The usual under-vine management practice in the Northeastern USA a 3-ft herbicide strip to reduce competition for the vines. Most growers spray at least three herbicide application per year, with application costs of approximately $220/acre/year. This open soil is suscptible to erosion as well as herbicide runoff/leaching. Through a series of experiments we have developed recommendations for replacing herbicides with under-vine cover crops. This project aims to engage all 200 winegrape growers in the Finger Lakes Grape Program through a comprehensive educational program so that more growers adopt this environmentally and economically sustainable practice.
50 New York State (NYS) winegrape growers replace herbicides with annual under-vine cover crops on a total of250 acres, reducing production costs by at least $150 per acre per year.
Educational approaches include viewing a video to learn about planting under-vine cover crops, presentations at cooperating vineyards so growers can evaluate the impact of the practice, one-on-one meetings with the project team, grower discussions to maximize peer learning, and final delivery of outcomes via a Cornell Cooperative Extension podcast.
200 grape growers view video and learn about under-vine cover crops, and the benefits of using them overherbicide/cultivation; 50 NYS grape growers respond via online form to express interest in trialing under-vinecover crops (December 2017).
We are delayed on this milestone. 154 growers have viewed the informational video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7IMzX8e4dI&feature=youtu.be so far. Since it went onto youtube to maximize the exposure of the project it was not possible to put a form to express interest underneath, so we are reaching out to growers via the Finger Lakes Vineyard Update newsletter.
35 grape growers work one-on-one with project team to develop plans to experiment with under-vine cover crops in their vineyards during 2018 season, seed at least one cover crop (June 2018)
65 grape growers attend grower-led discussion at collaborating vineyard, personally evaluate use of under-vinecover crops (August 2018)
25 growers agree to experiment with under-vine cover crops for the first time during 2019 season (August 2018)
30 grape growers individually host project team at their vineyard to evaluate impacts of 2018 cover crops(December 2018)
20 grape growers work one-on-one with project team to develop plans to experiment with under-vine cover cropsin their vineyards during 2019 season, seed at least one cover crop (June 2019)
50 grape growers who experimented with under-vine cover crops over the course of the project meet with project team to verify outcomes and share information (August 2019)