You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive. These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website (through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only. As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.

To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at

Newsletter Archive index:

Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Viticulture Notes

Vol. 14 No.2, May - June 1999

Dr. Tony K. Wolf, Viticulture Extension Specialist

Table of Contents

I. Attention

II. Disease management considerations (pre-bloom to mid-summer)

A. Fungicide registrations and news:
B. Powdery Mildew (PM) Reminders
C. Black Rot (BR) Reminders
D. Downy Mildew (DM) Reminders
E. Botrytis Bunch Rot
F. Phomopsis (Ph) Reminders
G. Putting It All Together

III. Vineyard labor issues: Part 2

IV. Upcoming meetings

I. Attention

1999 Pest Management Guides:
Pest Management Guides are updated annually by Virginia Tech pest management specialists. Grape specialists include Drs. Baudoin (plant pathology), Derr (weeds), and Pfeiffer (insects and mites). The Guide lists common pests, currently recommended pesticides, as well as specific information on the pesticides (relative efficacy, rates of application, formulations, pre-harvest intervals, restricted re-entry periods, etc.). The Guides present the information in a seasonal fashion; however, they do not attempt to provide a "recipe" for how often you should spray. The first 40+ pages of the Guides are devoted to pesticide regulations and safety information. Pesticide recommendations for grapes can be obtained by purchasing the Horticultural and Forest Crops 1999 Pest Management Guide (public. # 456-017). It is available for $16.00 (payable "Treasurer, Virginia Tech") by writing: VCE Distribution Center, 112 Landsdowne St., Blacksburg VA 24061.

Diagnostic services:
Certain diagnostic laboratory services are provided by specialists at Virginia Tech. A summary of available services can be found at Virginia Cooperative Extension's intranet web site: http://www. The web site provides a brief description of the service, the associated costs, as well as special instructions for sample submission. Services include insect identification, analysis of pesticide residues, plant disease and plant identification, weed identification, and soil testing. Check it out. Also of interest is Virginia Tech's web site for weed identification: The site has excellent color plates of common weeds at various stages of plant development.

Please take note of the Virginia Vineyards Association's annual meeting description at the end of this document. This promises to be an enlightening experience for seasoned and novice alike.

Return to Table of Contents.

II. Disease management considerations (pre-bloom to mid-summer):

The following discussion was kindly contributed by Dr. Wayne Wilcox, Professor of Plant Pathology at Cornell University's NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. Dr. Wilcox was a keynote speaker at our January 1999 meeting in Roanoke. While geared primarily towards Finger Lakes area grape producers, the discussion is also applicable to producers in Virginia. My thanks also to Dr. Anton Baudoin, who provided editorial input.

Return to Table of Contents.

A. Fungicide registrations and news:

Vangard (cyprodinil). Vangard is effective only against Botrytis, but has performed very well in our trials over the last 3 years, providing the same level of control as Rovral (which means that it's no silver bullet, either). It's important to note that we do not have Rovral resistance in our test block; thus, in vineyard blocks where Rovral has been used regularly for a number of years and where it seems to be slipping, Vangard might offer improved control. Incorporating Vangard into your Botrytis control program should help maintain the future effectiveness of Rovral, but it won't replace Rovral completely. For the sake of keeping both compounds effective, they should be rotated and/or tank-mixed until new fungicides and/or regulations are implemented. Vangard is highly prone to Botrytis resistance, therefore it is labeled for a maximum of two applications per season, one application at early bloom and a second application at berry touch, veraison, or pre-harvest. The preharvest interval for Vangard is 7 days, the re-entry interval is 12 hr. The labeled rate for Vangard is 10 oz/A when used alone, or 5 to 10 oz/A when used in a tank-mix with another registered Botrytis fungicide; right now, Rovral is the only fungicide that I'd consider effective enough to tank mix with it for reliable results. In New York State trials, we've gotten equivalent control using Vangard at 10 oz alone or 5 oz mixed with 1 pound of Rovral 50WP (equivalent to 1 pt of the 4F formulation). The 5 oz rate by itself didn't do the job. Vangard, according to one source in Virginia, is currently selling for approximately $3.30/oz, which should provide a tangible incentive to avoid excessive usage if the resistance-management concept doesn't. Vangard is a systemic fungicide (resists washoff) and has shown limited (48-hr) post-infection activity against other diseases on other crops. It is classified as a "reduced risk" fungicide by the EPA due to its favorable environmental and toxicological properties.

