New Research: Vegetable Oil Delays Vine Bud Break
The results of a five-year research project show that applying vegetable oil to vines significantly delays bud break. The project, by Mac’s Creek Winery and Vineyards in Lexington, Nebraska, aimed to find a way of minimizing damage to vines due to late spring frost.
The research was presented at VitiNord 2012, an international cold climate grape conference held jointly in Neubrandenburg Germany and Szczein, Poland.
The vegetable oil project was conceived by Seth McFarland, vineyard manager at Mac’s Creek Winery. It was undertaken with winery co-owner and University of Nebraska viticulture professor, Max McFarland, and partially funded by the Nebraska Grape Wine Board. The early work in this field was pioneered by Dr. Imed Dami from Ohio State University.
“the results across three different microclimate locations were profound.”
Max McFarland, co-owner, Mac’s Creek Winery and Vineyards
According to Max McFarland, “the results across three different microclimate locations were profound.” He said the application of vegetable oil resulted in significant delay in bud break, ranging from five days to three weeks across different cultivars. McFarland said the delay made the difference between grapevines producing on primary buds versus secondary or tertiary buds, or, not producing at all.
The viticulture researchers from Mac’s Creek Winery said the application of vegetable oil also had additional benefits. They included uniformity of ripening and improved quality of fruit.
Max McFarland believes the impact of these findings on the viticulture industry in Nebraska could be quite significant and help the industry become more sustainable.
How do we get more information on using vegetable oil for delay bud break?
I agree, how about one more paragraph about application method, rates, and more specifics about the vegetable oil. I’m sure that they were shared at the conference.
Thanks for your suggestion. Look for a follow up story with more details on vegetable oil frost protection early next year.
Is it just me or is MWP becoming the USAToday of wine journalism? This is a perfect example of a subject that is deserving of more in-depth treatment by virtue of the implications for cool/cold climate viticulture and industry economics. It’s not like we’re worried about the costs of typesetting, ink, column inches, and press runs here. Mark, can’t we get to the next level?
I, for one, would welcome longer and more informative articles
Thanks for your comment and for your readership. As Midwest Wine Press continues to grow, we will continue to expand our coverage of issues related to cold climate grape growing. During 2013, we plan to add a magazine format that will allow for longer stories. Frost and freeze proctection articles will continue to be a focus.
It’s great to read these comments – even your one Alan! But – without trying to sound like an NPR fundraising drive – we do need more support. At the moment, much of the content on Midwest Wine Press is the result of a labor of love. Ink and space may not be an issue, but researching and writing readable, relevant wine journalism still requires time and effort. So if everyone who enjoys MWP can spread the word to friends and wine industry colleagues that would help us a lot. Then we can get more readership/subscribers, hopefully advertisers too and ensure we can keep the in depth articles rolling out more often… Keep the comments coming!
all the best
Midwest Wine Press
Is this study going to be published as a research paper in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture or available some other way? I’m not only curious as to how the research was conducted, but how they made the jump to conclude that the vegetable oil application improved fruit quality.
Thanks for your comment. I’ll ask Max to respond to your questions in his next article – if I find out sooner about any publication of his research paper I’ll let you know here. As a result of the interest in the vegetable oil research Max has agreed to write a more in-depth piece for us which we’ll aim to publish by mid-January. My understanding of the reference to improving fruit quality is that the fruit is better, not per se, but compared to the fruit produced by frost effected vines that did not get an application of vegetable oil. I’m sure Max will clarify that…
all the best
Midwest Wine Press
Who is posting the answers: Mark or Danny?
Both Danny and I have responded to questions and comments regarding this story.
Thanks Bradley!…as mentioned in the news item above, this research (see the above link from Bradley) is where Seth and Max McFarland got their start. They met with Dr. Dami, reviewed that research and then expanded to their own cultivars, airblast vs backpack delivery, volume per acre, single vs multiple application etc.
Stay tuned for more from Max on this research over the next week or so.