Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do sunscreen products work on vines?

Obviously with the extreme weather many growers have been wondering 'what if?'

Some growers have asked about using sunscreen products to prevent heat stress and sunburn in grapes. Many consider the use of this products but few have actually applied them. Would they have made any difference with the extreme weather we have had?

Some growers worry about the residues they leave on fruit. A white residue is fine on vegetables which are scrubbed clean after harvest, but grapes are not able to be cleaned.

Parasol is a calcium carbonate liquid that can assist in the reduction of sun damage on fruit. Calcium carbonate is commonly know as chalk. Parasol is sprayed directly on the produce surface forming a dry, white film. It is supposed to reflect heat.

Another family of anti-stress products are based on kaolinite clay. Surround and Screen are commercially available products based on clay.

We are curious to see if this technology would have helped.

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