Abound. (a) The re-entry interval has been shortened to 4 hr (it was 12 hr previously). (b) In our botrytis control trial last year, we were surprised to find that Abound provided 80% control of botrytis when used by itself at bloom, bunch closing, veraison, and preharvest. I wouldn't count on Abound for botrytis control (nor is it specifically labeled for such), and I want to see these results repeated to be certain that last year wasn't a fluke. Still, if you're using Abound to control other diseases during the bloom through bunch closing period, you might get some additional botrytis control as a bonus.

Elite (tebuconazole). (Editor's notes: Elite 45 DF recently received federal and Virginia state registration for use on grapes. This is a supplemental label, which must be in the possession of the user at the time of application. The activity spectrum of Elite against grape diseases is very similar to that of Nova: excellent activity against powdery mildew and black rot (including BR after-infection activity if applied within 72 hours of the start of an infection period). The label rate is 4 oz per acre, a maximum of 2 lbs may be applied per acre per season, and it may be applied up to 14 days before harvest. Recommended spray interval is 14 days which may be shortened to 7-10 days during early berry growth or under severe disease pressure. Depending upon source, Elite may be up to 25% cheaper than Nova.)

Mancozeb. Evidence is accumulating that establishes a link between the use of mancozeb and the suppression of a "good" mite that feeds on the European red mite. Mancozeb is undeniably a useful and important component in most grape growers' disease control programs, but those who are having trouble controlling mites may want to at least consider experimenting with other fungicide options. (editor's note: we do not know whether the beneficial ["good"] mite that Dr. Wilcox refers to is a significant component of our predator-pest ecology in Virginia vineyards).

Sovran (kresoxim-methyl). This is one of the "Abound-like" fungicides that also will be registered for use on apples. Federal registration is still pending, but appears to be imminent. We've worked with Sovran pretty intensively for the last few years, and here's my comparison of it versus Abound: a little stronger against powdery mildew, weaker against downy mildew (probably good enough for moderately susceptible varieties but I'd be nervous with and other highly susceptible varieites); equally good against black rot; equally mediocre against Phomopsis. The trade-off versus Abound will be somewhat reduced downy mildew control. Sovran will not have the potential for causing crop damage to apples which was a feature with some apple varieties that were sprayed with Abound. Producers who grow both apples and grapes may therefore be keen on Sovran as a substitute for Abound.

Return to Table of Contents.

B. Powdery Mildew (PM) Reminders:

1. Most berry infections occur during the first few weeks after the start of bloom. Disease that you see on the berries later in the season usually is caused by a combination of favorable weather and problems with the spray program during that time. You've been hearing this for a couple of years now; it's still true. Do an excellent job with the immediate prebloom and first postbloom sprays (best materials, best coverage, etc.), and it will be relatively easy to keep the fruit clean for the rest of the year; goof up then, and it'll be hard to get out of the hole.

Concord berries become virtually immune within 3-4 weeks after bloom starts; vinifera berries lose most of their susceptibility at this same time, although they do not become fully immune until considerably later. Susceptible hybrids seem to act like viniferas, e.g., on 'Rosette', we typically get 90% control of berry infection from just the prebloom plus first postbloom sprays, whereas we get nearly 100% control on Concords.

Leaves also lose susceptibility as they mature, but new susceptible tissue is constantly produced so long as the shoots keep growing. On vinifera and susceptible hybrid varieties, there's a direct relationship between control of foliar infection and fruit quality (including Brix). In contrast, Concord fruit are remarkably unaffected by foliar infection at moderate cropping levels, but they do respond negatively to foliar PM at higher cropping levels (e.g., 10 tons/A and above).

2. Resistance to SI fungicides is an issue that must be dealt with. Last year, it became clear that many growers who used Abound in the immediate prebloom and first postbloom sprays had less PM than those who relied on the sterol-inhibiting (SI) materials (e.g., Bayleton, Nova, Procure) during that critical period. This is not to say that the SIs no longer work; for the most part, they do, but they're less reliable than they once were and there's less margin for error when using them.

