Vineyards dumping chemicals in pest battle

Friday, 14 January, 2022
Wine Searcher, Kathleen Willcox
Growers are using weird but effective ways to beat vineyard pests – and without using chemical poisons.

Vineyards and Real Housewives are sisters from a different mister.

Both are generally recommended for those ages 21+ (and, in practice, often not completely appreciated until the age of 35 or so); sometimes offer more flash than cash; are often pumped up with chemicals, fillers and all manners of toxic additives in order to look youthful, perfect and natural … in an Instagram pre-filtered and airbrushed sort of way.

At first glance, driving by pristinely manicured vines, with neat neon-green grass that seems to be bursting with "life", and then driving past that scraggly vineyard with patches of brown here and there, and "weeds" everywhere, it's easy to see why the former picture-perfect scenario has been a more common sight for the past several decades in wine country (especially in the New World). But as the short- and long-term consequences of conventional pesticides are beginning to be understood, that's changing.

In the US alone, about 1 billion pounds of pesticide is applied to control weeds, insects and other pests, according to the US Department of the Interior. Tracking precisely how much of that is used in vineyards is tough, but it’s not on the insubstantial amount, even today, amid a consumer-driven push for sustainable wine. According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, in 2018, 30,345,692 pounds of chemical pesticide landed on vineyards just in the Golden State, with 637,000 planted acres getting hit. There are about 895,000 acres under vine in the state total, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Clearly, vintners' reliance on chemical assistance needs to be addressed.

Click HERE to read the full article. 

Vineyards dumping chemicals in pest battle
Vineyards dumping chemicals in pest battle

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