Published on July 22, 2013
Grapevine varie*es, trellis systems, and mechaniza*on of the California raisin industry Ma:hew Fidelibus Vi*culture and Enology UC Davis
Outline • Overview of CA raisin industry • Tradi*onal produc*on methods • Mechaniza*on op*ons for tradi*onal vineyards • Newer dry-‐on-‐vine (DOV) systems • Future goals
California Raisin Industry • 140 year history • Located ~ 60 mile radius around Fresno in SJV • 90% natural sun-‐dried • ~170,000 acres • ~340,000 tons dried raisins/yr
California Raisin Industry • Small family farms; ~40 ac mean size • Historical 10-‐15% ROI + land apprecia*on
Problems with Tradi*onal Raisin Produc*on • Labor intensive • Fruit laid on ground • Produc*vity limits
Op*ons for growers with tradi*onal Thompson vineyards • Dry-‐on-‐vine (DOV) • Con*nuous tray
Con*nuous-‐Tray • Harvest pruning (HP) facilitates abscission; minimizes ‘juicing’ • Harvester removes green fruit • A layer of green berries are spread on paper ‘tray’ that runs the length of the row middle • Berries dry as in tradi*onal trays • Raisins collected with a pick-‐up machine
Fresno Numberofoccurrences August September October ½ Aug. = 2 ½ Aug. = 2 ½ Aug. = 0 ½ Aug. = 0 Sept. total = 12 Sept. total = 12 Sept. total = 0 Sept. total = 0 0.24” .01” 0.74” .25” .75” ½ Oct. = 5 ½ Oct. = 3 ½ Oct. = 0 ½ Oct. = 8 Sum, all
Dry on the Vine (DOV)
Dried on the Vine (DOV) Raisin Produc*on • Eliminates the need to hand harvest and lay fruit on paper trays • Requires that fruit bearing canes be severed at harvest
Thompson Seedless DOV Systems • Tradi*onal trellis • South-‐side
South Side Systems + Exis*ng Thompson Seedless acreage Equipment availability – Yield limita*ons Trellis modiﬁca7on
Can Thompson Seedless be dried on the vine in CA? • Yes, and harvest costs can be reduced, but late maturity makes adequate drying diﬃcult and yield poten*al is limited • Varie*es that ripen earlier than Thompson, on more expansive training and trellising systems, are required for op*mal DOV produc*on eﬃciency
Fiesta DOVineThompson Seedless Selma Pete All canes severed 8/14/01, pictured 9/10/01
DOV Raisin Varie*es
BLACK CORINTH (ZANTE CURRANT)
SUMMER MUSCAT DIAMOND MUSCAT
Open Gable • Large Y-‐shaped trellis supports larger canopy • Increased yield poten*al– about twice as produc*ve as standard trellising on a per acre basis • Decrease harvest cost, but increased pruning costs and signiﬁcant investment for trellis installa*on required
OVERHEAD ARBOR • 2.5 to 3 *mes as produc*ve as conven*onal trellis systems • Not well suited for Thompson Seedless or other mid-‐season cul*vars • Signiﬁcant investment required
Changes in raisin produc*on methods
Area planted to raisin grapes declining, and becoming increasingly mechanized
California Raisin Industry • DOV produc*on • New cul*vars & trellis systems • Corporate farms • Fewer acres Future?
Acknowledgements • L. Peter Christensen, Stephen Vasquez (UC) • David Ramming (USDA-‐ARS) • Earl and Randy Rocca (Rocca Ranches) • California Raisin Marke*ng Board
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