Abound and related fungicides (the strobilurins or "strobies" for short) are excellent for controlling PM, but they can't be used exclusively. Already, we are hearing the first reports from Europe and Asia concerning resistance to these materials on other crops (barley, cucumbers) where powdery mildews were treated too intensively without adequate resistance management strategies in place. Our objective should be to maintain the effectiveness that we still have with the SIs, so that we can use them in rotational programs with the strobies and keep both chemistries available.

Below are a few reminders with respect to SI resistance management:

(i) Limit SI use, preferably a maximum of three sprays per year, and rotate with unrelated fungicides (important for the strobies, too).

(ii) Thorough spray coverage is CRITICAL for adequate performance and resistance management. The surest way to encourage SI resistance is to use low rates of these fungicides. The surest way to provide low rates to certain parts of the vineyard is to provide uneven spray coverage. It really is that simple.

(iii) The SIs will perform much better, and less resistance will develop, when they're used to combat a small PM population rather than a large one. Position them early in the season (not an optimal timing for the strobies) or use them to maintain a clean vineyard mid-season. You're just asking for trouble if you try to use these materials to clean up or slow down a PM problem that's already developed (this is true for the strobies, also).

We've seen little difference in efficacy between the various SI fungicides that are available (Bayleton may be an inferior exception). They're as effective as Abound where resistance isn't a problem, but less effective where it is. With JMS Stylet Oil, it's looking like the best time for use might be in the early season, for two reasons: (i) We've seen some evidence of Brix suppression with relatively high use rates in the midsummer; and (ii) Unlike most fungicides, oil has the potential to actually eradicate early (primary) infections, thus limiting their ability to spread. However, don't get suckered into thinking that this will happen if you apply 20 gal/A every other row; Stylet Oil just won't work without excellent coverage.

Return to Table of Contents.

C. Black Rot (BR) Reminders:

1. As with powdery mildew, berries are highly susceptible to BR from bloom through the early fruit set period, but they become highly resistant by approximately 4 weeks after the start of bloom. We've seen this in both years of a trial in which berries of Cayuga White, Chardonnay, Concord, and Riesling were inoculated at weekly intervals after bloom. Similarly, in both commercial Finger Lakes vineyards and local research plots, we've noted much higher BR levels in years when this period was wet (1995 and 1998) versus those when it was dry (1996 and 1997). So, be extra vigilant with your BR control practices if conditions are wet in late June and early July; relax a bit if they're dry.

2. Most BR control comes from the immediate prebloom and first two postbloom sprays. In fact, all of the control obtained in seven out of eight spray timing trials we've conducted since 1995 has come from these sprays (i.e., additional sprays applied earlier and later provided no additional benefit). The remaining trial was conducted in a vineyard with a history of extensive black rot losses and very high inoculum levels; in this case, an additional spray 2 wk before the immediate prebloom application provided an additional measure of control.

3. Mummies (previous year's berries) retained in the canopy provide more pressure for BR development than those dropped to the ground. This should be a no-brainer, but it was striking to see how much this simple practice contributed to disease control when we examined it side-by-side in a machine-pruned vineyard where mummies had been retained in the canopy after hedging. That is, where we went in after hedging and dropped mummies to the ground by hand in certain plots, we ended up with much less BR than in plots where the mummies were left hanging. Don't ignore this aspect of sanitation if you're having trouble with BR control.

With respect to BR fungicides: nothing beats Nova (or Elite) for control, but mancozeb, ferbam, and ziram will do a good job under most conditions. Abound has been equivalent to mancozeb and ziram in some of our tests, and a little better in others under high rainfall conditions (it's less likely to wash off). Sovran has been equivalent to Abound. Copper is poor. Don't count on Rubigan or Procure.

Return to Table of Contents.

D. Downy Mildew (DM) Reminders:

Recall that inoculum overwinters in last year's infected leaves on the vineyard floor. The first spores become mature about 2 to 3 weeks before bloom, and cause infection during rainy periods when temperatures are 50&176;F or higher. These primary infections can continue to occur until about 2 weeks after bloom.

