The National Viticulture and Enology Extension Leadership Conference (NVEELC), organized by regional and/or institutional hosts with support from NGWI, annually gathers wine, juice, table and raisin grape extension professionals working within and outside of traditional cooperative extension. It offers professional development, includes research and regional reports, and fosters collaboration and dialogue, helping viticulture and enology extension professionals stay apprised of industry challenges across the country. Field trips to vineyards and labs is an important part of the agenda for this event, which is held in a different grape region each year. Some funding is available (by application) for extension specialists who might not otherwise be able to travel; information on travel grants is made available with event materials.
NVEELC 2018 will be held in Prosser, Washington, May 20-22. Stay tuned for details!
Other industry resources
The Vineyard Advisor Mobile App
In August 2017, Ed Hellman, Professor of Viticulture and Extension Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension announces release of a powerful new mobile application for vineyard managers. The Vineyard Advisor mobile app provides recommendations for management of approximately 350 problems afflicting grapes; including diseases, insects, mites, nematodes, wildlife, environmental stress, physiological disorders, and weeds. The scope of this app addresses grape production challenges throughout the United States. Recommendations are provided on control strategies and action thresholds, natural controls and cultural practices, organic materials, and pesticides. The Vineyard Advisor accesses the EPA label database to deliver the most current list of all pesticides labeled for use on grapes to control a specific problem. Full labels are available in PDF format for most pesticide products. Weed management recommendations provide cultural practices and general recommendations, as well as special considerations for difficult to control weeds, or those that have developed tolerance to herbicides. Again, the most current list is provided of all herbicides labeled for use on grapes to control a specific weed. Two search options are available to the user: search The Vineyard Advisor database for grape problems, or search for pesticides labeled for use on grapes. The pesticide search can be done by product name or active ingredient. Links are provided to the app user’s state agricultural extension service and pesticide regulatory agency based on the user’s location. The Vineyard Advisor is now available for free download here:
iTunes App Store (iPhone):
Google Play (Android):
The Vineyard Advisor mobile application began as a project funded by the American Vineyard Foundation in 2014, led by Ed Hellman. A working prototype was developed with initial management recommendations provided by Justin Scheiner, Viticulture Extension Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension. David Stone and Sean Ross of Oregon State University provided programming to access the EPA pesticide database. Following proof of concept with the prototype, the project was expanded with State of Texas funding to develop a fully functional mobile app for both Android and Apple platforms. The scope of problems was expanded to include more than 200 weeds, and all management recommendations were revised and expanded. Contensive, Inc., based in Leesburg, Virginia, was contracted to produce the app, including design and online strategy, development, maintenance, and hosting.
Dr. Hellman will continue to serve as project manager as he moves from a joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas Tech University, to a full-time position with Texas Tech University as Professor of Viticulture at the TTU regional teaching site in Fredericksburg. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catalyst: Discovery into Practice
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture launched this new journal in 2017, focusing on the translation of research into practice, and extending fundamental discoveries in the scientific disciplines to sustain and advance winemaking and grapegrowing. The journal provides a new publishing avenue for extension specialists, as well, including not only traditional narrative submissions but also video entries. See issues online at asev.org/catalyst.
Work continues on proximal sensing for vineyard management and forecasting via the Efficient Vineyard project, led by Cornell University‘s Terry Bates with participation from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, UC Davis and more, and supported in part by NGWI. See ongoing updates on this game-changing research in progress, including practical applications available now, at efficientvineyard.com.
Vineyard Pest ID Cards and Organic Winegrowing Manual
The University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources now offers two publications for viticulturists in the field. Pocket-sizes laminated Vineyard Pest ID Cards are a quick and easy reference for recognizing, identifying and monitoring common vineyards pests, diseases, disorders and weeds. And their Organic Winegrowing Manual is a detailed how-to manual on growing organic winegrapes, including information on pest management, economics, organic certification, and more. Below are links to the informational flyers and Table of Contents for each of these publications.
eViticulture is a national online resource for viticulture information, offering the latest in science-based information for viticulturists. Tools include more than 200 feature articles from basic concepts of viticulture to the latest, ground-breaking research, written in understandable language in both English and Spanish; and if you have a question access the Ask-an-Expert feature.
Northern Grapes Project
This $2.5 million Specialty Crop Research Initiative project brought together 34 researchers from 12 institutions to address varietal performance and resulting fruit and wine flavor attributes in cold climates. The Northern Grapes Project will help growers to apply appropriate viticultural practices to achieve consistent fruit characteristics for ripening, and help winemakers address their unique fruit composition to produce distinctive wines that consumers will like and purchase. The project will also explore consumer preferences, developing individual/regional marketing strategies to increase sales and sustained profitability of wineries and vineyards.
The Northern Grapes Project now offers a News You Can Use newsletter, providing brief, timely information, generated via research conducted as part of the Northern Grapes Project, as well as material derived from other sources. The first edition may be read here.