Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Enrollment

Program Areas

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  • Crop Management
  • Market Development
  • Farm Business

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

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

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


New Vineyard Timeline · 1-year Pre-plant


Future vineyard land needs to be prepared before ordering the vines. As a general rule, the more money and time invested in site preparation leads to fewer difficulties down the road and allows for easier applications of soil amendments and installation of irrigation systems. In many cases, a cover crop may need to be planted one to two years prior to planting for weed suppression, soil retention and build-up of organic matter.

Assess deer and other pest pressures at your selected site. Many animals love to munch on different parts of grapevines, so it is best to put a plan in place ahead of planting for managing vineyard pests. Will you need bird netting, deer fencing, or an electric fence?

Finally, installing weather equipment is another step in maintaining good records and monitoring vineyard conditions. Get it installed early to monitor vineyard temperatures and local precipitation.

Once the land is prepared, plan to order vines at least one year in advance. Some nurseries may require more time for certain rootstock/scion combinations, so contact the nursery at least one, preferably two, year(s) prior to planting.


Site Preparation

After selection of a good site, proper site preparation is one of the most important factors in the ultimate success or failure of a vineyard. This is the time when changes can be made to the site to improve soil conditions, water handling, and the overall efficiency of managing the vineyard. Many experienced grape growers will say that investing the time and money in good site preparation will save both in the long run. This fact sheet describes some of the more...
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Determine Training System

The main objective in grape production:Maximize sunlight interception.Figure 1. Concord Bud Development. Cluster initiation (arrows) in green shoots begins just after bloom, and by just before veraison, the buds reach stage 6 of 15. After the winter dormancy and bud break the following season, buds pick back up and finish developing via shoot emergence and growth by bloom, at which point the cycle begins anew.*Dates on x-axis are approximate for each season. Adapted from...
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Assessment of Site Needs

Once a site has been selected, several important tasks must be completed to cover as many details as possible before vines actually go into the ground. This is one attempt to avoid any surprises after site preparation and vine planting and before any major resources are used.Contact planting contractorLaser planting? Auger and a tractor? Shovel and a strong back? Regardless of planting strategy, be prepared for the planting date. Whether you are hiring someone to plant, or...
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Develop Record Keeping System

The key to being able to implement a successful vineyard management strategy on a yearly basis is record keeping. Whether it is keeping track of the costs of inputs, documenting yield each year or mapping pest outbreaks, the more information you have collected in an organized record keeping system the better management decisions you will be able to make.The biggest hurdle to implementing a record keeping system is often times getting into the habit of collecting the data in...
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Weather Equipment for Vineyard Operation

Weather is one of the most important factors in grape production as well as being one of the most difficult to manipulate or control.  While a vineyardist has little control over the weather, keeping tabs on some basic weather parameters such as temperature and precipitation can pay big dividends by allowing more informed decision making in the vineyard.  Weather is an important factor from the initial site preparation to aiding in the decision of when to...
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Tim Weigle receives Excellence in IPM award

Portland, NY. August 11, 2017: As a kid, Tim Weigle often tagged along with his dad, a plant breeder at Iowa State University. It gave him a taste for agriculture and research. But once in college he took an entomology class and everything changed. That class included an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM).
“I was fascinated by the interaction of plant systems and pest complexes,” Weigle says. So he added IPM to his bachelor’s program, then topped it off with a master’s in horticulture. “It gave me the solid foundation in crop production I needed to practice IPM,” he says.
Now, for nearly 30 years of innovative, farmer-focused IPM research and outreach in the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP), Tim Weigle has earned an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State IPM Program (NYS IPM).
Examples? Weigle helped build a dense concentration of grower-owned weather stations linked together online through NEWA" the Network for Environment and Weather Applications" to predict when to scout for destructive grape berry moths and a hit list of other pests. And he’s applied LERGP research to use tractor-mounted sensors, each with a chip providing data for creating color-coded maps. These maps pinpoint where destructive grape rootworms are probably at work underground.
“This means you can check just those spots for grape rootworm and spot-treat only them,” Weigle says.”
Then there’s Weigle’s leadership on the Organic Guide for Grapes and the Pest Management Guidelines for both grape and hops. He’s also been a trailblazer in IPM research and outreach for the hopyards that help fuel New York’s microbreweries.
But it’s his way with people that really sets Tim Weigle apart. Sure, the internet has a lot to offer. But nobody wants a faceless Extension. Weigle created weekly “coffee pot meetings,” held at vineyards all along Lake Erie’s grape belt. Indeed, they’re what “face time” is all about. They don’t even have an agenda. Instead, they’re driven by what’s got farmers curious or worried that week.
“Some of those early coffee pot meetings were at our vineyard, back when our son was just a little kid,” says Dawn Betts of Betts Farms LLC. “I remember one time we’d all gone out to the vineyard, and Tim was talking about grape berry moths. Well, our son went down the row and picked some of the stung berries where the moths had laid their eggs. And Tim said ‘if this young man can do it, you can too.’”
The Betts family goes to a lot of those meetings. “We learn from each other,” Betts says. “If one of us has an issue, chances are the others will soon.”
“Tim does a fabulous job of incorporating the fundamentals of biology while bringing the latest science to address growers’ challenges,” says Jennifer Grant, director of NYS IPM. “We’re proud to have him on our NYS IPM team.”
Weigle received his award at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program’s Summer Conference on August 11, 2017. Learn more about IPM at nysipm.cornell.edu.






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