Rockbridge Vineyards wonders how much rain is too much

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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) Out in the vineyard, where the grapes are just beginning to pop out from tiny blossoms, it's wet these days.

"We were dry until February," says Shep Rouse, the Vigneron at Rockbridge Vineyards."It was the driest November, December, January I've ever seen."

So, while the extra moisture can bring with it problems like powdery mildew -- "Yeah, wow, I'm seeing too much of that," Rouse says as he points some out on the vines -- the rain we've been seeing a lot of is still welcome.

"This time of year, you could say in terms of rainfall, farmers live from hand to mouth because evaporation rates are generally higher during the summer," explains Rockbridge County Agricultural Extension Agent Tom Stanley.

Rouse says, "We want it dry from August 15 to October 15, and the rest of the time you can deal with it."

"Most farmers would rather take the rain than do without," says Stanley. "And it's just one of the challenges that come with farming."

"Wish for something and you may get your wish, which may not be a good thing," cautions Rouse. "It might also be too dry."

For now, grape farmers have to deal with a too much rain.

"Looks like I'm going to have to get the big guns out and respray this one," Rouse says, still looking at that powdery mildew.