Grapevine Trunk Diseases: Research, Tools and Cultural Practices

Join a panel of plant pathologists who will share tools and best practices for managing grapevine trunk disease developed from current research. Dr. Achala KC will share the results of her survey data collected from Oregon vineyards and vineyard management companies on the incidences of trunk disease and diagnostic data from vineyard samples to inform what organisms are involved. Dr. José Ramón Úrbez-Torres will present his research on the timing of spore release, pruning practices, and wound management to limit infection. He will also introduce techniques for treating young vines and handling issues with infected nursery stocks, including how problems can be mitigated after planting.

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Speaker Bios

Chad Vargas is co-owner and president of NewGen Vineyard Services and Advantage Vines in Dayton, Oregon. His experience in winegrowing has its roots in Napa and Sonoma, but in 2006 he was offered an opportunity to move to Oregon and lead Adelsheim Vineyard’s grape production team, which he did for 10 years. In 2017, he formed NewGen Vineyard Services with his business partner, offering his customers competitive management and pest control solutions. For the past three seasons, Chad has had many opportunities to diagnose and recommend best practices for trunk disease in the Willamette Valley and has developed a new respect for how devastating the problem can be.
Dr. Achala KC is an assistant professor at the department of botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University. She is a plant pathologist stationed in OSU’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology from North Dakota State University in Fargo and completed post-doctoral training in tree fruit pathology from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her research programs at OSU are focused on understanding the epidemiology of tree fruit and wine grape diseases and developing integrated disease management programs. Grapevine red blotch disease and grapevine trunk diseases are her current active research areas under the wine grape disease program.
Dr. José Ramón Úrbez-Torres has been a research scientist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia since June 2013. He has also been serving as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus since October 2017. Dr. Úrbez-Torres received a postgraduate master’s degree in viticulture, enology, and wine marketing in 2001 from the International Social Science Council and a degree in agricultural engineering in 2004 from the University of Valladolid in Spain. He completed a Ph.D. in plant pathology in 2009 at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Úrbez-Torres has studied diseases of woody perennial crops—primarily grapevines, tree fruits, and nut crops—since 1999 and his current research focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable management strategies for fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases of grapevines and tree fruits in Canada. Dr. Úrbez-Torres is the current chair of the International Council for Grapevine Trunk Diseases.

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