Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Press Releases

July 26, 2006
Contact: Kevin Iungerman, 518-885-8995

Cold Hardy Wine Grapes, Apples for NNY Topics of August 8 Field Day

A Tuesday, August 8 field day at 10 am at Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm will review the progress of a cold hardy grapes varieties trial at the Farm at Willsboro. The New York Farm Viability Institute and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program have provided funding for the trials which are evaluating 25 different wine grapes under the weather conditions of Northern New York.

Kevin Iungerman of Cornell University's Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program and Steve Lerch of Cornell�s New York State Agricultural Environmental Station Grape Program will engage growers in a discussion of the trial grapes� growth performance over the past year. The varieties include Marquette, LaCrescent, St. Croix, Frontenac, Sabrevois and others.

�Some of the varieties in this trial may be novel to New York growers. Our objective is to assist the region�s grape growers in determining which varieties will best fit into their business plans,� Iungerman says.

The Willsboro trial has drawn interest from several sectors, including the young Lake Champlain Grape Growers Association, individual grape growers and nursery operators.

�This trial has been made possible through the joint commitment of time and expertise by these private individuals and by personnel from Cornell University Extension�s Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program and the University of Minnesota Grape Program, Cornell University, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County,� Iungerman says.

The afternoon portion of the field day moves to Peru, NY, to look at high density apple production trials at Everett Orchards (1:30 pm) and Forrence Orchard (3:00 pm). The Everett Orchards trial, planted in 2002, is a side-by-side comparison of four production systems with Honeycrisp and McIntosh varieties. The trial is evaluating tree growth, fruit production and quality, and growers� expected return on investment in the systems.

�With leadership from Dr. Terence Robinson of Cornell�s Department of Horticulture, we are evaluating the systems under Northern New York growing conditions. Our goal is to provide growers with details for deciding the most optimally competitive apple production practices for this region and the broader Northeastern New York area,� Iungerman says.

At Forrence Orchard over the past several years old orchard has been progressively removed and an extensive capital investment has been made in replanting at a density rate of 518 trees to the acre. The varieties planted there include Honeycrisp, McIntosh and Cortland on the dwarfing rootstocks M26 and B9.

The field day is free to growers enrolled in Cornell�s Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program; for others, there is a $10 fee. All those interested in attending the program should contact Nancy Kiuber at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, 518-885-8995, to register.