Wet winter management

21 July 2022

Ongoing wet conditions are making pruning and spraying more difficult for many this season, adding to the importance of having a good strategy in place regarding management of Psa. Prioritising work in higher risk areas when days are fine and clear are recommended as this will help reduce risk of infection spread through blocks and reduce inoculum load as we head into spring.

We’ve recently been at seasonal field days discussing winter management strategies – our flyer from the events, with more detail and Psa images, is available here.

Winter (ahead of sap flow) is the best time to remove Psa cankers and other infected material – this breaks the disease cycle and reduces the risk of spring infection.

  • Best practice – cut 40cm beyond the last infection point.
  • Remove Psa and other infections, and re-structure vines ahead of the main pruning crew. Burn or bury badly infected material.
  • Work from least infected to most infected areas. Remove late growth from male vines. Finely mulch prunings.
  • Use the Psa Risk Model to plan sprays and pruning.
  • Apply coppers at full winter rates before and after pruning; and immediately before budbreak. Align budbreak sprays with earliest breaking vines (likely males), with Red19.
  • Check young plants receive good spray coverage.

Grafters, as contractors, need to have biosecurity plans when coming on to your orchard that shows how they reduce biosecurity risk to your property.

CAV contractors have biosecurity built into their accreditation. Those who aren't part of CAV can use a simple one-page biosecurity plan from the KVH website – growers may wish to introduce and discuss this one-pager with contractors.