Gary Butler sent out an email yesterday on bird control.  He had received some information on a new product that repels birds.  It is a spray that makes the fruit taste bad to the birds and upsets their stomachs.  I don’t know if this product works, but it might be worth a try — you can find the link here:

The reason I thought this was intriguing was because we are still several weeks away from veraison, but Gary was already thinking ahead on how to protect the crop — even though he can’t even see it yet.  This is a great lesson in having a plan.  What are some other things that a grape grower should be thinking about right now other than controlling black rot and weeds?  How about bunch rots, Japanese beetles and green June beetles,  leaf petiole analysis, labor for harvest, price for the crop, location for the crop, canopy management, crop load thinning (if needed), unforeseen stresses (wind damage, drought, flooding, etc.), just for starters.  One must have a plan of action in order to be prepared for the worst — and really that is what you should be prepared for, the worst case scenario.  What if no one shows up to harvest the fruit on the day it is ready?  What if it rains?  Should another spray be put on and the fruit left to hang until after the PHI is over?  A good grower should know the answer now and be proactive rather than reactive.