Cover Crop and Root Pruning Impacts on Vegetative Growth, Crop Yield Components, and Grape Composition of Cabernet Sauvignonby G. Giese, T. K. Wolf, C. Velasco-Cruz, L. Roberts, J. Heitman

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture

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Year
2014
DOI
10.5344/ajev.2014.14100
Subject
Food Science / Horticulture

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American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV). doi: 10.5344/ajev.2014.14100

AJEV Papers in Press are peer-reviewed, accepted articles that have not yet been published in a print issue of the journal or edited or formatted, but may be cited by DOI. The final version may contain substantive or nonsubstantive changes. 1

Research Article 1

Cover Crop and Root Pruning Impacts on 2

Vegetative Growth, Crop Yield Components, and 3

Grape Composition of Cabernet Sauvignon 4

Gill Giese,1,2* Tony K. Wolf,3 Ciro Velasco-Cruz,4 Lucas Roberts,5 and Josh Heitman6 5 1Winemaker, Shelton Vineyards, 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC 27017; 2Department of Horticulture, 6

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061; 3Director and Professor of Viticulture, AHS Jr. Agricultural 7

Research and Extension, Center, Virginia Tech, 595 Laurel Grove Rd., Winchester, VA 22602; 4Research 8

Professor, Professo Estadistica, Colegio de Posgraduados, Carretera, Mexico-Texcoco km. 36.5, 9

Montecillo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de Mexico, Mexico; 5Department of Statistics, Virginia Tech, 406-A 10

Hutcheson Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061; and 6Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, North 11

Carolina State University, PO Box 7619, Raleigh, NC 27695. 12 *Corresponding author (giese59@vt.edu) 13

Acknowledgments: The authors thank the Virginia Wine Board and the North Carolina Wine and Grape 14

Council for their financial support of this research. Shelton Vineyards, Dobson, NC, is gratefully 15 acknowledged for use of their resources and support. Appreciation is extended to Teresa Stoepler 16 (Virginia Tech) and Michael Glenn (USDA/ARS) for helpful comments on the manuscript. The authors 17 are grateful for the technical assistance of Ethan Brown, Jeffery Duncan, Amelia Giese, Adam Howard, 18

Molly Kelly, Miguel Sanchez, and Mary Simmons. 19

Manuscript submitted Aug 2014, revised Oct 2014, accepted Nov 2014 20

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. All rights reserved. 21 22

Abstract: Complete vineyard floor cover cropping (inter- and intrarow) and vine root pruning 23 were evaluated as tools to restrict vegetative growth of Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon 24 grapevines. Treatments were arranged in a split-plot, randomized, complete block design with 25 cover crop schemes as main plots and annual vine root pruning (RP), or not (NRP), as subplots. 26

Five perennial grasses as complete floor cover crops and an under-trellis herbicide strip 27 combined with KY-31fescue interrows, as a conventional floor management scheme were 28 compared. KY-31 fescue and orchardgrass each reduced shoot growth rate compared to the 29 herbicide strip vines >30% in 2006, and >20% in 2007. Root pruning independently reduced 30 shoot growth rates. The combination of cover crop and RP decreased dormant pruning weights to 31

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AJEV Papers in Press. Published online December 12, 2014.

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV). doi: 10.5344/ajev.2014.14100

AJEV Papers in Press are peer-reviewed, accepted articles that have not yet been published in a print issue of the journal or edited or formatted, but may be cited by DOI. The final version may contain substantive or nonsubstantive changes. 2 a greater extent than did the additive effects of either factor applied alone. Pruning weights in 32 2010 were reduced 8% by RP, 15% by cover crop, but 38% when both treatments were applied, 33 compared to the herbicide strip treatment. Leaf petiole N concentration at bloom was ~11% 34 lower in RP vines in 2 of 3 years evaluated, but did not differ among vines exposed to cover crop 35 treatments. Stem water potential (ψstem) was not affected by treatments. Cover cropping did not 36 reduce crop yield with the exception of a yield reduction due to KY-31 fescue in 2006. Berry 37 weights were slightly reduced by a RP x year interaction from 2007 to 2009 and by year effect in 38 2011 compared to 2010. While complete vineyard floor cover cropping and root pruning were 39 effective tools to reduce vine size and vigor, effects on canopy architecture and primary fruit 40 chemistry were minimal and more influenced by seasonal variation. 41

Key words: competition, cover crops, fruit composition, root pruning, vine vigor 42

Introduction 43

Excessive vine vigor is a management issue for many eastern U.S. vineyards where long 44 growing seasons and substantial rainfall often contribute to vines with annual pruning weights in 45 excess of 0.6 kg/m of canopy, more than two leaf layers in the fruit zone, and inadequate fruit 46 exposure. The consequences of inferior fruit exposure include increased disease incidence and 47 reduced wine quality potential (Smart and Robinson 1991). Large, vigorous grapevines also 48 increase vine management costs if the grower elects to use remedial measures to improve canopy 49 architecture. 50

Proactive vine management measures, such as cover cropping and root pruning, are 51 sought to favorably restrict vegetative vine development. In particular, the intensive use of cover 52

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American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV). doi: 10.5344/ajev.2014.14100

AJEV Papers in Press are peer-reviewed, accepted articles that have not yet been published in a print issue of the journal or edited or formatted, but may be cited by DOI. The final version may contain substantive or nonsubstantive changes. 3 crops has become more common in recent years, especially in vineyards situated on relatively 53 steep, erodible sites (Battany and Grismer 2000). Benefits of complete floor cover crops have 54 been observed by growers and measured in research plots (Hatch et al. 2011, Tesic et al. 2007), 55 although questions about the long-term response of vines to specific cover crops and vineyard 56 cover crop sustainability are still being explored (Giese et al. 2014, Steenwerth et al. 2013). 57