Vine Spore Monitoring Service

  • The Fera vine spore monitoring service is designed to help growers target fungicide applications more accurately to reduce costs, optimise resources and improve yields.
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Vine Spore Monitoring Service

Airborne fungal disease can have a big impact on vine yield, wine flavour and aroma. 


Wine growing is a rapidly growing agricultural section in the UK and wine production is predicted to reach 40 million bottles by 2040. 

Vines are vulnerable to infection from fungal plant pathogens such as botrytis and mildew throughout an extensive growing season. If not controlled correctly they can be highly destructive and a persistent problem year upon year. To protect this high value crop fungicide sprays are routinely applied to the vines, yet our research shows a number of these applications are being applied when no spores were present in the air and therefore not necessary. 

The vine spore monitoring service from Fera tells you when spores of mildew and botrytis have been airborne within your vineyard, helping you to decide the timing and selection of your fungicide applications enabling you to, reduce your costs, optimise your resources, promote sustainable wine production and increase grape yield and quality.  

Testing is provided in two packages, Service Level One (1 sample test per week) and Service Level Two  (2 sample tests per week). We recommend Service Level Two to ensure you know when botrytis and mildew spores are airborne as early as possible.

  • SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH MORE TARGETED FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS. 
  • UNDERSTAND WHEN YOUR vines ARE AT RISK ALLOWING YOU TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS ON SPRAY TIMING.
  • OPTIMISE RESOURCES AND INCREASE CROP YIELD AND QUALITY.
  • DEMONSTRATE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS A COMMITMENT TO QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

How it works...

3

Easy Steps

Sign up to a service package today and you receive an instruction pack with 1 Spore trap unit* and a sample kit containing the required number of collection sticks, weekly sample collection and prepaid envelopes to return your samples back to us. Each package covers the vine season designed to enable monitoring for spores through leaf emergence, flowering, grape development to harvest.  

When you receive your Spore trap set it up as soon as possible so that you can start sampling the air in your vineyard. The unit contains two rotating collection sticks, these sticks need to be replaced and received by Fera, using the return envelopes provided, on Thursday by no later than 5pm (Service Level One) or Monday and Thursday by no later than 5pm (Service Level Two) depending on the package you selected. 

When we receive your samples they will be analysed using DNA based detection methods and you will receive your results via email within 3 days of receipt.


*Recommended distribution of 1 unit per 10 hectares. For larger areas it is recommended you locate it in the most disease susceptible area of your vineyard. If you require multiple units, contact us today for further information.  

The key threats we screen for include:




Act now for a sustainable approach to crop protection


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Fera has the best people in the right place focussed on delivering the right solution. We continuously invest in our people and support them in delivering the best science to our partners.
Ian Brittain

Ian Brittain 

Ian is a Plant Pathologist with extensive experience in molecular diagnostics, disease surveillance, pathogen epidemiology and in-field detection of plant pathogens in agricultural, horticulture and the natural environment. Currently Ian is developing a national spore monitoring network.

Antonia Walker

Antonia Walker

Antonia is the Plant Clinic Sales Manager at Fera. Antonia supports growers both in the UK and internationally by offering testing solutions and bespoke services on a wide range of crops. The team of scientists and diagnosticians in the Fera Plant Clinic offer the highest standard of diagnostics.

Charles Lane

Charles Lane

Charles has spent the past 20 years identifying fungal plant diseases both indigenous and alien to the UK. He leads Fera’s work on citizen science developing capability and capacity in stakeholders, NGOs and members of the public about plant health and biosecurity.

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