Get Ready for the Holiday Sales Season Now
Mastering Marketing - September 2016
While the holiday season may seem a ways off, the line between when customers shop and when they take offense to holiday décor in stores is becoming a blurry one. The National Retail Federation reports that every year, about 40 percent of customers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween(1).
Some early varieties in many vineyards are just starting to bloom. This is a critical time for taking tissue/petiole samples to assess the nutritional status of your vines. The following are some timely considerations.
Who’s the Boss
Mastering Marketing - April 2016
A primary attribute often given for being self-employed is “I’m my own boss.” But, business guru Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of a business is to have a satisfied customer”. So, whether you’re a farmer, producer, or other type of small business owner; who’s the boss in your business? Is it you, your customers, or both?
Marketing— The Root of All Profits
Mastering Marketing - March 2016
I’ve written, taught, and executed marketing ideas and plans for some time now. But, after pages and pages of text and theories, I’ve found marketing really boils down to a couple key concepts executed over three similar categories. And, marketing is truly the root of all profits in any business.
Disease Management - Botrytis
Botrytis is the major disease on a grower's radar screen
Infections can occur early in the season during bloom and later in the season from bunch closing on to harvest.
Microbreweries and the New Class 8 Farm Brewery License
Microbreweries and craft beers are a growing trend nationwide. In order to encourage more development in this growing industry, the state of Maryland has created a few new liquor licenses that make small-scale brewing easier.
Early Season Insect Management: Flea Beetles
Identification and Biology
Grape Flea beetles, Altica spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), are small (4-5 mm), oval shaped, metallic blue-purple beetles that jump when disturbed.
Grape flea beetles overwinter as adults and become active on warm April days when grape buds begin to swell. Adult beetles are most numerous following mild winters.
Early Season Insect Management: Climbing Cutworms
This general term applies to the larvae (caterpillars) of a large number of butterfly/moth species (Lepidoptera) in the noctuid family that feed on buds, young shoots and leaves. Cutworm damage most commonly occurs in vineyards with weeds under the trellis or mulch, and in sandy or light colored soils.
Early-Season Disease Management
Growers should apply a series of protectant fungicide sprays to new shoots to protect them from several diseases, beginning shortly after bud break.
Grape Berry Moth
Although the Japanese beetle is rapidly moving to the top of the list in many areas of Maryland the grape berry moth (Paralobesia viteana; GBM) has typically been the most significant insect pest in the vineyard due to its direct and indirect damage to the berries and clusters.
Japanese beetles can periodically be a significant pest in Maryland vineyards. They create large holes in the younger leaves of vines and cause severe lacing and even fruit damage in heavy infestations. The population build up is typically periodic and cyclic and may require control tactics in years of large infestations.