The destructive phase of the disease is caused when spores produced from primary infections blow through the vineyard and cause repeated cycles of secondary infections if humid nights are followed by rainy days. At optimum temperatures of approximately 60 to 80&176; F, this cycle can repeat itself every 4 or 5 days, allowing an "explosive" disease epidemic when favorable weather conditions persist. Young fruit are highly susceptible to infection, but appear to lose susceptibility quite quickly with age, much as with PM and BR. For instance, on 'Chancellor' (extremely susceptible fruit), we usually get 85-90% control with just two applications of Abound in the immediate prebloom and first postbloom spray.

General control strategies are:

(i) DM sprays should start on highly susceptible varieties about the 10-inch shoot growth stage (i.e., 2 to 3 weeks before bloom) unless the vineyard was very clean last year or you're sure it won't rain before the next spray.

(ii) All but the most resistant vineyards should receive a DM fungicide in the immediate prebloom and first postbloom sprays unless the weather is bone dry. This is the critical time to protect against fruit infection.

(iii) By the time the first postbloom spray wears off, primary inoculum is pretty well shot and the need for additional treatments should be based on the usual array of factors: presence or absence of established disease in the vineyard, weather, and variety. Typically, DM "goes on vacation" during much of July (many of the spores that spread the disease probably are killed by the spate of hotter, dry weather that we usually get at that time), then it reactivates as days get shorter and nights get dewier in August.

Ridomil remains the "Cadillac" material, in both performance and cost. However, its lack of activity against other diseases and the new availability of Abound will probably relegate it to "rescue treatment" status even more so than before. In our trials, Abound has been excellent, equal to mancozeb in some trials and better in others (e.g., when the first spray was applied late or in high rainfall years). Copper, mancozeb, and captan are old standards for a good reason: they work.

Return to Table of Contents.

E. Botrytis Bunch Rot:

As in 1994 and 1996, our 1998 spray timing trials showed that Rovral applied at bloom and bunch closing provided additional control when they were added to the "traditional" sprays at veraison and 2 weeks later (note that all three of these years were wet during the bloom and early postbloom periods). Last year, in fact, treatments applied only at bloom and bunch closing were as effective as those applied only at the "traditional" times. There are many good reasons not to apply Botrytis fungicides at bloom and bunch closing: they're frequently not necessary, they're expensive, and reducing the number of seasonal applications is important for fungicide resistance management. It's clear that in the majority of years, the period between veraison and harvest is the most important for control of the disease, and this should remain the period of primary emphasis. Of course, specific timings should be juggled during these periods (within label constraints) to provide protection during wet spells and ease up when it's dry. However, it's also clear that the bloom through early postbloom period can be important for controlling Botrytis if the weather is wet during that time. Those with "problem" varieties and sites might want to consider this option if they're looking to improve their Botrytis control programs.

The new registration of Vangard (see discussion above), the pending registration of additional (unrelated) Botrytis fungicides, and the apparent Botrytis activity of Abound and other strobies are providing significant new options to improve Botrytis control, but they won't be cheap. 't ignore the relationship between berry moth damage and Botrytis infection. Those "problem" rows near the woods often owe more to the infection of berry moth injury sites than they do to the extra shading that might get blamed. Of course, the importance of providing good air circulation via cultural practices (leaf pulling, shoot positioning, etc.) shouldn't even require a reminder.

Return to Table of Contents.

F. Phomopsis (Ph) Reminders:

Although the economic losses from the early season stage of Phomopsis are questionable, they can be serious if the early season is wet and new shoots are unprotected. Furthermore, the canes, spurs, or pruning stubs that originate from infected shoots eventually serve as the primary source of inoculum for economically-important rachis and fruit infections in later years. Bottom line: it's an easy disease to control and worth it over the long haul.

