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Air Resources Board Turns its Spotlight on Ag Equipment

September 29, 2010

Get ready—the state of California is in the process of developing and implementing new regulations to control air pollution. The new regulations will affect many, especially the owners of engine-powered equipment currently used in vineyard and winery operations. Replacing or retrofitting equipment to comply with the new regulations will be expensive. However, funding is available to help businesses come into compliance.

For vineyard and winery industries in California, emission standards are primarily found in four separate sections of the California Air Resources Board regulations. All the sections, except for Large Spark Ignition (LSI), deal with diesel engine emissions, including: on-road diesel trucks, off-road diesel powered agricultural and non-agricultural equipment, portable and stationary units with diesel engines and LSI forklifts.

To learn about the guidelines and rules for compliance and how to qualify for exemptions, read the complete article in the November issue of Wine Business Monthly

Brief Heat Wave in August Leads to Extensive Fruit Heat Damage

In August, growers in California’s North Coast growing regions experienced some of the most severe and unusual heat damage to fruit in most anyone’s memory. This wasn’t the typical sunburn, where berry skins were scalded with afternoon sun, usually leading to raisined berries later on (though there was some of that). The 2010 fruit damage was much worse than that.

Only a day or two after the heat events that peaked on August 24 followed by an encore the next day, fruit was visibly damaged to the point of berries taking on a light tan color. Fruit was not only discolored, but was rapidly dehydrating.

What made this heat damage worse was that it was not restricted only to the outer berries. Entire clusters were found to be collapsing, due to apparent rachis damage. About a week after the heat event, some Pinot Noir clusters were seen abscising, becoming easily detached at the peduncular “knuckle.”

In his November column, Mark Greenspan acknowledges that the unusual weather patterns caused unusually severe damage to fruit and asks: Is this a foreshadowing of things to come?

To read both stories in full, click here to subscribe and receive the November issue of Wine Business Monthly.

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