Effects of Horticultural Oils on Photosynthesis, Fruit Maturity, and Yield of Wine Grapes
In field experiments conducted in northern Virginia during 1998, oils reduced photosynthesis, fruit maturity, and crop yield. Three applications of a 1.5% (v/v) oil/water emulsion were made to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon vine canopies at 6200 L/ha (Chardonnay) and 2440 L/ha (Cabernet Sauvignon). Net assimilation rate (NAR), soluble solids concentration (SSC), and berry size were reduced by oil treatments when compared to an untreated control. Also in 1998, a 1.5% (v/v) oil/water emulsion at 5550 L/ha and 4680 L/ha was applied to 23 wine grape cultivars. Eleven cultivars had significant foliar injury but injury was not related to reductions in fruit maturity. Experiments conducted in 1999 determined if reduced spray volumes or applications to only the fruit zone minimize reductions in NAR and SSC. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were treated with JMS Stylet oil (1.5%) using 5600 L/ha or 1870 L/ha applied to the whole canopy or 930 L/ha applied to the fruit zone. The NAR of 5600 L/ha treated Cabernet Sauvignon was significantly lower than the NAR of control and other oil treatments on three measurement dates. The NAR of Chardonnay in the 5600 L/ha treatment was significantly lower than the NAR of control treatments in three measurements. Cabernet Sauvignon SSC was reduced by the 5600 L/ha and 1870 L/ha treatments, relative to the water treated control, on three sample dates but not at harvest. The SSC of Chardonnay in the 5600 L/ha treatment was reduced at harvest as compared to all other treatments. The SSC of Chardonnay in the 1870 and 930 L/ha treatments was reduced relative to the water control. Low volumes of oil caused less reduction in NAR and SSC; however, there are concerns about the efficacy of oils used at low volumes due to poor coverage.