Protect Grapevines from Canker Diseases

5/2/2014

Safecoat VitiSeal from VitiSeal International is a natural waterborne copolymer emulsion with other NOP-approved ingredients designed to assist growers in the battle against grapevine canker diseases, which cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and crop loss each year.

Vineyards worldwide are afflicted with airborne fungal pathogens that harm the plants and inhibit production, including infection by Eutypa lata (also known as Eutypa dieback) and Botryosphaeria canker. Bot cankers and E. lata infect grapevines through pruning wounds during the dormant season by means of ascospores released from perithecia after rainfall, and ultimately render the vine or tree useless. Significant fruit and income loss occurs during this process. Traditional synthetic fungicides typically used to treat Eutypa dieback and Bot cankers must be reapplied every 10 to 14 days during the pruning season, as well as after rain, incurring prohibitive labor and product costs. In addition, excessive fungicide use negatively impacts the land and can ultimately lead to disease resistance.

Safecoat VitiSeal is not a toxic fungicide, but rather a unique crop management tool that creates a protective resistant barrier against the typical point of entry for wood canker diseases, including Eutypa dieback and Botryosphaeria canker. VitiSeal is typically applied only once per season, either through painting, daubing or spraying directly over pruning cuts onto vines, trunks and tree bases. The proprietary formulation is water-based and environmentally safe, containing no hazardous materials or HAPs (hazardous air pollutants). It has no re-entry wait restrictions after treatment and presents no risks of bioaccumulation.

Reporting on over two years of both in vivo and in vitro testing in the plant pathology labs and test sites at UC Davis, the 2013 UC IPM report on "Fungicides, Bactericides, and Biologicals for Deciduous Tree Fruit, Nut, Strawberry, and Vine Crops" listed Safecoat VitiSeal as the only biological and natural product deserving of 4 stars--"excellent and consistent"--in treatment against Eutypa dieback in grapevines. VitiSeal has similarly been tested on cherry trees, receiving the same 4-star rating rating. 

Safecoat VitiSeal is available either in a gallon concentrate, which can be diluted in the field to make 10 gallons, or a ready-to-use (RTU) version. Safecoat VitiSeal is composed primarily of natural and mineral materials and should therefore be suitable for use by organic and biodynamic growers.

Safecoat VitiSeal is available through Crop Production Services and Wilbur-Ellis. For more information, visit www.vitiseal.com.