New Research: Vegetable Oil Delays Vine Bud Break
The results of a five-year research project show that applying vegetable oil to vines significantly delays bud break. The project, by Mac’s Creek Winery and Vineyards in Lexington, Nebraska, aimed to find a way of minimizing damage to vines due to late spring frost.
The research was presented at VitiNord 2012, an international cold climate grape conference held jointly in Neubrandenburg Germany and Szczein, Poland.
The vegetable oil project was conceived by Seth McFarland, vineyard manager at Mac’s Creek Winery. It was undertaken with winery co-owner and University of Nebraska viticulture professor, Max McFarland, and partially funded by the Nebraska Grape Wine Board. The early work in this field was pioneered by Dr. Imed Dami from Ohio State University.
“the results across three different microclimate locations were profound.”
Max McFarland, co-owner, Mac’s Creek Winery and Vineyards
According to Max McFarland, “the results across three different microclimate locations were profound.” He said the application of vegetable oil resulted in significant delay in bud break, ranging from five days to three weeks across different cultivars. McFarland said the delay made the difference between grapevines producing on primary buds versus secondary or tertiary buds, or, not producing at all.
The viticulture researchers from Mac’s Creek Winery said the application of vegetable oil also had additional benefits. They included uniformity of ripening and improved quality of fruit.
Max McFarland believes the impact of these findings on the viticulture industry in Nebraska could be quite significant and help the industry become more sustainable.