Wine Grape Programs

PRODUCTS INVOLVED:

Ground Applications:

Vermigrow Stable Compost Tea, FertiBOOST, and FertiZONE, NutriAg’s CalciMax  (products can be purchased as organic or conventional).

Agrogen 7-7-7.

 

Foliar Applications:

Agrostim, Agroprime, Supergrow Foliar Fertilizers (Agroprime is OMRI listed). NutriAg’s CalciMax  and CropBioLife (Flavonoid product from Australia).

 

PRODUCT BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

GROUND APPLICATIONS:

Metagrow Compost Teas:  Metagrow Stable Compost Tea is very different than other compost teas. It is derived from a blend of earthworm castings and green waste compost. Both the feedstock for the earthworms and the green waste compost have been thermophillicly composted and are OMRI certified.

Earthworm castings contain specialized bacteria that have passed thru the earthworm gut. In the digestive process, earthworms excrete hormones and plant growth factors. Our fermentation process amplifies the microbial populations and increases the content of microbes and plant growth factors geometrically.

In order to make this product stable, we extract the microbes and soluble solids from the earthworm casting/green waste compost blend. This extraction is pumped into actively aerated 850 gallon batches where a proprietary mix of organic fertilizers, minerals, and plant extracts are fed to the microbes.   We monitor the process in several ways on a daily basis. Our objective is to build as high a microbial population as possible over a few days. When we are satisfied with the population levels, we stop the feeding process and force the microbial population into a resting state called stasis.

In the process of fermentation, the soluble solids, organic fertilizers, and plant extracts are nearly all metabolized by the microbes. You can think of this stable tea as a metabolic soup. Most of the activities that microbes perform in the root zone have occurred in the fermentation process. When Metagrow Compost Tea hits the soil, it is ready for the plant to uptake. There is little, if any, lag time. The microbes that have been in stasis become “awake” and active.

 Metagrow Stable Compost Tea contains a one..two punch. First is the immediate effect of the metabolites and second are the benefits from an increased and diverse microbial population. We typically advise adding FertiBOOST to the application of the compost tea as it provides more raw materials for the microbes as they awaken.

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FertiZONE: The FertiZONE products all contain 4 different species of mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae (Myco) are beneficial fungi that have some unique characteristics. It has a symbiotic relationship with more than 90 percent of the plants on earth. It is a large fungus that can expand the effective root zone of a plant by more than 100 percent. It can mine phosphorous and water that are unavailable to the plant. It transports minerals and water back to the plant in exchange for exudates (food) provided by the plant. A well inoculated plant is much more efficient in its water use

All of the FertiZONE products also contain a blend of 10 other microbes (3 beneficial fungi and 7 beneficial bacteria). The microbial populations in FertiZONE are in a much higher concentration than any other competitive product. In addition, the formulations of FertiZONE all contain a nutrient package designed to promote maximum microbial population growth. Also included in the formulations are ingredients that the microbes will use to metabolize plant growth regulators, hormones, and plant growth factors.

FertiZONE comes in four forms. Two are Wettable Powders one is organic certified and one is conventional. The difference is only the nitrogen source. The other two are granular forms one of which is also organic and the other conventional. Again, the only difference between the two is the nitrogen source.

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FertiBOOST WP (Wettable Powder): This product was developed to give the microbial population a boost by providing all of the plant and microbial stimulants contained in FertiZONE but without the microbial package. This lowers the cost and still gives the microbial population a great stimulant effect.

FertiBOOST WP can be used as a soil improver and as a foliar spray. It is a complex of humic acids, organic acids, surfactants, proprietary formulated minerals, vitamins, plant growth factors, hormones, and enzymes that greatly stimulates microbial activity.

Soil Improver When Boost is used as a soil improver, it stimulates microbial growth in the soil, provides plant growth factors, increases root volume, and makes the transfer of nutrients and water from the soil to the plant more efficient. Both slow release and fast release fertilizers get to the plant more rapidly. That helps growers cut costs and increase yields.

Foliar Spray Boost can also be used as a foliar spray. When diluted at least twenty to one in water, it directly provides nutrients, hormones, vitamins, plant growth factors, and enzymes. Boost penetrates leafsurfaces providing minerals to the plant through the leaf, reduces surface tension of the leaf, and increases the absorption of any foliar nutrients applied as part of the spray application.