Fruit become infected by Phomopsis when frequent rainfall occurs during the bloom through pea-sized berry period, although infected fruit do not show symptoms until near harvest (symptoms resemble those of black rot, and the two diseases are difficult to tell apart on the fruit). The most important time for rachis infection appears to be from the early period of cluster emergence until several weeks after bloom. The risk of Phomopsis losses (and the relative need to control them) can be judged to some extent by (i) the recent history of the disease (an indication of the inoculum potential in the vineyard); (ii) the pruning and training system (shoots, rachises, and fruit that develop beneath old spurs and pruning stubs are at greatest risk); and (iii) the weather (frequent and/or prolonged rains).

Mancozeb, captan, and ziram have all provided good control of the basal shoot infections in our fungicide trials. Abound and other strobies have not done as well, and Nova did nothing (probably true for the other SI fungicides as well).

Return to Table of Contents.

G. Putting It All Together:

There are many good programs for controlling the common grape fungal diseases. Here are a few considerations. Just because it isn't listed here doesn't mean it's a bad idea. For example, Virginia readers have the option of substituting Elite for Nova wherever Nova appears; Sovran also may become an optional substitute for Abound during the 1999 season (recognizing the downy mildew weakness). Abbreviations: Ph = Phomopsis; PM = Powdery mildew; BR = Black rot; DM = Downy mildew.

1-INCH SHOOT GROWTH. A Ph spray may be warranted if wet weather is forecast and the training system or recent block history suggests high risk.

Option A: Nothing.
Option B: Captan or mancozeb.

3-5 INCH SHOOT GROWTH. A traditional time to control Ph shoot infections; early rachis infections also are possible now. Time to start control of PM in vinifera and some hybrid blocks (where crop value justifies it). BR control is unlikely to be justified unless disease was severe last year AND weather is wet. Even less necessary to control BR now if Nova will be used in the next spray.

Option A: Nothing.
Option B: Nova (PM, BR). Use the 3 oz rate (about $12/A).
Option C: Rubigan (PM). At 2 fl oz/A, cost is only about $4/A. Cheaper than Nova but won't control BR; however, most vineyards won't need BR control at this time and mancozeb will provide it if applied for Ph.
Option D: Sulfur (PM). Not very active at temps below 60&176;F. If you really need this spray, sulfur is a questionable choice unless it's warm. Doesn't control other diseases.
Option E: JMS Stylet Oil (PM). Should eradicate young infections IF thorough coverage is provided. Can use with mancozeb (or ziram), but not with captan or sulfur (phytotoxicity).
Option F: Mancozeb (BR, Ph).
Option G: Captan (Ph). Easier on predator mites than mancozeb or ziram, but not as effective against BR.
Option H: (C or D or E) + F (PM, BR, Ph).

10-INCH SHOOT GROWTH. Traditionally, we've recommended you wait no longer to control BR. Continued experience tells us that this recommendation is conservative (the spray generally isn't needed) unless BR was a problem last year and/or weather is unusually wet. Don't wait any longer to control PM on susceptible varieties. DM control will be needed on highly susceptible varieties if disease was prevalent last year and rains of at least 0.1 inches at temps >50&176;F occur. Rachis infections by Ph are a possibility, particularly if weather is wet.

Option A: Abound (PM, BR, DM, Ph?). Label allows only two sequential sprays before alternation with other materials, thus spraying now will not allow use in both of the following two sprays, which are the most critical ones of the year.
Option B: Mancozeb tank-mixed with a PM material (BR, Ph, DM). A broad spectrum, economical choice.
Option C: Nova (PM, BR).
Option D: Rubigan (PM). No BR control but cheaper than Nova.
Option E: JMS Stylet Oil (PM). If (and only if) coverage is thorough, this spray should eradicate early PM colonies that may be starting because previous PM sprays were omitted. At a retail cost of $11/gal, a use rate of 1% (1 gal oil /100 gal water), and 50 gal/A spray volume, cost is about $5.50/A. Also may help with mites.
Option F: sulfur (PM) Avoid use on sulfur-sensitive varieties.
Option G: Mancozeb (BR, Ph, DM) + a PM material (Nova, Rubigan, Procure, sulfur, JMS Stylet Oil). Choose PM material based on previously-discussed characteristics and cost.

