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Grape thinning saves growers up to $15 million

Research associate James Taylor talks about the grape yield monitor at the 2013 Lake Erie Grape Summer Grower Conference.

Research associate James Taylor talks about the grape yield monitor at the 2013 Lake Erie Grape Summer Grower Conference. Photo: Terry Bates

Concord grape growers in western New York this season expanded the use of mechanical crop thinning techniques pioneered by three generations of Cornell viticulturists to maximize the value of an abundant harvest in what started as an uncertain year. By removing up to one-third of their crops in late July and early August using mechanical grape harvesters, growers met maturity standards and avoided millions of dollars of crop losses.

Farm business management specialist Kevin Martin of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) estimates that growers in the region will see an overall economic benefit of $9.6 million to $15 million in the estimated 50 percent of vineyards that were mechanically thinned this year.

Read the whole article. [Cornell Chronicle 2013-12-05]

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