Expansion of Grape Production
Grape production is returning as an alternative income crop in the North Central region.
Objective: To increase grape production in Pike County, Illinois, and surrounding areas to boost the local economy.
With assistance from the local Resource Conservation and Development District and the University of Illinois, the producer initiated a grape production project by planting five acres of old and new varieties of grapes, including Catawba, Vignoles, Chamborcin and Norton. The grant helped him with planting and trellis construction on an additional five acres planted with 22 different varieties to be tested for overall adaptability. Long range plans are to dedicate 40 acres to grape production. The producer is keeping detailed records of growth, disease resistance, yield and fruit quality.
Results: Several other local landowners have begun to establish vineyards, and the Illinois Grape Growers Co-op has been created to promote production and sale of Illinois wines and eventually to establish a local winery.
Full Report Available