the applying ESLR will be evaluated by using a cost/benefit analysis. Researchers: K. Usher, T. Lowery, P. Bowen, C. Bogdanoff
  4. A field trial will be established to study how increased cluster exposure through non-destructive cluster positioning and shoot positioning affects quality and physical characteristics of the fruit. Researchers: K. Usher, P. Bowen, C. Bogdanoff

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