Published in Good Fruit Grower
By Ross Courtney
May 19, 2020
Washington State University virologist Naidu Rayapati has been screening vineyard samples for viruses in his laboratory for about 15 years. He wants growers to keep those samples coming.
As grapevine red blotch and grapevine leafroll become more prevalent, as pest pressures force grape growers to replant and shift to rootstocks, and as an oversupply gives the industry time to pause, Washington wine grape producers may be entering a new era of virus testing.
Rayapati thinks growers throughout the industry need to test more often, but they may find cost a hurdle. So, he is offering to test samples for free, for as long as he can, and follow up the results with advice and questions for growers that would also !t within his ongoing research about the viruses, funded by the Washington State Wine Commission.
“I would like to see more growers use us” and take advantage of that expertise, said Rayapati, also director of WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser.
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