California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Agricultural Demonstration Projects

Mendocino Vineyard Compost Demonstration

Minimizing Grape Phylloxera Damage

In May 2000, the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) (now known as the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle) initiated a contract with the University of California at Davis for a two-year demonstration and research project on wine grapes using compost and mulch made from Mendocino County yard trimmings. CIWMB funding, which totaled $79,932, plus matching funds of the partnership enabled project staff to conduct detailed analyses of grapevines that receive either surface or incorporated compost applications. Project staff examined soil and grapevine samples to quantify phylloxera populations and related root infections. Municipal mulch was also being applied to a phylloxera-free vineyard floor on sloping ground in Mendocino County to demonstrate soil erosion control.

Goals

  • Demonstrate control of phylloxera and related grapevine root infections using compost.
  • Determine differences between surface and incorporated compost applications relative to phylloxera and related grapevine root infections.
  • Demonstrate erosion control using mulch in a sloping vineyard.
  • Conduct field days and a workshop for commercial growers.

Partnership Organizations

  • Fiscal Agent: University of California at Davis (UCD).
  • Project Director: Jeffrey Granett, Entomology Department at UCD.
  • Key Partners: University of California at Berkeley, University of California Cooperative Extension (Mendocino County).
  • Participating Grower: Fetzer Vineyards.
  • Disseminate the results of the project to grape growers in California.

Project Components

  1. Partnership Development and Implementation of Work Plan. The partnership team developed a detailed work plan for evaluating the use of compost made primarily from municipal green material (yard trimmings) applied to either the vineyard surface or incorporated into the soil around grapevines. Project staff examined soil and grapevine samples to quantify phylloxera populations and related root infections. Municipal mulch and straw was applied to a phylloxera-free vineyard floor on sloping ground in Mendocino County to visually evaluate rill erosion. The demonstration plots were monitored through the spring of 2002.
  2. Development and Dissemination of Information. During the course of the contract, the partnership team developed and disseminated news releases and other outreach materials.
  3. Coordination of Field Days and Workshops. The partnership team conducted two field days while work was in progress and one workshop for growers during the beginning of 2002.
  4. Reporting and Publishing Results. The partnership team provided periodic briefs on the project status. The report, Compost and Mulch Demonstration Project, Mendocino County: Use of Compost and Mulches for North Coast Vineyards (442-03-002) contains scientific data from the project, the costs to apply municipal mulch and compost in vineyards, recaps of the educational outreach conducted, and the project results relative to observed erosion control and reduction of phylloxera-related root infection. The partnership team envisioned continuing the project a third-year with funding from other sources.

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Last updated: August 13, 2010
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Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Contacts.htm