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Agrogen™ 7-7-7 is our new product that has a similar composition to our foliar products but was developed for soil application given its highly soluble nature. This product can be utilized as an ongoing nutrient application for vines. It’s a complex structure is superior to other micro and macro products sold in the market given its composition of humate and kelp concentrates and extracts from hydrolyzed blood meal and hydrolyzed fish protein.

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CalciMax is a liquid calcium and boron super-complex derived from plant carbohydrates (contains 8% calcium + 0.5% boron) manufactured by NutriAg USA, Ltd.

 

FOLIAR APPLICATIONS:

Agrostim™, Agroprime™, and SuperGrow™ are all natural foliar fertilizers that are specifically designed to restore the soil’s natural agro-ecosystem by developing soil fertility that energizes soil microbial activity and activates the microbial processes critical for conversion of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and sulfur into forms that can be utilized by plants. The natural microbial activity breaks down and transforms organic, mineral and gaseous compounds in the soil into elemental forms that provide the nutrients, vitamins and hormones for optimal plant growth, health, vigor, productivity and increased resistance to environmental stresses, such as drought and attacks by insect and pathogens.

Agroprime™ is an OMRI listed product for those organizations under or pursuing organic certifications like CCOF (California’s organic certification). Most of our clients opt to use Agrostim™ or Supergrow™ given its balanced composition unless they are pursing organic certification. There are certain micronutrients and chelated minerals in Agrostim™ that are important to the performance of the product but are not OMRI certified. Supergrow™, given its high level of potassium makes for a great early and late dressing. Its high level of potassium also accelerates the impact and positive results of using compost. The combination of the two products delivers a very powerful one-two punch on the vines.

All products are organic, fully balanced, water-soluble concentrates of humate, kelp, yucca and extracts from hydrolyzed blood meal and hydrolyzed fish protein concentrates. These proprietary formulations contain more than 130 primary and secondary elements, enzymes and coenzymes, amino acids, naturally occurring root and foliage growth promoters (Cytokinins, Auxins and Gibberellins), vitamins, carbohydrates and essential chelated trace minerals and micronutrients. All of our natural raw materials are specially prepared via cold, enzymatic or chemical processing before they are ready for final blending.

Our products are comprehensive in structure offering the 17 ingredients that all plants need (N, K, Ca, Mg, P, S, Fe, Mn, Cu, B, Zn, Mo, Amino Acids, etc.). We source the highest quality ingredients for our products. For example, our micronized humates are derived from Leonardite shale and a natural source of humic/fulvic substances and trace minerals from New Mexico. Humic Acid that comes from Leonardite shale is the most concentrated organic material available. It contains 65% humic acids. The

Humic content may not be as high as Lignites but their Fulvic content is much higher. High quality fulvic acids contain many carboxyl (-COOH) and hydroxyl (-COH) groups which are more chemically reactive and plant responsive (these are also some of the best chelating agents around). We use this humic product to increase micronutrient uptake, improve the efficiency of applied and existing nutrients and stimulate root growth. Our products have been micronized through 160 mesh screens.

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CROPBIOLIFE

CROPBIOLIFE can be applied at a rate of 3.5 – 4 oz. per acre on an ongoing basis to improve vine disease resistance, canopy health (during and late into the season), grape ripening, color and flavor. CROPBIOLIFE is applied as a foliar and works best when combined with Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™.

CROPBIOLIFE IS A 100% natural flavonoid-based spray, developed from naturally occurring bitter orange extract. Flavonoids have proven to:

  • Improve color and brix
  • Increase tannins and anthrocyanins
  • Reduce disease and insect pressures
  • Mitigate drought stress
  • Improve root health and overall soil biology
  • Improve resistance to UV-B stress and general photosynthesis

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AGROSTIM™ Organic-Based Microbial Stimulant Foliar Fertilizer

10.25 – 5.40 -6.60 

AGROPRIME™  OMRI Listed  Organic Microbial Stimulant Foliar Fertilizer

11.15 – .25 – 3.75

SUPERGROW™ Organic-Based Microbial Stimulant Foliar Fertilizer

6  –  2  –  12

WINE GRAPE MICROBIAL PROGRAMS

Product General Mixing Ratios

Agrostim™, Agroprime™, SuperGrow™ and Agrogen™.

