Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Enrollment

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  • Discounted Conference Registration Fees

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Grape - Winter Content

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT   •   CULTURAL PRACTICES   •   IPM   •   VINE NUTRITION AND SOILS

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is Your Trusted Source for Research-Based Knowledge

calendar of events

Upcoming Events

2016 LERGP Annual Winter Grower Conference

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 22, 2016
8:00am-4:00pm
Fredonia, NY

Come join us for a great day of learning and camaraderie with your fellow growers. More information will follow as it develops.

Core Pesticide Training Program

Event Offers DEC Credits

April 5, 2016
9:00am-12:15pm
Portland, NY

“CORE” Pesticide Training and Pesticide Applicators License Exam April 5, 2016 Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL) 6592 West Main Road Portland, NY 14769
Space is limited ---Pre-registration is required for both sessions

CORE TRAINING
WHEN: 9 AM to 12:15 PM
WHERE: CLEREL Meeting room
COST: $15
3.0 Pesticide recertification credits in the CORE category have been applied for. The CORE training session is also designed as a review prior to taking the Commercial or Private Pesticide Applicator exam but is not required prior to taking the exam. Preregistration for the training using the enclosed course registration form is required by March 28, 2016. You must Register for the test through the DEC, see attached.

Announcements

Five Questions for Luke Haggerty

Take a look at the Faculty Focus article that features Luke Haggerty in the Appellation Cornell Newsletter.<div><br>Use the following link: http://grapesandwine.cals.cornell.edu/newsletters/appellation-cornell/2016-newsletters/issue-24-march-2016/faculty-focus<br><div><br></div></div>

2016 Enhancement Grant Meeting 02/10/2016

On Farm Enhancement Grant Program Funding for agricultural development in the Southern Tier was passed in the NYS budget in 2015. At the time, really the only thing we knew was the vision and the dollar amount. Toward the end of January information, including the final request for applications (RFA) was released. A deluge of phone calls to Extension, Soil & Water and Farm Credit soon followed. Growers and farmers in the Southern Tier may submit projects to their soil and water county office. Applications will be processed in groups submitted and completed before each of four deadlines or until funds are exhausted. Funding is available to help grow farm businesses and improve the southern tier regional economy. Funding is also available to reduce the environmental impact and externalities associated with a farm business.  In the meantime, if you are interested in this process take a few minutes to read the following questions that most farmers have. If you’ve read through the RFP and you know exactly what is what, please feel free to skip ahead. If you find that you still have questions, we will have an informal question and answer here at CLEREL on Wednesday, February 11th at 1:30 PM. At this time, it will just be me answering your questions. I’ll do my best but soil and water and NYS Dept. of Ag and Markets are the authoritative bodies here. I’m just here to help.  Some questions have been very similar; lets get those out of the way. The application process requires the farm to have a business plan and/or environmental plan. For the business plan, Extension will serve as a third party to assist, guide and approve a business plan. Consultants may be able to complete a business plan entirely for you, if you would rather go that route. No funding is available to develop a business plan or environmental plan.  There are numerous requirements to qualify a farm for funding. We can provide links, in addition to the RFA. Please read through those documents carefully, the requirements draw some very strict lines that will exclude farm operations. For projects under $50,001, a 10% match will need to be provided by the grower. For projects between $50,001 and $100,000 a 25% match will need to be provided by the grower. In kind land, labor and capital will not qualify for a match. The grower will need to have real skin in the game, so to speak.Our current understanding is that a completed copy of vine balance is one way to meet the AEM requirements associated with an application. For more information, please see http://www.vinebalance.com/workbook_sections.php If you have not been a farmer for the last three years, your eligibility for this project is questionable. The NYS Property Tax Credit for three of the last five years must be included with your application process. The owner claiming the credit must match the applicant. If the applicant is a business organization, such as an LLC, the applicant must be the LLC. The LLC must meet all other qualifications. There will likely be at least 50 farmers over the next four years that obtain funding to grow their farm business. For farmers with a good plan, this should boost their net revenues by at least $6,000 per year for the next 15 years or more.  I expect some frustration for the farmers that go through a rather lengthy process and receive potentially reduced funding or no funding due to the limited amount of funding available. I also expect that a few poorly executed plans may have ROI’s of less than 1/3 of what I would hope for. For better or worse, for some this will be a great opportunity to review their business and strengthen its financial condition.If you need a business plan reviewed as part of your application process please feel free to give me a call. As I mentioned before, this process has really increased the volume of calls to a number of organizations. While I do have empathy for the procrastinators among us, it will not be practical to complete this application at the last minute. I cannot rubber stamp business plans on March 4th to meet a deadline. We just may not have the resources to work through them that quickly. So if you’re interested, please start the process now. I wish you all the best of luck.

