Arguably one of the most important impacts the weather has on viticulture relates to how it affects risks to production. These include unpredictable episodic events such as frost and heat stress but also the role the weather has in determining susceptibility to pests
and disease. Continued research is being conducted to better refine our quantitative understanding of how the weather affects disease incidence and severity.
Also, improved management of pests and disease in response to unfavorable weather conditions is very much an active area of research. At the same time, our ability to measure weather conditions more accurately and more cheaply and access weather data in real times at various scales across the landscape continues to improve.
The skill with which we are able to predict weather conditions has also improved significantly. Furthermore, the provision of real time weather data to wine regions in NSW in order to assist in better management of pest and disease has been a strong focus of the NSW DPI funded Skills Development Program, in collaboration with the NSW Wine Industry Association.
Thus, it is timely for this year’s Grapevine Management Guide to review recent developments in measuring weather conditions in the vineyard and our ability to predict weather conditions at a range of time scales and how these have the potential to significantly change the way that pests and disease are managed in the vineyard.