ACP Devastates Florida Citrus Industry; California Continues Vigilance
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor
California Citrus growers must not underestimate the potential damage from Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), according to Bob Blakely, vice president, California Citrus Mutual, based in Exeter.
Given multiple ACP detections in California this year, Blakely used Florida’s ACP catastrophe as an example of how devastating the pests can be. “We are challenged here in California with ACP,” Blakely began, “which vectors the fatal disease known Honglongbing, (HLB), also known as citrus greening. But, it is nothing like what they are dealing with in Florida, since HLB [the disease itself] was discovered there less than ten years ago. “Florida’s citrus acreage, which measured just under 1 million acres prior to the calamities they’ve been facing,” said Blakely, “has been reduced by almost 50%.”
While occurrences of Citrus Canker Disease as well as urbanization also contributed to the reduction in acreage, Blakely stated, “the big killer, citrus greening, is mostly responsible for the reduction of citrus acreage to the lowest level in decades.”
Because Florida has become so infested with ACP and HLB, reestablishing the industry there will take some time. “They are replanting and trying to replant healthy trees,” Blakely explained, “but they know those trees are short-lived compared to trees in California. We have hundred year-old groves. Florida farmers are just hoping to raise those trees and get a few years of production out of them before HLB re-infects them and they must be replaced again,” said Blakely.
Announced TODAY, Mark Greenspan, president of Advanced Viticulture Inc., has been confirmed to serve as the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) 2015-2016 president. Greenspan succeeds Lise Asimont of Francis Ford Coppola Presents to lead ASEV’s 12-member board.
“Throughout my career, ASEV has been the go-to source for reliable, thoughtful research and science that has been critical to my success and that of my vineyard clients. It’s a real honor to serve as the Society’s new president and to hopefully carry on the impressive work of Lise and the other dedicated ASEV past presidents,” said the new ASEV president.
Greenspan, a Sonoma County resident, provides premiere vineyard consultation in water management, nutrient management, precision viticulture and vineyard design, establishment and management. He has operated Advanced Viticulture for over 10 years. Previously, he was the viticulture research manager at E&J Gallo, responsible for viticulture experiments in the north coast vineyards and collaborative projects throughout the state of California. He is a monthly contributor to Wine Business Monthly and periodic contributor to other trade publications. He presents at local, national and international events, and is a certified crop advisor (CCA) and certified professional agronomist (CPAg). Mark has served on review panels for the American Vineyard Foundation and Viticulture Consortium – West and Viticulture Consortium – East. He is a member of Sonoma and Napa Viticulture Technical Groups, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and Napa Valley Grape Growers Association. He’s a former director of the UC Davis Trellis Alliance and sponsor of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission.
As an active 25-year ASEV member, Mark has held several ASEV positions and served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV). He has served on the best paper review committee, annual meeting technical abstract review committee, annual meeting program committee, and as sessions chair. He received the ASEV Best Viticulture Student Paper Award in 1991.
ASEV has also confirmed two new directors: Patty Skinkis, associate professor at the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, and Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture extension specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. In addition, the Society has announced its 2015-2016 executive team members: Nichola Hall of Scott Laboratories, confirmed as first vice president; James Harbertson of Washington State University, elected as second vice president; and Tom Collins of Washington State University will serve as secretary-treasurer. Additional Board members continuing current terms are: AJEV Science Editor Linda Bisson and Technical Program Director M. Andrew Walker, both of the University of California, Davis; and Directors Lise Asimont of Francis Ford Coppola Presents, Kristen Barnshisel of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and Kay Bogart and Anita Oberholster, both from the University of California, Davis.
Formed in 1950 as a professional society dedicated to the interests of enologists, viticulturists and others in the fields of wine and grape research and production, the ASEV’s membership of more than 2,000 includes professionals from wineries, vineyards, and academic institutions and organizations around the world. In addition to publishing the AJEV, the Society also hosts its National Conference (slated for Monterey in June of 2016) and co-presents the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in January with the California Association for Winegrape Growers. For more information, visit www.asev.org.
Mike Wolf Named 2015 Napa Valley Grower of the Year
Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) announced TODAY they have chosen long-time Napa grape grower Mike Wolf as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year. Wolf will be honored for his tremendous contributions to Napa Valley farming and the community on May 15 at the 40th annual NVG Annual Dinner.
Wolf has been involved with developing and managing California vineyards for over 35 years. He launched Michael Wolf Vineyard Services in 1997, working with many of Napa Valley’s leading independent growers, and premium and ultra-premium wineries in all phases of sustainable vineyard development, from planning and development to maintaining well-established vineyards. He currently farms over 800 acres across Napa County.
Wolf was raised just outside of New York City, and received a B.A. degree in history from New York’s Alfred University. He started working with grapes at the age 26, when he moved to Mendocino County with two college friends and wound up connecting with Beckstoffer Vineyards in Ukiah for his first vineyard job.
He moved to Napa County in 1981 as Vineyard Supervisor for a large agricultural development company in Pope Valley where he worked for 12 years, managing all vineyard development and vineyard operations. In 1994, he accepted a position overseeing 500 acres of vineyard in the Napa Valley for Beckstoffer Vineyards.
Wolf’s name is now associated with vineyards that express the exceptionally high quality for which Napa is known. Deeply respected for his commitment to Napa Valley farming and the community, Wolf has served as:
“Mike is a tremendous example of a quiet, genuine leader. He is a perennial contributor to advancing viticultural best practices, dependably mentors the next generation and furthers the process of sustainable farming,” said NVG President Steve Moulds. “We are very proud to honor him.”
He continues to be a strong advocate and support for farmworkers in the Valley, actively supporting the:
Nominations for the Napa Valley Grower of the Year come from the NVG membership and the recipient is chosen by a special Selection Committee made up of Past Presidents and current committee members. The award criteria are: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for four decades. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents over 690 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses.
For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org. Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Twitter.