Products are simple to apply. They’re dry shipped and have a general application ratio of 50 to 1 (i.e. 50 gallons water to 1 lb. of product applied on a per acre basis.

Product applications began at 5-6 inch shoot growth through veraison. Products can be applied every 3 weeks to promote vine health, fruit quality and yield. Our products have had positive impacts on ripening and achieving targeted brix levels. We have experienced improvements in coloring, favor, texture and stem retention.

For crops that are in need of accelerated recovery due to frost damage, stress, poor soil conditions, plant nematodes, fungal diseases, etc., then a more concentrated solution can be utilized. For example, 1.5 – 2.0 lbs. per acre per application.

Given the organic composition of the products, they can be mixed with most anything else you’re applying (i.e. fungicides, anti-mildews, etc.) without any negative impact on the mixed product’s performance, our product’s performance or the plant itself. Products are compatible with low volumes sprayers at 20 gallons up to higher volumes at 100 gallons per acre.

Products can be used in commercial sprayers or applied via irrigation and drip systems. All products are water soluble and shouldn’t clog emitters or sprayers if they are first mixed into a 5 gallon bucket to

dissolve the product thoroughly prior to placing into the sprayer holding tank or fertigation feeder system.

Agrogen™ 7-7-7 was developed for soil application to provide ongoing nutrition (i.e. application every 3 weeks) throughout the season to the vines via the drip system. It’s extremely soluble (98.5% solubility) so it won’t clog emitters. Application rate is one half (1/2) lb. of product every 2-3 weeks via the drip or irrigation system.

Agrostim™, Agroprime™, SuperGrow™ and Agrogen™ have a minimum shelf life of 3 years if stored in a dry, cool location.

  

GENERAL USE OR APPLICATION OF PRODUCTS:

(1) FIRST APPLICATION – BUD SWELL AND/OR WARMING OF SOILS

Ground Application – bearing vineyard microbial inoculation at Bud Swell:

As soon as the microbial program is initiated, apply 3-5 lbs. per acre FertiZONE wetable powder through the irrigation system to inoculate the vines with the beneficial microbes. This application can be done any time of the year that the soil temperature is above 60oF. This is an optional application tied to improving vine health issues.

Apply 3-5 gallons per acre of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus ½ lb. – 1lb. per acre of Agrogen™ 7-7-7 formulation to provide ongoing vine nutrition. 2 quarts per acre of CalciMax applied to the soil help marshal nutrients to the plant and begin building strong leaf tissues.

(2) SECOND APPLICATION – INITIAL SHOOT GROWTH (5-10 inches)

Ground Application – early growing season for bearing vineyards:

Apply 3-5 gallons per acre of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus 1/2 lb. of FertiBOOST. Apply ½ lb. – 1 lb. per acre of Agrogen™ 7-7-7 formulation to provide ongoing vine nutrition. This will “kickoff” the plant and set up its metabolism for a vigorous early season push of growth.   Weak vineyards should have monthly applications at the same rate until satisfactory vigor is observed. More than 1/3 of the nutrients the vineyard will use the entire season will occur between this first push of new growth and initiation of bloom. The compost tea application will increase the rate and efficiency of nutrient uptake by mineralizing the nutrients into plant available forms.

Foliar Application:

Foliar application using 1/2 lb. to 1 lb., of Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™ should be applied at 4-7 shoot growth. CalciMax applied as a foliar at 1 quart per acre. CROPBIOLIFE can be applied at a rate of 3.5 oz. per acre on an ongoing basis to improve vine disease resistance, canopy health (during and late into the season), grape ripening, color and flavor.

(3) THIRD APPLICATION – TWO (2) WEEKS PRIOR TO BLOOM

Ground Application – Prior to Bloom:

One to two weeks before bloom, apply another 3-5 gallons per acre of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus ½ to 1 lb. of FertiBOOST.

The microbial metabolites (plant growth factors) built up in the stable compost tea will stimulate the plant to a more uniform bloom (both within and between bunches) which results in less shot berry and bunch to bunch variability in maturity later in the season. Rakus stretching can also be observed in some varieties which later in the season reduces botrytis, mildew, water berry and produces more attractive and easier to pack looser bunches. Another plant response we often see at this stage is improved uniformity of plant growth (reduced apical dominance) which later in the season contributes to more uniform berry sizing and bunch maturation.

