Kelli Stokely Masters of Agriculture candidate Department of Horticulture Oregon Wine Research Institute

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1 Masters of Agriculture Degree Project Presentation Kelli Stokely Masters of Agriculture candidate Department of Horticulture Oregon Wine Research Institute Cane pruned system Photo courtesy of Patty Skinkis 1

2 Cordon-trained, spur pruned system Photo courtesy of Patty Skinkis 62% state s acreage is Pinot Noir (USDA-NASS 2012) Oregon Pinot Noir receives the highest price per ton for grapes in the nation at $2060/ton (USDA-NASS 2012) Winegrape production in Oregon is more costly than many other grape regions in the U.S. Intensive, expensive canopy management Increasing production costs of fertilizers, pesticides, fuel & manual labor 2

3 Dormant pruning is one way to impact production costs Cane pruning Spur pruning Cane pruning 45 manual labor hours/acre (Julian et al. 2008) Spur pruning 30 manual labor hours/acre (Julian et al. 2008) 3

4 1 person can cover about 4 acres/hour on 7 spacing Manual labor pass only needed for touch up pruning Cost to rent: $30-$50/acre Cost to buy new: $30,000- $42,000 reduce labor costs by 50 to 90% (Gatti et al., 2011). Growers estimate the equipment to pay for itself in 2-3 seasons with 75+ acres More cost savings on spur pruned vines Industry s current dormant pruning practices and why? Growers production costs with cane and spur pruning? Spur pruning Pinot Noir in western Oregon? Industry survey Grower interviews Vineyard case study 4

5 % of respondents 6/11/ survey was sent to 247 grape growers in Oregon, 68 individuals participated. Participants represented 31% of total producing acreage in Oregon Respondents dormant pruning method 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% only cane mainly cane only spur mainly spur 0% Dormant pruning method 56% of respondents use only cane pruning, 14% of respondents use only spur pruning. 30% of respondents use both methods 5

6 % of respondents % of respondents 6/11/2012 Distribution of pruning method across Oregon based on survey responses 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Willamette Valley: 74% of state s acreage 70 % of state s vineyards 65% of survey cane pruning spur pruning 0% Columbia Gorge Illinois Valley Willamette Valley Rogue Valley Umpqua Valley Walla Walla Valley 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1. Pinot Noir 2. Chardonnay 3. Syrah warm regions cool regions transition regions cane pruning spur pruning 6

7 $542 $333 manual labor hours/acre Avg. production cost/acre Cane Spur Pruning method Spur pruning: 39% reduction in average production cost/acre Respondents reasons for not considering spur pruning Percentage of total responses provided by growers that are not considering spur pruning Dense canopies/out of balance with spur 5% Higher production costs with spur 7% Lower fruit quality with spur 9% Increased disease pressure with spur 18% Industry standard is cane pruning 29% Low yields from infertile basal buds with spur 32% 7

8 Interviewed 7 growers in the Willamette Valley in early 2012; all have tried spur pruning on Pinot Noir Perspectives from growers from moderate & high price point vineyards Managed vineyard & vine vigor Better shoot positioning Increased efficiency & reduced production costs 8

9 V i n e b a l a n c e High density vineyards Plenty of soil moisture and soil fertility Vigorous vegetative growth with wide internode spacing + close vine spacing Can be challenging for growers to obtain optimum bud number to attain vine balance 9

10 Vigorous vines vegetative growth > reproductive growth Can cause: dense canopy shading increased disease decreased fruit ripening costly corrective measures Photo courtesy of Patty Skinkis Spur pruning allows you to adjust vine balance without changing the layout of the vineyard CANE PRUNING bud number is limited by: internode length and vine spacing S P U R P R U N I N G 10

11 Bud number on spur for vigorous vines Balance Bud number on spur for weaker vines Photo courtesy of Patty Skinkis Shoots grow at alternating angles, leaving a natural gap Less cluster crowding Potential for better cluster exposure & disease control 11

12 Photo courtesy of Patty Skinkis Buds growing in a horizontal plane can lead to: overlapping shoots crowded & shaded cluster zone 100% reported increased efficiency & reduced production costs with spur pruning Spur pruning saved them manual labor hours/acre 1 grower reduced labor expenses by 70% with mechanical pre-pruner on spur pruned vines 12

13 Some were concerned with: Rust Mites Short shoots Establishment of cordons and spurs Selling fruit from spur pruned vines All were concerned with: Industry perception of spur pruning Growers who successfully manage spur pruned Pinot Noir all report: managing the vines the same as with a cane-pruned vineyard increased efficiency and reduced production costs 13

