Home Farm Equipment Texas vineyards endure rough growing season

Texas vineyards endure rough growing season


Erratic climate dealt Texas vineyards a tough growing season because the business continues to get well from pandemic-related setbacks, in accordance with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service consultants.

Michael Cook dinner, AgriLife Extension viticulturist, Denton, mentioned a lot of 2020 put monetary stress on vacation spot wineries and vineyards that relied closely on guests, eating and occasions like weddings.

Climate occasions have been the first drawback for particular person growers throughout the state, and below-average yields, particularly in sure grape varieties, are anticipated. Each area from East Texas to the Excessive Plains, the Gulf Coast and Hill Nation reported crop losses attributed to climate, together with Winter Storm Uri, a late-spring frost and torrential spring rains that brought about a large number of potential issues for wine grape producers.

In February, Winter Storm Uri blanketed your entire state with ice and freezing temperatures and negatively impacted yields at many wine grape-producing vineyards this season. The extraordinarily low temperatures killed some vines again to the bottom and would require years of restoration earlier than they produce fruit once more, Cook dinner mentioned.

“Usually, we have one region that might be exposed to conditions that affect production, but everyone was impacted this year,” he mentioned. “Significant damage was hit or miss, but weather certainly contributed to vine losses in certain regions and yield losses around the state.”

East Texas vineyards suffered losses

Cook dinner mentioned many of the extreme vine injury associated to the week-long freeze was positioned in East Texas and affected Blanc du Bois grapes, that are usually grown across the Gulf Coast and usually are not as cold-hardy as different varieties.

Many growers misplaced 12-to-15-year-old vines to the bottom that may take 2-3 years of retraining earlier than producing grapes once more.

As a lot as 95% of the Blanc du Bois crop in East Texas was misplaced because of the winter storm. These losses have brought about concern amongst wineries as a result of Blanc du Bois grapes are in excessive demand for the manufacturing of candy, dry and glowing wines, he mentioned.

East Texas vineyards additionally skilled important crop lack of Black Spanish grapes, a spread utilized in crimson wines, and Tempranillo grapevines in North Texas vineyards from Stephenville to the Purple River have been impacted by a late spring frost in mid-April when vines have been close to bloom.

Cook dinner mentioned vineyards reported as much as 50% losses of their Tempranillo crop, however that vines didn’t maintain injury that would impression subsequent season.

Central Texas vineyards averted main losses

Brianna Crowley, AgriLife Extension viticulturist, Fredericksburg, mentioned the winter storm contributed to 80%-90% bud mortality for some producers, which translated into losses of main vine shoots that produce fruit, so yields are anticipated to be under common general in Central Texas.

Producers additionally skilled heavy spring rains that prevented growers from making use of fungicides to maintain vine illnesses in verify, she mentioned. Illnesses like black rot and cotton root rot have been additionally anticipated so as to add to yield losses.

“It was a very wet year, and diseases like black rot exploded, even in vineyards that maintained a tight spray plan,” she mentioned. “It was everywhere.”

The anticipated quick provide of wine grapes has winemakers scrambling for fruit, Crowley mentioned. They’re looking for grapes however are additionally asking about various choices like pears.

However latest drier circumstances have Crowley anticipating high quality fruit, barring any unexpected calamity earlier than they’re harvested. The primary spherical of lab sampling confirmed grapes have been two to 3 weeks not on time on ripening however have been maturing properly.

“It will definitely impact the supply and demand aspect of wine grapes,” she mentioned. “Growers with moderate to decent crops should expect a premium for their fruit. I would expect a lot of negotiation on grapes, especially popular varieties that are in short supply, and it could mean bottle prices go up for this year.”

Grape growers anticipate high quality over amount

Fran Pontasch, AgriLife Extension viticulturist, Bryan-School Station, mentioned wine grapes alongside the Gulf Coast skilled an identical growing season crammed with uncertainty for growers and winemakers. Yields may even be down within the area, however there’s nonetheless hope that high quality grapes will result in high quality wines.

The winter storm brought about uneven ripening within the area in varieties like Blanc du Bois, however weeks of rain have been detrimental to vines. Illness stress was excessive and waterlogged grapes have been splitting.

However general, Pontasch mentioned a lot of the harvest potential within the area remained unsure, however that there was excessive hope for 2021 wines. The cooler temperatures are permitting grapes to mature slower and extra gently, which can have an effect on the wines they produce.

“For all the work growers have put in to get these grapes to maturity, I hope they do get good prices,” she mentioned. “The vintage is a snapshot of that year and what it takes to get grapes from vine to bottle, and so 2021 will definitely be interesting and set it apart.”

AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the next summaries:

The 12 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Districts


No report.


Extra rain restricted subject exercise. The wheat harvest was coming to an finish with producers abandoning unharvested acres resulting from poor high quality and weeds and worsening circumstances resulting from moist climate. Cotton planting was additionally restricted. Planted cotton had emerged and was establishing properly besides in saturated fields with standing water. Cornfields appeared good for probably the most half and have been at quite a lot of levels, from flowering to denting, primarily based on planting dates. Sorghum circumstances have been comparable with fields simply now booting, some headed out and others coloring. Pastures appeared glorious with loads of forage. Hay high quality continued to be poor, with most cuttings getting rained on. Some hay producers missed harvesting alternatives resulting from forecasted rains that by no means materialized. Sudan grass was growing properly and getting shut to reap. Some areas wanted rain. Not many hay producers have been fertilizing resulting from excessive enter prices. Most cattle have been in good physique situation, and calves have been making good features.


