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Journal of the American Pomological Society
(J Am Pom Soc)

American Pomological Society

Volume 71 Number 1 Article 6 Pages: 47-54
Year 2017 Month 1
Title: Effect of Precocious Grapevine Fruiting on Subsequent Year's Growth and Yield
Authors: Eric T. Stafne, Becky L. Carroll, and Donna Marshall-Shaw
Vineyard managers are often advised to remove reproductive growth components of vines in the first two years of growth to better establish the root system. In general, this is good advice as it will lead to a stronger vine; yet, there is a lack of research information on the effects of producing an early harvest on vigorous vines. Two locations (Oklahoma and Mississippi) were used to evaluate three wine grape cultivars at each location for fruiting in the second year of growth with subsequent effect on third year vegetative growth and reproductive yields. Reproductive component removal treatments had little effect on fruit yield components. In Oklahoma, there were no differences in caliper in the first two data measurements during the year of treatment. In the following year, vines that were allowed to go to harvest were smaller than the vines that had inflorescences removed in the previous year. Similar results for pruning weights were seen in Mississippi with the veraison (color change) and harvest treatments weighing less than the inflorescence removal treatment. The Ravaz index indicated that all cultivars in Oklahoma (‘Cynthiana’, ‘Rubaiyat’, ‘Traminette’) were within the recommended range of 5-10. In Mississippi, ‘Blanc Du Bois’ was slightly below the recommended range, indicating that the vines could have supported a heavier crop, whereas ‘Villard blanc’ was near the upper limit indicating that it was probably overcropped. ‘MissBlanc’ was in the acceptable range. These results suggest that vineyard managers can allow vigorous, well-managed, fully-trained vines to fruit in the second year without causing irreparable damage. The caveat is in marginally adapted and/or less vigorous cultivars, where lack of cold hardiness, disease susceptibility, or overcropping may lead to dieback or loss of vigor, as was seen in ‘Villard blanc’.

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