Friday, February 8, 2013

Global Warming in the Vineyard or Not

Healthy (alive) bud
 There has been a change in weather patterns in the past three years in the Grand Valley (Palisade area) where the peaches grow and the majority of the vineyards are in Colorado. It has gotten warmer over an extended period in the spring and summer in 2012, but the winters have gotten significantly colder than usual. 2010 and 2011 brought several cold spells from January through April causing significant bud damage or causing the vines to die back to the ground. In January 2013 the Western parts of the Grand Valley saw night temperatures as low as negative 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It looks like all vineyards experienced at least some bud damage in 2013. Farming means living on the edge and over the years I have gotten used to the fact that all the worrying does not help. Now is the time to dissect the buds to check on the damage and then adjust the pruning. In June after fruit set we will find out what damage the cold spell caused.

Dead bud

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