IMMEDIATE PREBLOOM (OR VERY EARLY BLOOM). A critical time for PM, BR, DM, and Ph (rachis and fruit infections). Also important for ALS on susceptible varieties (editor's note: ALS has not been a significant, recognized problem in Virginia vineyards). This and the first postbloom spray are the most critical sprays of the season--DON'T CHEAT ON MATERIALS, RATE, OR COVERAGE!

Option A: Abound (PM, BR, DM, Ph). The best choice if SIs seem to be slipping against PM and multiple disease control is needed. Even if no problems yet with the SIs, a good choice to reduce resistance-development pressure. May provide some Botrytis control if bloom period is wet. Cheaper than Option B at typical rates.
Option B: Nova + mancozeb (PM, BR, Ph, DM). Nova is the big gun against BR, so probably the best choice if pressure is high and BR control is the most important consideration. Provides postinfection activity against BR if significant unprotected infection periods occurred within the previous 4 days.
Option C: Rubigan + mancozeb (PM, BR, Ph, DM). Cheaper than Options A and B. Mancozeb does a commercially acceptable job of BR control under most circumstances, but no postinfection activity if that's needed.
Option D: Mancozeb + sulfur (PM, BR, Ph, DM). Cheap and reasonably effective but not the strongest choice at a time when the strongest choice is most justified.

BLOOM. Rovral or Vangard for Botrytis control may be beneficial in certain years if weather is frequently or persistently wet. See previous discussion.

FIRST POSTBLOOM. Still the most critical period for PM, BR, DM, and Ph (rachis and fruit). Same Options and considerations as detailed under IMMEDIATE PREBLOOM. Juice grape growers can substitute Ziram (very good BR and Ph, only fair DM) for mancozeb if necessary.

SECOND POSTBLOOM. BR control still may be needed if disease was present last year or is visible this year, especially if weather is wet. Fruit are less susceptible to PM now, but vinifera varieties (and susceptible hybrids?) still need protection. Rachises and foliage remain susceptible. Ph danger is mostly over unless very wet. Primary DM should be over, but continued protection may be needed on susceptible varieties if weather is wet, especially if disease already is established.

Option A: Abound (PM, DM, BR, Ph). Not an option if used in the previous two sprays. Provides good residual control if used now.
Option B: Nova (BR, PM) + captan or mancozeb (66-day preharvest restriction) if DM and Ph control are needed.
Option C: Rubigan (PM) + either (a) mancozeb (if more than 66 days before harvest) for BR, DM, and Ph; or (b) captan (DM, Ph, some BR); or (c) ziram (BR, Ph, some DM).
Option D: Sulfur (PM) + either (a) mancozeb (if still allowed) or (b) captan. In most years, lessening disease pressure makes this economical option increasingly practical as the season progresses from here on out.
Option E: Copper + lime (PM, DM). Adequate for American type grapes, but not enough PM control for vinifera and susceptible hybrid varieties.

ADDITIONAL SUMMER SPRAYS. Check the vineyard regularly to see what's needed, the main issues will be PM and DM. On vinifera and other cultivars requiring continued PM control, use sulfur as an economical choice to maintain control (weather and variety sensitivity permitting); SIs and Abound are options if they haven't been overused earlier AND little disease is evident. Both provide the advantage of longer residual activity than sulfur, especially in wet weather. Copper + lime will work for Concords. For DM, copper + lime or captan are economical standards; Abound is a viable option if general disease pressure or other conveniences justify its cost; Ridomil can be used in case of emergency, but watch out for the 66-day preharvest restriction. BR should not be an issue after the second postbloom spray. Ph should not be an issue. See previous discussion for Botrytis at bunch closing, veraison, and preharvest.

Return to Table of Contents.

III. Vineyard labor issues: Part 2:
Contributed by Ms. Lynette Wills, Farm Placement Specialist, VA Employment Commission, Winchester, VA 22604, 540-722-3415 at

The following article is the second installment of a multi-part section on farm labor issues (Part I was featured in the March-April 1999 Viticulture Notes. The information is provided by Lynette Wills of the Virginia Employment Commission.