14 Premium Pinot Noir commercial vineyard in the Dundee Hills. Pommard clone Pinot Noir, 3009 C rootstock Planted in 1989 Unilateral VSP training system 1m X 1.3 m spacing In 2001, the vineyard manager established an on-farm trial to investigate the use of spur pruning on Pinot Noir Three different spur lengths were established by grower to asses how many buds were needed to achieve their desired yields : 1 bud/spur Alternating 1 & 2 buds/spur 2 buds/spur 14

15 Desired yields could be achieved with spur pruning? If Pinot Noir is fruitful at the basal bud? When managed the same as cane pruned vines, are there detectable differences in yield, cluster architecture or fruit quality? Whole vine yields Cluster weight Berry weight Berries/cluster Fruit maturity (SS, ph, and TA) Cluster size based on shoot position on the spur Basal bud shoot First bud shoot Second bud shoot 15

16 Cane Pruned 2 bud spur 1 & 2 bud spur 1 bud spur 2 bud spur 1 & 2 bud spur 1 bud spur All spur and cane pruned vines were managed the same as the rest of the vineyard Thinned to 10 shoots/vine Thinned to 1 cluster/shoot 16

17 Avg. pounds/vine 6/11/2012 Whole vine yields & cluster size on spur pruned Pinot Noir Year Number of buds per spur Yield/vine (lbs.) Cluster weight (g) Berries/cl uster Berry weight (g) P ns ns ns ns b a a 1.16 P ns ns ns Means presented. Different letters after means indicate differences by Tukey's mean separation (α=0.05), ns= not significant (P>0.05). All others analyzed by ANOVA variation in cluster weight was due to number of berries/cluster Despite bud number/ spur: similar whole vine yields due to same management 1 bud/spur 1.5 buds/spur 2 buds/spur 17

18 Year Pruning Method Yield/vine (lbs) Cluster weight (g) Berries/clu ster Berry weight (g) Spur Cane a Cane nd Spur Cane a Cane nd Means presented. a Cane data collected from six Pinot Noir research vineyards in Willamette Valley 2010: 2% reduction in cluster weight with spur pruning compared to *cane* pruning 2011: 1% reduction in cluster weight with spur pruning compared to* cane* pruning highest shoot on 2 bud spur highest shoot on 1 bud spur lowest shoot on 1 bud spur 18

19 Management thinning protocol 1 bud/ spur Basal bud shoot + 1 st bud shoot -or- Just 1 shoot from 1 st bud shoot 2 buds/ spur Basal bud shoot + 1 st bud shoot -or- 1 st bud shoot + 2 nd bud shoot Bud position on spur: cluster size data Year Bud position on spur Cluster weight (g) Berries/cluste r Berry weight (g) basal 86.2 b 82 b st a 97 a nd a 119 a 0.90 P < a basal b 106 b 1.20 a st a 142 a 1.14 ab Means presented. Letters indicate difference of means Tukey s mean separation aanalysis of data through Kruskal-Wallis. All others anaylzed by ANOVA 2 nd ab 155 a 1.10 b P < < Basal buds on Pinot Noir were fruitful & capable of ripening Basal bud shoots had the smallest cluster weights with fewer berries 19

20 Fruit maturity of cane and spur pruned Pinot Noir vines 2010 bud location on spur SS ph TA (g/l) Basal bud shoot st bud shoot nd bud shoot Cane pruned pruning method SS ph TA (g/l) 1 bud/spur buds/spur buds/spur Cane pruned Fruit composition was similar between cane and spur pruned vines in both years 1 bud/ spur Basal bud shoot + 1 st bud shoot -or- Just 1 shoot from 1 st bud shoot Year 20

21 % of respondents 6/11/2012 Desired yields were attainable Pruning method Desired tons/acre for Pinot Noir ton 2 tons 3 tons 4 tons Category Industry perception (survey) Vineyard case study findings Industry experience (interviews) Yields Undesirably low yields Met desired yields Met desired yields Vine Balance Disease Overly vigorous canopy Increased disease Better vine balance Decreased or remained the same Better vine balance Decreased disease Insect/mite pests Increased insects Did not observe Increased rust mites Fruit Quality Winery Acceptance Economics Decreased fruit quality Increased fruit quality Increased or remained the same Lack of acceptance Accepted Varied Unsure of cost savings Reduced production costs Reduced production costs 21

22 The growers in the Oregon wine industry who participated in this study Oregon State University Department of Horticulture Oregon Wine Research Institute Lab crew: Karen, Amanda, Allison & Morgan Dr. Jay Pscheidt & Mr. James Cassidy (committee) Dr. Patty Skinkis (major professor) Thank you! Kelli Stokely Masters of Agriculture candidate Department of Horticulture Oregon Wine Research Institute 22

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