LERGP Leads $6M USDA Project in Viticulture

Cornell University research into precision viticulture will get a $6 million federal funding boost towards a project that gives grape growers access to digital maps detailing the health of their vineyards at a level never before achieved.
Led by Terry Bates, director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the project focuses on bringing precision agriculture technology to the juice, wine, raisin, and table grape industries in the U. S.
The grant from the USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) will fund research over four years to develop and implement digital mapping technology for use by growers of various scales cultivating all grape species.
The project uses a suite of mobile sensors that measure conditions related to the soil, canopy and crop. Software developed by the project team crunches thousands of data points to produce digital maps layered with information detailing specific conditions.
The maps give farmers and vineyard managers an unprecedented vantage point to compare sections within their vineyards. Armed with that information, growers will be able to address areas of weakest productivity and significantly enhance their ability to predict crop size, yield, and quality across their entire vineyard. Bates said that in the past even sophisticated growers have been unable to adequately determine vineyard health at a spatial level. By creating a visual representation of a vineyard, the new technology allows underperforming sections to be spotted, giving growers the information they need to make targeted approaches to decrease variability and increase productivity.
Growers already have the tools needed to improve crop health, from fertilization to pruning techniques, Bates said. Now, growers will have data needed to spot areas of lagging productivity, and inform their decision on how best to deploy resources.
Visually they start to see areas of their vineyard that are not producing as well, and where it’s costing them money,” said Bates. The project aims to increase yield by 20 percent, and decrease the variability across sections by 30 percent.<br>The project is the top priority of the National Grape and Wine Initiative, a national grower-led entity whose membership includes all grape crops, spanning farms of all sizes in all grape producing states. Cornell researchers are joined by Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Newcastle University, and U.C. Davis on this nationwide project.
“On behalf of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, I would like to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their support of this incredibly important initiative that will bolster New York’s juice and wine grape businesses by integrating new technology with existing practices for improved production efficiency,” said Kathryn J. Boor the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This project is yet another example of the vital research and extension work initiated in New York that has nationwide impact on local food systems and regional economies.”  
It is unusual for a project of this magnitude and national scope to be awarded to and managed by a relatively small regional program in western NY. “We have an excellent project and a talented research and extension team,” Bates commented, “but without the support of the industry groups, university administration, and legislative representatives, we would not have secured funding.” Bates specifically pointed to the support of N.Y.S. Senator Catharine Young, who not only supported the USDA proposal but was also instrumental in building the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory in Portland, NY. Western NY boasts one of the largest juice grape production regions in the world growing over 30,000 acres of Concord and Niagara grapes for Welch’s and other juice processors. It is also one of the fastest growing wine regions with 24 wineries in the Lake Erie Wine Trail and 22 wineries in the Niagara Wine Trail.

Lake Erie Grapes in the News

The recent below zero temperatures we have across the Lake Erie grape belt has brought a renewed interest to grape production in the area, especially the impact on the cold sensitive wine varieties. Use the station links below to see the LERGP's Luke Haggerty discussing the cold temperatures effects on bud mortality across the region with reporters from Channel 4 and Channel 7 in Buffalo, NY.

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LERGP Lake Erie Regional Grape Program - Cornell Cooperative Extension
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