This month we will be providing information on two other Farm Placement Specialists employed by the VEC. Veronica Weis works in the Charlottesville office and has been with the agency for 6 years. Her service delivery area includes the following counties: Culpeper, Orange, Madison, Greene, Albemarle, Nelson, Fluvanna, Buckingham, Amherst, and Lousia. Ronnie may be reached at 804-984-7630 or by e-mail at eln/

Dave Kaleta is one of two Farm Placement Specialists in the Exmore local office. Exmore serves Northampton and Accomack counties. Dave has been with the VEC for three years and serves agricultural employers and migrant and seasonal farm workers. Dave may be reached at 757-442-6176 or at


The Field Sanitation Standard requires employers of 11 or more field workers to be provided toilets, potable drinking water, and hand-washing facilities to hand laborers in the field. The effective dates of this standard were May 30, 1987 for potable drinking water and July 30, 1987 for toilets and hand-washing facilities. The standard may be found at Virginia Part 1928, Subpart 1.

This section applies to all agricultural establishments where eleven (11) or more employees are engaged on any given day in hand-labor operations in the field. Once an employer has had eleven or more employees in the field at any given time, then the regulations require Field Sanitation be present through out the remainder of that year.

Hand labor operations means agricultural activities or agricultural operations performed by hand or with hand tools. Some examples of hand labor operations are the hand-cultivation, hand-weeding, hand-planting and hand-harvesting of vegetables, nuts, fruits, seedlings or other crops, including mushrooms, and the hand-packing of produce into containers, whether done on the ground, on a moving machine or in a temporary packing shed located in the field. Hand-labor does not include such activities as logging operations, the care or feeding of livestock, or hand-labor operations in permanent structures such as canning facilities or packing houses.

Hand-washing facility means a facility providing either a basin, container, or outlet with an adequate supply of potable water, soap and single-use towels.

Potable water means water that meets the standards for drinking purposes of the state or local authority having jurisdiction of water that meets the quality standards prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations, published in 40 CFR Part 141.

Toilet facility means a fixed or portable facility designed for the purpose of adequate collection and containment of the products of both defecation and urination which is applied with toilet paper adequate to employee needs. Toilet facility includes biological, chemical, flush and combustion toilets and sanitary privies.

Agricultural employers shall provide the following for employees engaged in hand-labor operations in the field, without cost to the employee:

A. Potable Drinking Water

  1. Potable water shall be provided and placed in locations readily accessible to all employees.
  2. The water shall be suitably cool and in sufficient amounts, taking into consideration the air temperature, humidity and the nature of the work performed, to meet the needs of all employees.
  3. The water must be dispensed in single-use drinking cups or by fountains. The use of common drinking cups or dippers is prohibited.

B. Toilet and hand-washing facilities.

  1. One toilet facility and one hand-washing facility shall be provided for each twenty (20) employees or fraction thereof, except as noted in paragraph B (5) of this section.
  2. Toilet facilities shall be adequately ventilated, appropriately screened, have self-closing doors which may be closed and locked from the inside and shall be constructed to insure privacy.
  3. Toilet and hand-washing facilities shall be accessibly located and in close proximity to each other. The facilities shall be located within one quarter mile walk of each hand laborer¼s place of work in the field.
  4. Where due to terrain it is not feasible to locate facilities as required above, the facilities shall be located at the point allowing closest vehicular access.
  5. Toilet and hand-washing facilities are not required for employees who perform field work for a period of three (3) hours or less (including transportation time to and from the field) during the day.

C. Maintenance

Potable drinking water and toilet and hand-washing facilities shall be maintained in accordance with appropriate public health sanitation practices, including the following:

  1. Drinking water containers shall be constructed of materials that maintain water quality, shall be refilled daily or more often as necessary, and shall be kept covered and shall be regularly cleaned.
  2. Toilet facilities shall be operational and maintained in clean and sanitary conditions.
  3. Hand-washing facilities shall be refilled with potable water as necessary to ensure an adequate supply and shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
  4. Disposal of wastes from facilities shall not cause unsanitary conditions.

D. Reasonable use.

The employer shall notify each employee of the location of the sanitation facilities and water and shall allow each employee reasonable opportunities during the workday to use them. The employer also shall inform each employee of the importance of each of the following good hygiene practices to minimize exposure to the hazards in the field of heat, communicable diseases, retention of urine and agrichemical residues.

