Spring 2015 - the good and the bad
2015 has been a tough spring for growers managing Psa-V, with generally higher levels of infection being seen in all positive regions, particularly on cold, wet sites. Again, male vines appear to have been more affected, particularly those less tolerant to Psa-V.
On the coldest sites, Gold3 infection continues to be cut out (see image of Waikato orchard). Dieback and cane collapse in some young blocks has led to canopies being reduced to around 50% of cover achieved through last year’s growing season. Impacts on production will vary between sites.
However, Psa-V symptoms are expected to reduce as we move further into summer.
Hayward growers are optimistic that productivity will remain high despite early season Psa-V effects. Excellent budbreak resulted in high flower numbers and the level of leaf spot and bud infection in green varieties is less than previous seasons. This is likely due to a combination of dryer spring weather in many regions, a strong uptake of pre-flower girdles in at-risk blocks, and good spray programmes through the spring period.
Good supplies of male flowers to pollen mills are hoped to refresh industry pollen supplies as poor synchronisation of Gold3 males led to high demand for pollen early in the season.