PA VinES Workbook
This workbook contains 115 questions in 7 sections. The questions address issues or practices that are important to good vineyard management. Each question is followed by 4 options ordered on a sustainable scale, with “1” being the most desired (i.e. most sustainable) option and “4” being the least. The questions are designed to help you evaluate all areas of your current management practices, with each chapter covering a different production area.
Section 1 – Vineyard Soil & Erosion Management
Runoff, leaching potential, soil amendments, soil compaction, soil erosion, & the use of cover crops
Section 2 – Nutrition Management
Uses of soil & tissue samples to guide
Nutrient management decisions & special consideration for using soil
Characteristics & vine growth as guides for nitrogen management
Section 3 – Vineyard Management
Mapping, vine size, yields
Section 4 – Weed Management
Timing herbicides, non-chemical methods, weed sprayer calibrations, row middle management
Section 5 – Integrated Pest Management
Managing insect & disease pests, pesticide selection & application, proper pruning & training to reduce grape pathogen & insect pest populations, insect pest & disease identification, scouting for diseases & insects, & use of NEWA
Section 6 – Pesticide Management
Procedures for safe storage, mixing & loading,
Handling of pesticides to protect worker health & avoid the potential for contamination of wells, groundwater, & ponds.
Section 7 – Continuing Education
The workbook addresses vineyard economic sustainability as well. It highlights sustainable production practices that are in line with best economic sustainability.
Once you have completed the workbook, the next step is to develop an action plan based on the results of your self-assessment that will address the practices that you believe you can effectively modify within the financial and management capacity of your farm. Concentrate on the issues where you scored three or four, with the goal of modifying your practices to reach the more sustainable one or two rating. The action plan is yours, and only you will know what is practical and possible on your farm.