All varieties of grapes, particularly those that ripen early, may be seriously damaged or destroyed by birds. In small plantings it may be helpful to enclose the ripening grape clusters in vented paper bags to prevent damage. An alternative is to cover the vines completely with netting. In commercial plantings, netting, noisemakers, balloons, and ribbons that flash in the wind are commonly used controls.
Insect and Disease Damage
Any variety of grape may be subject to injury by insects or diseases. Table 2 provides relative ratings of disease resistance. Varieties that are resistant to several diseases may be grown with fewer fungicide applications. Several of the publications listed on here provide guidance on prudent practices to control insects and diseases. Researchers at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station continue to search for environmentally sound practices to control crop losses caused by insects and diseases. Areas of research include the development of disease-resistant varieties; identification of cultural practices that reduce disease incidence; expansion of biological control technology; and testing of chemical materials with minimal environmental impact.