  1. Use the water and facilities provided for drinking, hand-washing and elimination.
  2. Drink water frequently and especially on hot days.
  3. Urinate as frequently as necessary
  4. Wash hands both before and after using the toilet
  5. Wash hands before eating and smoking.

Information for this article was obtained from several sources including the Fact Sheet OSHA'S Field Sanitation Standard, and Part 1928. 110 (c).

The form following this article may used by employers to verify workers have received information on good hygiene practices as required under the Field Sanitation Standard.

Return to Table of Contents.

IV. Upcoming meetings:

16-18 June 1999
ASEV Annual Meeting

Reno Hilton, Reno, NV
American Society for Enology and Viticulture PO Box 1855 Davis, CA 95617-1855 (530-753-3142)

14-18 July 1999
Oak Symposium and ASEV/ES Annual Meeting

St. Louis, MO
We, 14 JUL 99: Symposium tour, visit an oak forest and barrel making facilities
Th+Fr, 15- 16 JUL 99: Oak Symposium ‚ Science, practical experience, and tastings
16 JUL 99: Trade Show and Technical Presentations, Annual Meeting of ASEV/ES
Sat, 17 JUL 99: Technical Presentations, Annual Meeting of ASEV/ES
Contact: Ellen Harkness, Purdue University, 765-494-6704, or or

24 July 1999 (Saturday):
Virginia Vineyards Association Annual Meeting and Vineyard Tour

Annual business meeting and technical program of the Virginia Vineyards Association. This year's meeting will be unusual in that the "meeting" will be a round-robin coach tour of 4 northern Virginia vineyards. Registrants will depart from, and return to Breaux Vineyard in Loudoun County. Discussions enroute (Tony Wolf and Lucie Morton) and at each vineyard stop will punctuate the tour. This will be a splendid opportunity to visit with some of the area's premier grape and wine producers.


8:30-9:00: Registration at Breaux Vineyards (540-668-6299).

Directions: Rt 7 west from Leesburg to Rt 9 west (Hillsboro exit). Take Rt 9 west 9.5 miles to right on Rt 671 (Harpers Ferry Rd.). One mile north on Rt 671 to winery sign on right.

9:00-10:30: Discussions by Paul Breaux (owner) and David Collins (vineyard manager/wine maker)

10:30: Coach departs for Chrysalis Vineyards, Middleburg

11:00-12:00: Discussion by Jennifer McCloud, owner of Chrysalis Vineyards

12:00-1:00: Catered lunch (if pre-registered, otherwise, BYO)

1:00-2:00: Technical discussion: Speaker and topic yet to be decided; however, the topic will likely be on pesticide sprayer technology or irrigation scheduling

2:00-2:15: Travel to Piedmont Vineyards

2:15-3:15: Discussions of Piedmont vineyards (speaker to be announced)

3:15-4:00: Travel to Arlesa Vineyards, Lovettsville

4:00-4:45: Discussion of Arlesa Vineyards with Lee Sandberg (owner of Arlesa Vineyard)

4:45: Return to Breaux vineyard and departure

Registration: Cost is $25 per person (VVA or VVA-member's employee) or $35 for non-VVA member. Contact Tony Wolf at 540-869-2560, extn. 20 and request registration form.

Information: Additional information will be available by mid-June; contact Tony Wolf (540-869-2560, extn 20, or

Return to Table of Contents.

"Viticulture Notes" is a bi-monthly newsletter issued by Dr. Tonly K. Wolf, Viticulture Extension Specialist with Virginia Tech's Alson H. Smith, Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia. If you would like to receive "Viticulture Notes" as well as Dr. Bruce Zoecklein's "Vinter's Corner" by mail, contact Dr. Wolf at:

Dr. Tony K. Wolf
AHS Agricultural Research and Extension Center
595 Laurel Grove Road
Winchester, VA 22602

or e-mail:

Commercial products are named in this publication for informational purposes only. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University do not endorse these products and do not intend discrimination against other products that also may be suitable.

Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Visit Alson H. Smith, Jr., Agricultural Research and Extension Center.