This time of year is often when leafhoppers come a-callin’.  You can see below from our research station at Perkins the damage that leafhoppers can cause:

Leafhopper stippling

Leafhopper stippling

Severe infestations can lead to early leaf drop which, in turn, leads to reduced carbohydrate storage and reduced winter hardiness.  There are many chemical control options and I suggest consulting the Midwest Grape and Small Fruit Spray Guide for the list of possible choices (


If you are a Facebook fiend then you have the opportunity to see a new page — the eViticulture Facebook page.  This has just started so we are just getting it ramped up with photos and information.  Take a look here:

Like us!

Keep tabs on us in the coming weeks for more information.  Also, don’t forget Twitter as well (!/eViticulture) — we now have 124 followers and continue to grow everyday.


What does it take to select and maintain an appropriate variety?

AV = [(G x E) +((SS x M) + EL))]xL


AV = Appropriate Variety

G = Genetics (the variety must have the necessary genetic elements to succeed)

E = Environment (the environment with interact with the genetic components of the variety to impact the outcome, i.e. yields, quality, and survival)

SS = Site Selection (vines placed on the wrong site, including considerations like water availability and quality, soil quality, nutrient availability, air and water drainage, accessibility, etc. will dictate vine outcomes)

M = Management (vineyard management can help offset some factors such as less than optimal site selection and improve vine health and fruit quality)

LE = Learning and Education (education should be a never ending task for a grape grower, but a good knowledge of the basics should be garnered before putting a vine in the ground)

L = Luck (all of the best laid plans can be disrupted with bad luck — drought, freezes, broken pumps, plugged emitters, birds, plague of locusts, etc., because once your luck turns to zero, so does your AV)

I went to the OGIC board meeting yesterday and was somewhat struck by how “embryonic” the group is.  They are trying to take everything back to the beginning — back to involving wineries and growers alike.  I believe this is definitely the right way to go forward.  Over the years the Oklahoma grape and wine industry has become convoluted, confusing, and, in some cases, downright distasteful.  The state now has two organizations and it is up to you to choose which one to join.  In my mind it is not a question of joining or not, if you are in the industry and have any stake at all, you must join.  To these organizations member numbers matter — member participation matters.  One of these organizations will decide the future of the Oklahoma grape and wine industry.  I know how I would make my decision — communications.  Do I hear from the organization?  Am I apprised of what is happening?  Do they ask my input on matters?  Do they have a vision for the future?  I’m not a winery owner or commercial grape grower, but I know where I would spend my money.  You may think differently, and that’s OK, but non-participation will keep the industry in this fractured and chaotic state.  One organization must emerge as the leader on issues in Oklahoma.  Only you can make that happen.

If you are a member of OGIC and wish to go to a meeting see the notice below.  I will be there.

Last reminder.  All OGIC members are welcome to attend.

 OGIC Board Meeting Wednesday 9/7/2011 10:00 am

Woods & Waters Winery and Vineyards in Anadarko is Host

 Can’t come, but have some great ideas to share, please call.

 Regards, Gene Clifton


Yes, the end is coming soon for this blog.  When is the last day?  I’m not entirely sure, but probably somewhere around September 22.  The reason?  Well, for one thing I am leaving on the 23rd to give a talk at a conference in Hawaii.  Secondly, if you have not heard by now, I am leaving OSU on October 14.  I have been offered, and accepted, another position similar to this one at Mississippi State University.  I start there on November 1.  I will still be in the grape world — I will continue to be the Project Leader of and I will start a new blog that can be read from that website.  It will no longer be Oklahoma specific, but I will touch on grape growing in the Deep South as well as other broader topics of interest.  There are many loose ends concerning how things will continue here at OSU, but meetings will be held to discuss those things and we hope to have a plan in place before my departure.  I have really enjoyed doing this blog and I hope you will continue to follow me when I move over to my new blog.

Two recent studies were done in the Mississippi river basin region and another location to see if Glyphosate was detectable in water and air samples.  See below for a short summary of what they found:

Glyphosate (tradename Roundup), a Herbicide – Occurrence and Fate in the Mississippi River Basin – In an article published in the journal “Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry”, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis examined “… ambient levels of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the United States, and its major degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), in air and rain … during two growing seasons in agricultural areas in Mississippi and Iowa [and found that] the frequency of glyphosate detection ranged from 60 to 100% in both air and rain [with] concentrations of glyphosate [that] ranged from less than 0.01 to 9.1 ng/m3 and from less than 0.1 to 2.5 micrograms/L in air and rain samples, respectively …” – The study estimates that “… an average of 97% of the glyphosate in the air is removed by a weekly rainfall greater than or equal to 30 mm …” – In a separate article published in the journal “Pest Management Science”, researchers from the USGS and the National School for Water and Environmental Engineering in Strasbourg, France found that “… glyphosate and AMPA were frequently detected in the surface waters of four agricultural basins … and the load, as a percentage of use, ranged from 0.009 to 0.86% and could be related to three general characteristics: source strength, rainfall runoff and flow route …” – The study concludes that “… the watersheds most at risk for the offsite transport of glyphosate are those with high application rates, rainfall that results in overland runoff and a flow route that does not include transport through the soil …”