Saturday, December 8, 2018

Remember the Drought of 2017?

So the summer of 2017 was the worst drought we have faced in 11 years of growing. We blogged about it this past March (see link) and reflected on what the drought may do to the following year crop.

One thing we were concerned about was the impact the drought would have on bud formation in 2017 and translate into the flowering and fruiting in 2018. We anticipated smaller clusters and poorer flower formation further up the cane. As such we pruned with spurs instead of long cane.

This was a good call as at flowering we did noticed fewer clusters further up the cane and smaller clusters as well on a few vines that we left with long cane pruning.

Some of the clusters even on long spur (5 bud Spur) pruned vines were smaller than normal, especially on Leon Millot, Marechal Foch and Colmar Precoce. The Leon Millot clusters were 20-25% smaller, and resulted in equal reduction in yeild. Leon Millot below...
Others like Acadie Blanc and Ravat were unaffected. But we spur prune these ones (2 bud spurs) and the buds on 2 bud spur pruned vines were less affected. These bud are first buds to be formed and finished forming before impact of drought caused damage.