SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Many aspects of vineyard floor management have been studied independently and the industry would benefit from an integrated approach. Current practices degrade soil health and competitive weed species exhibit herbicide resistance. Cover cropping can crowd out competitive weeds while building healthy soils, but they also create competition for water and nutrients when vines need them most. Cover cropping strategies in wine grapes tend to receive irrigation to maintain growth and cover crops are used to decrease plant vigor in wine varieties. Cover crop use in juice grapes is more challenging. Nearly all acres are own rooted and unirrigated relying on soil water conservation for vine production. This project, led by Jennifer Phillips Russo a viticulture specialist with CCE, will develop and evaluate the efficacy and economics of best floor management practices in non-irrigated juice grape vineyards.
The New York Farm Viability Institute runs a competitive grant program that seeks to create and share knowledge. This project is one of 17 that were funded in our most recent grant round. To learn more about the organization and other work it has supported, please visit www.nyfvi.org.
–New York Farm Viability Institute