Foliar Application – Prior to Bloom 

Foliar application using 1 lb. of Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™ should be applied at two (2) weeks prior to Bloom. 1 quart per acre of CalciMax applied by foliar to help marshal nutrients to the plant and begin building strong leaf tissues. CROPBIOLIFE can be applied at a rate of 3.5 oz. per acre on an ongoing basis to improve vine disease resistance, canopy health (during and late into the season), grape ripening, color and flavor.

 

(4) FOURTH APPLICATION – TWO (2) WEEKS PRIOR TO VERAISON

Ground Application – Pre-Veraison

One to two weeks before veraison, apply 3-5 gallons of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus ½ to 1 lb. of FertiBOOST in the irrigation water. Apply ½ lb. – 1 lb. per acre of Agrogen™ 7-7-7 formulation to provide ongoing vine nutrition.

The microbial metabolites (plant growth factors) built up in the stable compost tea will assist the plant in making the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth to mature the fruit. Some of the materials broken down by the microbes during fermentation are provided to the plant and are precursors to fruit flavor and color components.   Pushing the vine to commit to the energy shift from vegetative to reproductive growth improves the quality and speed of maturing the fruit. It is not uncommon for fruit to come to maturity a week earlier than normal with this compost tea program. Earlier maturity can assist growers in hitting important market windows or to smooth out program growing volumes over a longer period of time – plan your program accordingly.

This improved shift of plant resources to maturing the fruit also improves uniformity of maturity from bunch to bunch and from vine to vine which can result in improved overall fruit quality and reduced harvest costs (less harvest passes through the field). This is also an important period of time for the plant to feel vigorous and to carry the current fruit load well as this is when buds are differentiating if they will be vegetative or reproductive growth. If we have built the vigor of the plant well enough through the earlier season applications, then we should be able to set and carry more fruit load for next season.

Foliar Application – Pre-Veraison

Foliar application using 1 lb. of Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™ should be applied at two (2) weeks prior to veraison. 1 quart per acre of CalciMax applied by foliar to help marshal nutrients to the plant and continue building strong leaf tissues. CROPBIOLIFE can be applied at a rate of 3.5 oz. per acre on an ongoing basis to improve vine disease resistance, canopy health (during and late into the season), grape ripening, color and flavor.

  • (5) FIFTH APPLICATION – POST VERAISON
  • Ground Application – Post veraison and Pre-harvest
  • About a month after veraison, make the last preharvest application of compost tea. Apply 3-5 gallons of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus ½ lb. of FertiBOOST in the irrigation water.
  • The microbial metabolites (plant growth factors) built up in the stable compost tea provide flavor and color component building blocks for the plant to assist in maturing the fruit. We have observed in grapes that this application can influence sugar acid ratios and increase fruit color.
  • Foliar Application – Post veraison and Pre-harvest: 
  • Foliar application using 1 lb. of Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™ should be applied at three (3) to four (4) weeks after veraison. 1 quart per acre of CalciMax applied by foliar to help marshal nutrients to the plant and continue building strong leaf tissues.
  • (6) SIXTH APPLICATION – POST HARVEST
  • Ground Application – Post Harvest
  • If there are any signs that the crop struggled maturing the crop well and uniformly, lacks vigor or is having trouble recovering after harvest, then this is a good opportunity to make a post harvest application. The purpose of this application is to assist the plant in recovering from the stresses of the crop production and to increase the amount of carbohydrates the plant produces and stores prior to defoliation to provide energy for next spring’s first growth push. Apply 3-5 gallons of Metagrow Stable Compost Tea plus ½ lb. of FertiBOOST in the irrigation water. ½ lb. per acre of Agrogen™ 7-7-7 formulation to provide vine nutrition.
  • ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION:
  • CROPBIOLIFE can be applied at a rate of 3.5 – 4 oz. per acre on an ongoing basis to improve vine disease resistance, canopy health (during and late into the season), grape ripening, color and flavor. CROPBIOLIFE is applied as a foliar and works best when combined with Agrostim™, Agroprime™, or SuperGrow™.
  • Flavonoids have proven to:
  • Improve color and brix
  • Increase tannins and anthrocyanins
  • Reduce disease and insect pressures
  • Mitigate drought stress
  • Improve root health and overall soil biology
  • Improve resistance to UV-B stress and general photosynthesis