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LERGP hosting “Cover Cropping in Concord Vineyards” conference

August 25, 2016
Westfield Republican

PORTLAND - Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County's Lake Erie Regional Grape Program

As the use of cover crops in area vineyards grows in popularity, many growers turn to the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) for recommendations on what to plant. Recognizing the need for research-based cover crop recommendations, LERGP applied for, and was awarded, a grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute. The funding has been used to measure how different cover crop mixes affect soil and vineyard health and to sponsor a conference to educate interested grape growers.

Although the concept of cover crops in vineyards is not new, the idea of planting multiple species in a mix geared towards a targeted outcome is. To address the many questions fielded from growers, LERGP is hosting a "Cover Cropping in Concord Vineyards" conference on September 1st. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn about cover crops in a classroom setting and have the opportunity to see test plots and a soil pit in the field located at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL) in Portland, NY.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Dr. Terry Bates of the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program discusses soil depth and root structure from a soil pit at CLEREL near Portland, NY.

This conference will feature a number of speakers that are both locally and regionally known for their cover crop expertise. Featured speakers include Dr. Paul Salon, USDA-NRCS Soil Health Division; Kirsten Kurtz, Cornell Soil Health Laboratory; Dr. John Wallace, Penn State; Kevin Martin, LERGP; Dr. Terry Bates, Cornell University; Luke Haggerty, LERGP; Grape Growers Bob Betts, Dave Mobilia, Andy Knight, and Bill Beckman.

The September 1st conference starts at 9 AM (registration at 8:30) and will run until 4 PM. The CLEREL meeting facilities, 6592 West Main Road, Portland, NY 14769, will be used for the classroom portion of the program. Registration is $10 to cover refreshments and lunch. To register for the conference, visit the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program website at or in person at CLEREL. If you have questions please contact Kate at (716) 792-2800.

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is a cooperative effort between Cornell and Penn State Universities; the participating Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus Counties in New York and Erie County in Pennsylvania; and participating industry partners National Grape Cooperative (Welch's), Constellation Brands and Walkers Fruit Basket. The LERGP extension team provides research-based educational programming for commercial grape growers throughout the year at venues across the Lake Erie grape belt. For more information on LERGP, call 716-792-2800 or visit our website at

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.



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