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Bob Larson Wine Research Priorities Updated Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 01, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Yesterday, we told you about the Washington State Wine Commission updating its list of research priorities to include some of the most current concerns of growers and winemakers.

The Commission’s Research Program Manager Melissa Hansen says one of the changes, based on their survey, is organic research …

MELISSA HANSEN … “There was not, I guess, a specific mention for organic. It was just, kind of, part of the viticulture production category. And so, the committee changed it so it specifically says pest control, including sustainable and organic so that will, sort of, highlight to the researchers, ‘hey, we are interested in funding organic research.’”

Hansen says they also asked what’s most important looking 5 to 7 years down the road …

MELISSA HANSEN … “And on that list, virus management in the vineyard, grape leaf roll, red blotch, we’ve got some new viruses that have been detected in the state. It’s not a wide-spread problem yet, some of these new ones, but the state and the industry has made a real concerted effort to have clean plants, certified plants available.”

Hansen says another challenge, consistent in all of agriculture, is what to do about the labor shortage …

MELISSA HANSEN … “There’s a higher concern about the labor shortage that could happen overnight and so mechanization was added, more emphasis on mechanization.

And of course, our interest in mechanization is make sure that any changes that are made either at the winery or the vineyard with new technology does not impact the wine quality.”

To learn more about the list of research priorities OR if you’ve got a project you’d like considered, go to Washington Wine Dot Org.

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