Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Pest Management
  • Vineyard Nutrition
  • Crop Management
  • Market Development
  • Farm Business

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  • Vineyard Notes Newsletter
  • Crop Update Weekly Electronic Newsletter
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • Discounted Conference Registration Fees

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New Vineyard Timeline     
Grape - Winter Content


Cultural Practices

Cultural PracticesVineyard Nutrition
Just as in humans, nutritional balance within the vine is essential to consistent fruit quality and quantity. How do you balance nutrition in the vineyard? While the majority of nutritional management can be dealt with prior to planting, such as adjusting soil pH and organic matter, vineyard soil management is a continual process and requires monitoring to ensure healthy, productive vines. It's better to maintain proper soil health practices than to try to correct problems when leaf symptoms are visible. How can you keep an eye on vineyard nutrition? Soil and petiole testing will help you monitor nutrients available in the soil and in the plants. We recommend doing BOTH soil and petiole testing to verify that what you have available in the soil is actually getting into the vines. If a petiole test result indicates a deficiency, but soil test results indicate adequate levels of a nutrient, an alternative problem, such as improper soil pH or inadequate water drainage, could be the culprit.


Most Recent Cultural Practices Winter Content

Nitrogen Worksheet

Kevin Martin, Extension Educator, Business Management
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program

Last Modified: June 4, 2015

Freeze Damage

Last Modified: February 24, 2015
Freeze Damage

Lake Erie Grape belt low temperatures in Feb 2015 reached -19 to -29 degrees F and this has caused variable damage to fruiting buds of grapevines. Viticulture Specialist, Luke Haggerty, and the CLEREL staff are evaluating the extent of bud damage from several vineyards across the region.

Beta Testing of eNEWA for Grapes

Tim Weigle, Team Leader, Statewide Grape IPM Specialist
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program

Last Modified: February 10, 2014
Beta Testing of eNEWA for Grapes

Would you like to see the current weather and grape pest information found on NEWA without having to click through the website? Then eNEWA is for you. eNEWA is a daily email that contains current weather and pest model information from a station, or stations, near you. The email will contain; 1) high, low and average temperature, rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity 2) the 5-day forecast for these weather parameters, 3) GDD totals (Base 50F), 4) 5-day GDD (Base 50F) forecast and 5) model results for powdery mildew, black rot, Phomopsis and grape berry moth. The weather information is provided for not only the current day but for the past two days as well.

calendar of events

Upcoming Events

2016 LERGP Annual Winter Grower Conference

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 22, 2016
Fredonia, NY

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


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.

LERGPLake Erie Regional Grape Program - Cornell Cooperative Extension
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