Flash flooding occurred with as much as 12 inches of rainfall reported. Many creeks and rivers have been out of their banks. Rain stopped all fieldwork. Fields have been nonetheless holding water, however many of the excessive water receded. Sorghum harvest was severely delayed resulting from saturated fields however resumed over the weekend. There have been experiences of sprouting in grain sorghum and corn. Cotton was doing OK, however an excessive amount of water was inflicting crops to abort some squares, and blooms and roots have been possible below stress. Poor rice pollination was a priority throughout weeks of heavy rainfall. Rangeland and pasture circumstances have been unseasonably good resulting from sufficient moisture and gentle temperatures. Armyworm infestations have been very heavy on hay fields and improved pastures. Cattle have been heading to excessive floor resulting from moist circumstances. Cattle costs remained larger, and inventories have been regular.


Subsoil and topsoil circumstances have been sufficient. As a lot as 7 inches of rain fell throughout the district. Some counties, like Jasper and Gregg, obtained little to no rain. Harrison and Sabine counties reported some producers have but to get a single chopping of hay resulting from moist circumstances. Pasture and rangeland circumstances have been good to glorious. Armyworm and grasshopper experiences elevated. Horn fly numbers remained excessive. Wild pigs brought about extra injury resulting from soil moisture, taller grass, and cloudy, cooler circumstances that have been excellent for rooting. 


Farmers have been busy spraying for weeds after weeks of rain. Areas continued to obtain rain showers frequently, and plenty of farmers have been reporting the worst cropping circumstances in years. Latest moisture was nice for corn, and most farmers have been irrigating little or no. Farmers wanted hotter climate within the coming weeks to supply cotton warmth items wanted to begin setting bolls. Cotton fleahopper numbers remained very low. Just a few particular person growers reported cotton aphids. No sugarcane aphids have been current in sorghum fields. All crops that made it so far have been in honest to glorious situation. Cattle have been in good situation. Pastures and rangelands have been in glorious situation, although grasshoppers have been a priority.


Northern and central areas reported quick to sufficient soil moisture ranges, whereas southern areas reported sufficient to surplus moisture. Hotter, drier circumstances have been favorable for row crops with temperatures within the low 90s. Pasture and rangeland reported honest to glorious. Oats and winter wheat have been being harvested. Corn circumstances have been good to glorious. Sorghum and cotton have been in honest to glorious situation. Most irrigated cotton was in glorious situation. Soybeans and peanuts have been in good situation. Producers continued to combat weeds resulting from quick herbicide provides. Livestock have been in good situation, however some supplemental feeding continued on a really small scale.


Soil moisture was sufficient in some counties and quick in others. Rainfall was sporadic. Temperatures have been principally within the higher 80s to low 90s. Pastures and hay meadows have been trying nice. Some producers have been chopping hay. Winter wheat harvest continued. Corn was doing properly for probably the most half, and grain sorghum was trying higher. Livestock have been in good situation. Armyworm outbreaks have been reported in some counties.


Daytime highs have been within the decrease 90s, with lows within the higher 70s. Monsoon rains continued throughout the district, with scattered rains to heavy rainfall with totals of 0.5-3 inches reported. Pasture and rangeland circumstances have been bettering each day, however producers continued to feed livestock and wildlife. Cotton started to develop and make excellent progress with solar and drier soils. There have been nonetheless fields and low areas exhibiting indicators of water stress. Growers continued to combat weeds. Cotton fleahoppers have been growing, and growers have been making use of pesticides. Corn and grain sorghum have been doing very properly. Cantaloupe and watermelon harvests have been underway. Total harvests have been about 10-14 days behind common.


No report.


Rice was beginning to head, whereas some natural fields weren’t planted but. Fields have been saturated from rains over the past two weeks, so spraying for rice and fertilizer purposes have been delayed. Continued rain stored pastures saturated. Most livestock have been in good well being, however hay harvest was not on time resulting from rain. Rangeland and pasture scores have been very poor to glorious, with good scores being the most typical. Soil moisture ranges have been very quick to surplus with surplus ranges being the most typical.


Scattered showers have been reported throughout the district.  Blanco County reported as much as 5.5 inches. Rangeland and pasture circumstances have been bettering with latest rains. Producers have been nonetheless capable of minimize and bale hay regardless of the moisture. Caldwell County experiences sorghum was mature, and producers have been ready for the crop to dry down earlier than harvesting begins. Corn crops continued to mature. Travis County reported cotton fields have been progressing properly. Livestock and wildlife have been in honest to good situation. Cattle, sheep and goat markets remained regular.


Extra rain was reported all through the district, together with gentle temperatures. Frio County reported 3-8 inches of rainfall, whereas La Salle reported 1-5 inches. Reside Oak County reported 3-12 inches of rainfall, and Willacy County reported 8-12 inches. Corn was being harvested or getting shut to reap. Sorghum and sunflower fields have been progressing, however producers in Zapata County reported waterlogged sorghum fields. Grain producers have been beginning to fear about rain impacting harvest entry and crop circumstances. Some sorghum was harvested, however there have been experiences of sprouting. Peanut crops reached pegging stage. Cotton was progressing quickly, and producers have been working to sluggish it down. Some cotton fields have been setting bolls. Vegetable crops continued to provide. Strawberry acres have been being ready. Weeds have been changing into an issue in fields resulting from all of the rainfall. Livestock ponds have been crammed to ranges not seen in years. Cattle appeared good, and costs have been bettering. Whitetail deer have been fawning. Hay producers wanted drier circumstances to entry fields and time to chop and bale. Grazing was plentiful as pasture and rangeland circumstances continued to enhance. Watermelon and cantaloupe vines continued to provide. Rains halted irrigation in sugarcane and citrus. Citrus bushes continued to be bulldozed after the winter freeze.

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