Turkish Vine Fruits, Crop Report 24.07.2023
We keep receiving bad news from the Turkish vine fruit crop in manisa! The unusual El Niño weather, conditions of heavy rains (thunderstorms), hailstorms and extreme temperatures (44c), as lead farmers to have severe issues with a crop, as unusal heavy rains meant they was unable to spray, or even wash off the medicines to protect crops at the correct time! Plus farmers are now unable to use thier additional medicines due to European law!
The main crop disease. We are hearing about Is powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can severely damage grape crops. The fungus, *Erysiphe necator*, produces a white, powdery growth on the leaves, shoots, and fruit of grapes. This growth blocks the leaves' ability to photosynthesize, which can lead to reduced growth and yield. In severe cases, powdery mildew can kill the entire vine.
The effects of powdery mildew on grapes can be summarized as follows:
* **Reduced photosynthesis:** The white, powdery growth of the fungus blocks the leaves' ability to photosynthesize, which is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. This can lead to reduced growth and yield.
* **Deformed leaves:** Powdery mildew can cause leaves to become deformed, yellow, and eventually drop off. This can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the fruit, which can also lead to reduced yield.
* **Scarred fruit:** Powdery mildew can also cause the fruit to become scarred. This can make the fruit unmarketable or even mouldy
* **Reduced sugar content:** Powdery mildew can also reduce the sugar content of the fruit. Or as report by many dead branches as the sugar water starts to rise!
In addition to the effects on individual grapes, powdery mildew can also have a significant impact on the overall crop. For example, a study in California found that powdery mildew can reduce grape yield by up to 50%.
There are a number of ways to control powdery mildew, including:
* **Fungicides:** Fungicides can be used to kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading, which the heavy rains in may/June stopped the application this year!
* **Cultural practices:** Cultural practices such as pruning and sanitation can help to reduce the spread of powdery mildew. Of course farmers are doing this, however large percentage of the Manisa farmers are part time as their lands are too small to maintain workable livelihood, leading to many farmers to work elsewhere in factories during the week!
So with this worrying news and TMO (Turkish government) emptying thier warehouses to purchase raw material again to support the farmers, we forsee increase in raw material prices, and pourer quality grapes and the real prospects of heavy rains during the crucial dry in period! Oh joy
We will be monitoring developments as our Izmir (Turkish) office are undertaking vineyard inspections over the coming weeks,and reporting back what they find!