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FALL   •   WINTER   •   SPRING   •   SUMMER          New Vineyard Timeline
Grape - Winter Content

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


Year of Planting · Nutrient Management

Vineyard Nutrition

Just as animals require minerals and nutrients, plants also require minerals and nutrients for proper growth and fruit development and maturity.  Soil type, pH, and drainage all play important roles in nutrient availability for vine uptake. The key elements in grape production are nitrogen (N), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), phosphorous (P), and magnesium (Mg) (Table 1).


Table 1. Essential nutrients used by 3-year-old Concord vines measured in pounds/acre.

The bulk of available nutrients comes from the soil itself, followed by any soil amendments, roots, leaf area, and supplemental fertilizers (Figure 1). Soil type will dictate the quantity of nutrients present, as well as the adequacy of water drainage, which, in turn, affects nutrient availability. Soil composition, such as soil pH (Figure 2), texture, and drainage, affects how readily available the nutrients are for root uptake. Root structure – depth of rooting, microbial activity near roots, and root type (rootstock) – plays an important role in nutrient uptake, as this is the first entry point for nutrients in the vine (Figure 3). Well-drained soils with little compaction will allow for adequate root growth and development, leading to optimal nutrient uptake. Balancing fruit and shoot demands with photosynthetic production will enable vines to be most efficient in nutrient use. Finally, supplemental fertilizers are used as a readily available resource for vine roots to maximize efficiency in short periods of time.

Nutrient Flow System

Figure 1. Avoid breaks in the nutrient-flow system from the roots to the shoots and vice versa. Ensure the soils have adequate drainage (or water, depending on location) and maintain balanced vines. 1) Start with proper site selection, complete with well-drained soils with high organic matter. 2) Prior to planting adjust the soil nutrient composition with nutrient amendments. 3) Be sure to select a proper rootstock for your site. 4) Maintain vine balance between fruit and shoot ratios for optimal fruit quality and vine health. 5) Maintain nutrient levels through soil/petiole testing and supplementation with fertilizers.

Soil pH Chart

Figure 2. Soil pH is essential in vineyard nutrition management. Keeping soil pH within 6.0 and 6.5 maintains the highest levels of uptake by the vines of the majority of essential nutrients.

Root Structure

Figure 3. Root structure. Different rootstocks can have different rooting patterns - some can be deep (left) or shallow (right).

Key soil requirements to consider for wine grape production:

  • % Soil Organic Matter - 3%-5%
  • Soil pH - 6.0-6.5
  • Functional Rooting Depth - As deep as economically possible

Soil and Petiole Analyses - Year 2 and Beyond

Monitoring soil and petiole nutrient content for the lifetime of a vineyard should become part of an annual (petiole) or every 3-5 year (soil) vineyard management program. While knowing soil composition is important in maintaining vine health, petiole testing will provide real-time nutrient levels within the vine. In other words, what is in the soil may not necessarily make it into the plant, and vine nutrient levels vary greatly year-to-year and even within a season, while soil nutrient composition usually changes over several years.

Most extension and research programs recommend that petiole testing be done at about 70-100 days after bloom; this is the time during which nutrient analysis laboratories can get the most accurate reading on the largest number of nutrients. Petiole testing around bloom is recommended if nitrogen levels appear to be a problem. Soil sampling and testing can be done at any time during the year, as long as the soil sent in is dry - the save on shipping costs and to enable more accurate results - and the majority of nutrient analysis laboratories require the soil type to be identified for each sample, so soil maps need to be at the ready when sampling!

Nutrient Table Soil and Petiole

Table 2. Soil and petiole nutrient composition requirements. Keep vine levels within these ranges for optimal fruit quality and vine health.

References

Christensen, L.P., Dokoozlian, N., Walker, M.A., Wolpert, J.A. (eds.). 2003. Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 3419.

Wolf, T. et.al. 2008. Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America. Cooperative Extension NRAES:145.


Content by:

Dr. Terry Bates
Director, Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory
Senior Viticulture Research Associate, Cornell University Department of Horticultural Sciences

and

Dr. Jodi Creasap Gee
Viticulture Extension Educator
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program


Upcoming Events

2024 LERGP Winter Grape Grower Conference

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 14, 2024
Fredonia, NY

Winter Grower Conference

View 2024 LERGP Winter Grape Grower Conference Details

2024 NYSDEC How to Get Certified Course

Event Offers DEC Credits

April 4, 2024 : NYSDEC How to Get Certified Training Course and Exam Registration
Portland, NY

NYSDEC training course in preparation to take the pesticide applicator exam

View 2024 NYSDEC How to Get Certified Course Details

LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting #1 -Special Spotted Lanternfly Focus

Event Offers DEC Credits

May 1, 2024 : LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting
North East, PA

Come learn how to manage SLF when it arrives.  Discussion will be centered around Spotted Lanternfly research, management, experience and best practice for dealing with new and established infestations.  Lunch is provided today.

View LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting #1 -Special Spotted Lanternfly Focus Details

Announcements

NYWGF visits the Chautauqua Region

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation, led by Executive Director Sam Filler, is thrilled to announce their upcoming visit to your region this April!

During this visit, NWYGF will host an information session about programs affecting our industry. As you may know, NYWGF is sponsoring a Vineyard Survey aimed at gathering accurate and insightful data about grape growing in New York. If you are a grape grower or wine maker in the state, your input is crucial in shaping the future of funding and promotion for the industry. By participating in the survey, you will be contributing valuable data that will help inform decisions about the industry's future growth. We invite you to learn more about the Vineyard Survey, how you can help by providing your data, and how the results will be shared and will support the industry.



The NYWGF team will also be sharing information about our valuable membership benefits and services, as well as giving you an overview of the New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program. The New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program provides a clear pathway for vineyards to achieve certification by implementing regionally defined sustainability standards.

To make the visit even more valuable, a free lunch will be provided.

This is an amazing opportunity to learn more about the exciting developments happening in New York's wine and grape industry. NYWGF is thankful to our partner, American National Insurance, for making this visit possible. This public-private partnership showcases the impact that we can have when we work together towards a common goal.

Commercial Vehicle Awareness slide presentation

NYS Trooper, Matt Luft, presented on Commercial Vehicle Awareness at CLEREL on Thursday, August 2nd.  He has given us the permission to share his slides for you to reference at your convenience to share with others or to review. Please reference this link. 
https://lergp.cce.cornell.edu/cultural_practices.php?season=summer
https://lergp.cce.cornell.edu/business_management.php?season=winter


Straight Talk: Is H-2A Working Out in the Vineyard

Check out the story below.  Our local grower Andy Knight is one of the 3 growers interviewed.

https://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/grapes/how-h-2a-is-working-out-in-the-vineyard/

LERGP Podcasts- check them out!

LERGP POD CASTS

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