Get serious about your approach to Botrytis management
Botrytis is an opportunistic pathogen which can develop on damaged tissue, such as that caused by Light Brown Apple Moth or LBAM (Epiphyas postvittana).
Effective LBAM control is an integral part of any Botrytis management program. When getting serious about your approach to Botrytis management and LBAM control, one of the most important factors to consider is how your approach effects beneficial insects - you want it to be as soft as possible.
There are several species of beneficial insects that are of interest to grape growers in terms of managing some key pests in vineyards.
Green Lacewings which are active in grapevines from late spring to autumn will attack and eat almost any small insects or eggs. The juveniles prey on aphids, mites, scales, mealybugs, small caterpillars and moth eggs.
Trichogramma wasps lay their eggs into the eggs of various lepidoptera pests. The favoured host eggs of Trichogramma in grapevines are those of LBAM and Heliothis.
There are many predatory ladybirds, some feed on aphids, small caterpillars and moth eggs, while others prey on Two-Spotted Mites and European Red Mites. Both the larvae and adult beetles feed on all stages of mites and their eggs.
PROCLAIM® OPTI has a low impact on important beneficial species whilst providing effective control of LBAM, like the old PROCLAIM®. The new formulation of PROCLAIM OPTI has been further optimised as a water-dispersible granule, meaning even better tank mixing. It is also registered for a broader range of horticultural crops.
By controlling LBAM, you can eliminate potential problems with botrytis. Botrytis infection in grape bunches is often assisted by the presence of LBAM which damages the berries while feeding, providing an ideal entry site for the fungus. The LBAM webbing within bunches acts as a net to catch debris, including discarded flower caps, which can become a source of botrytis inoculum as the bunch develops and the berries ripen.
Applying a robust botrytis fungicide before bunch closure is critical in any effective botrytis management program. This is the latest growth stage at which sprays can be expected to penetrate the developing bunches, reducing the impact of botrytis that may develop as the fruit ripens.
SWITCH® can be applied up to E-L 29 (berries peppercorn size) and PROCLAIM OPTI up to E-L 31 (pre-bunch closure). Please note that it is important to refer to the Australian Wine Research Institute “Dog Book” and individual winery controls for further details.