Burning is an essential practice with no known alternative when it comes to mitigating risks associated with pest and disease issues. Most invasive pests are vectored by moving vine material, including chipped and woody debris. In such instances, other alternative methods such as chipping and grinding cannot be implemented.
Serious economic repercussions can result from the spread of detrimental pests and diseases. Efforts recently taken to eradicate the European Grapevine Moth (EGVM) mandated federal and state permits, inspections, quarantine zones, and strict restrictions on movement of all grapevine plant material—at the cost of $115 million in public and private funds. The issue is as much about the pests and diseases we don’t know, as the ones we do. Future vineyard pests could pose a similar threat. As such, grapevine woody debris is best disposed of on-site and through disease eliminative processes such as burning. NVG's program could also be expanded to help mitigate risk associated with the loss of other crops grown in California.
NVG's Vineyard Burning Task Force
In November 2015, NVG convened a ‘Vineyard Burning Task Force’ to address concerns over the occurrences of smoky burns in Napa Valley. The Vineyard Burning Task Force is comprised of growers, leaders in local sustainable practices, and experts in fire science. A commitment was made to develop a 3-year plan to reduce smoke and preserve air quality in Napa Valley. Since 2018, NVG continues to expand its educational outreach providing seminars and resources to the ag community in both Spanish and English.
By educating the broader community on the low-smoke burning technique, we can:
Thank you to the NVG Task Force!
Chairs: Larry Bettinelli and Hal Huffsmith
Members: Roberto Juarez, Rick Thornberry, Rolando Sanchez, Kirk Grace, Beth Milliken, Mary Maher, Garrett Buckland, Dave Whitmer, Dr. Monica L. Cooper, Greg Clark
NVG Contact: Molly Moran Williams, Industry & Community Relations Manager