This May Chris Cooper and Rob Saunders, vine specialists in the Hutchinsons Horticultural Team, consider some positive news regarding plant protection products for 2019.

Gemini Agriculture has launched a portfolio of products aimed at fruit production, specifically grapes. Their product Unicorn DF (sulphur and tebuconazole) is fully approved by CRD, a co-formulation designed for early season use to control powdery mildew, giving incidental control of Erinose Mite combined with good suppression of many trunk diseases. 

An Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU) for Shinkon (amisulbrom) use on wine grapes for the control of downy mildew has been applied for. Gowan Crop Protection has announced that an EAMU for FytoSave into the table and wine grape market has been granted. FytoSave is on the EU annex for low risk products, it elicits the plant’s natural defences against disease infection, particularly downy mildew and Botrytis.

Nufarm is registering Botector (Aureobasidium pullalans) which is also a low risk substance which acts as an antagonist to Botrytis.

Finally, the insecticide Batavia has had an EAMU granted to control sucking pests as a replacement for Movento (both these brands contain the active ingredient spirotetramat).

Turning our attention to this season, and as vine programmes start in earnest, there is still time to suppress Vine Leaf Blister Mite using Sulphur (or a Sulphur based product).

The risk of Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) is increasing in vines so trapping should commence soon. If treatment is required, discuss product choice with your advisors, as some options may be best reserved for SWD (Spotted Winged Drosophila) control later in the season and there are restrictions on the number of applications permitted.

Phomopsis control needs to be undertaken using the Wayne Wilcox method, starting by protecting the clusters as soon as they are visible at the 3-5 inch shoot growth stage, using a mancozeb based product.

Don’t overlook nutrition – this can be fine-tuned according to petiole analysis results taken just pre-flowering.