Viticulture: Fungus-resistant grape (FRG) varieties need plant protection too

Viticulture: Fungus-resistant grape (FRG) varieties need plant protection too

The wet summer of 2021 caused extensive damage to Switzerland’s vineyards. Fungal diseases such as downy mildew, in particular, took their toll on the grapevines. A survey conducted by the cantonal offices for viticulture in German-speaking Switzerland shows that FRG varieties are also affected by downy mildew and require plant protection products to protect the crop.

Friday, June 24, 2022

As reported by the Swiss Journal of Pomology and Viticulture (Obst- und Weinbau), FRG varieties were also affected by fungal infestations last summer. This was shown in a survey taken by around 130 wine producers. According to the results, about 73 percent of the FRG plots surveyed were affected by downy mildew. Of the standard varieties, 96 percent of the plots were affected by the fungal disease. In addition, FRG varieties were affected by the disease at a later stage, according to the survey, whereas symptoms of downy mildew were detected in standard cultivars even before the flowering stage. The disease did not appear in FRG varieties until the period between flowering and berry ripening.

More treatments in difficult years

Significant differences can also be seen in the diseased grapes. While only 9 percent of the standard-variety plots were free of diseased grapes, this figure was 50 percent among the FRG varieties. Although FRG varieties prove more resistant to downy mildew than standard varieties, they still need to be treated with plant protection products. In normal years, they require two to three treatments with copper and sulfur, according to Obst- und Weinbau. Last year, up to five treatments were required, depending on the variety.

Related articles

Revolution on the farm
Knowledge

Revolution on the farm

The CRISPR/Cas method will revolutionise parts of plant breeding. The technology is urgently needed to address the challenges facing agriculture in this century and threatening our security of supply.

Content in German

Science resists ban on GMO crops
Media

Science resists ban on GMO crops

The Supreme Court in the Philippines wants to stop the cultivation of genetically modified plants Golden Rice and Bt aubergine (Bacillus thuringiensis). This is anything but well received by the government and the scientific community: The ban could jeopardise the country's food security.

Where the focus lies in apple breeding
Media

Where the focus lies in apple breeding

The new head of Agroscope's fruit breeding research group is Andrea Patocchi. In an interview with the trade journal Obst + Wein, he explains where the focus of apple breeding lies today.

Chinese robot picks tea
Media

Chinese robot picks tea

There is a shortage of tea pickers in China. A robot developed by a researcher is set to remedy the situation and take over the work in future. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the machine can even recognise the shoots of the tea plant. The first harvesting robots are also already being developed in Switzerland.

Potato farmers want robust varieties
Media

Potato farmers want robust varieties

As the use of crop protection has been massively reduced, the potato industry now wants to focus on more robust varieties. The industry has even concluded a target agreement with the federal government. This is ambitious: By 2040, robust varieties are to grow on 80% of potato cultivation areas.

More contributions from Media