Expanding the Adoption of Under-Trellis Cultivators in Vineyards to Reduce Herbicide Input

Project Overview

OW18-019
Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2018: $49,991.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Marcelo Moretti
Oregon State University

Information Products

Commodities

  • Fruits: grapes

Practices

  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study
  • Pest Management: cultivation, weed management
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: soil moisture

    Abstract:

    Vineyard floor management relies on herbicides, especially glyphosate. This practice,
    once deemed sustainable and safe, is now jeopardized by glyphosate-resistant weeds and has
    come under public scrutiny. Mechanical under-vine cultivators are an option available to grape
    growers; many types of equipment are commercially available. However, its adoption lags
    behind the more familiar herbicide use. Under-vine cultivators' performance, costs and applications have not been
    well-researched. Limited information on reliable providers further hinders adoption of undervine
    cultivators. This project proposes:

    1. to conduct on-farm trials to evaluate different undervine
      cultivators types alone or in combinations as compared to herbicide application;
    2. with grower-collaborator participation, to compare the economics of under-vine cultivation to
      herbicide application and record operational information to estimate reliability, operation
      capacity, and scheduling of cultivation operation during the growing season;
    3. to compile a list of all equipment commercially available and a list of vendors located in the Western
      Region, and to document growers’ perceptions and experiences with under-vine cultivators. This
      will allow us to generate specific information about operational costs, performance, the window
      of operation, applications, and limitations.

    Project objectives:

    1. Evaluate the weed control performance of three under-vine cultivators (hoe blade,
      rotary tiller, and rotary brush) used alone or in combination. Monitor undesirable trends in soil structure
      using field penetrometer and soil-water content using a portable soil moisture sensor.
    2. Compare under-vine cultivation equipment to herbicide application and record
      operational information to estimate reliability, operation capacity, and scheduling of
      cultivation operation during the growing season. Grower-collaborators will be actively
      engaged in this objective, and their input will become the basis for the emphases of
      outreach events and materials.
    3. Compile a list of cultivators available in the market with estimated costs, operational
      capacity, tractor requirement, applications and limitations and develop extension
      materials and presentations to promote adoption of this technology.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.