Good Fruit Grower

January 15

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Page 18 of 47 Good Fruit Grower JANUARY 15, 2015 19 Moyer. AgWeatherNet is an automated weather station network administered by WSU. Growers can tap into current and historical weather data collected by nearly 160 weather stations in the state. In addition to the cold hardiness model, the AgWeatherNet website contains other computer models for pests and diseases. But not all growers are located near an AgWeatherNet station, and some may have their own weather stations, noted Moyer. "That's why we also developed a version of the model that can work from an Excel spreadsheet to calculate cold hardiness. To run the model, you can go to the AgWeatherNet website and fi nd the nearest station to your vineyard or you can download the spreadsheet and hand enter your own weather data. It doesn't have to be data from AgWeatherNet. It can be from any source that has daily minimum and maximum temperatures." Broad appeal The model's portability has broadened its impact beyond Washington borders. Moyer has sent the cold hardiness model to more than 60 extension agents, growers, and other interested people in more than a dozen states, Canada, Germany, and Hungary. She's received feedback ranging from gratitude to fantastic to "good information we didn't have before." "The model is designed to give growers a heads up for cold events like the one we had in mid-November," Moyer said. "Even if you experience critical temperatures, vine damage is not instant because it takes time for the vine to respond. The model alerts you to potential damage." Moyer added that the model is a good indicator that further vine assessment is needed before pruning. "If you think you might have damage, you'll want to wait until you are close to pruning time to cut buds and canes to assess damage." The AgWeatherNet model plots critical temperatures when 10, 50, and 90 per- cent of primary buds are killed. The Excel version of the model plots 50 percent bud damage. Grapevines can survive more than 50 percent phloem damage, in some cases, and still be productive, provided the vines are properly cared for, she said. But when xylem becomes damaged, productivity and vine survival are questionable. • 1615 W. Ahtanum • Yakima, WA 98903 • 509-248-8785, ext. 612 For the representative nearest you, visit our Web site: Get the Orchard-Rite® story from your nearest representative: I have been farming since 1974, and currently grow 70 acres of cherries. Last year, we put in two Orchard-Rite® Wind Machines, giving me frost protection on about 40-45 acres. We had a very cold, wet spring. These wind machines were very beneficial. Because of our Orchard-Rite® Wind Machines, we actually had our best crop in what would normally be the poorest-producing portion of the orchard. We are installing two more wind machines this year. The Orchard-Rite crew is great to work with. Anytime I've called for information or assistance, they have been Johnny-on-the-spot. Don Nusom Gervais, Oregon "The Orchard-Rite crew is great to work with." "The Orchard-Rite crew is great to work with." Orchard-Rite® Wind Machines • Orch Rite Nusom 2-15-13_jr. page plus dummy 1/24/13 1:21 PM Page 1 Washington State University scientists use this specially designed freezer to evaluate cold hardiness of grapes. PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY "If there's a pattern, that means it can be modeled. And if we can model it, we can provide real-time monitoring and better predict damage from cold." —Michelle Moyer ONLINE To learn more or access the cold hardiness model, visit research-extension/weather/cold-hardiness/ model/

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