Frost is one of the biggest menaces to winemakers everywhere. But it just might finally be avoidable, thanks to research being conducted at in both Lake and Mendocino counties. Some researchers are using copper to combat the bacteria that allow frost to attach to vines, Western Farm Press reports.
As Western Farm Press reports, Glenn McGourty of University of California’s Cooperative Extension has teamed up with Professor Steven Lindow, plant pathologist at the University of California-Berkeley, to conduct field trials this upcoming spring to test their research on frost prevention in vineyards.
The duo decided to conduct further research on introducing various species of bacteria to control frost production, specifically Psuedomonas fluorescens A5O6, which occurs naturally in nature and dominates over frost when occupying the same space. “If we can get A5O6 to colonize and displace Pseudomonas syringae [frost] to become the dominant bacterium in a vineyards, growers would have a very sustainable approach to limiting frost damage,” McGourty tells Western Farm Press.
The first year of the two year research has begun and is funded by grant provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The research’s humble roots goes all the way back to the 1980s, when Professor Lindow began studying the use of bacteria to prevent frost on various trees.