KSU Vineyard in 2007
Wine and table grape production is a profitable and expanding market, representing a viable economic alternative to tobacco production in Kentucky. In the late 1800's, Kentucky was the third largest grape and wine producer in the United States, but after prohibition vines were either uprooted or left to die. Through a cost-share program supported by the State of Kentucky's Vineyard Assistance Program, over 250 acres of grapes have been planted in Kentucky. In 2000, Kentucky State University received a grant from the Kentucky Vineyard Assistance Program for $3,000 to support the establishment of the Vineyard at KSU in 2000. The KSU vineyard was established to: 1) demonstrate management techniques for this crop to the public and 2) evaluate yield and disease resistance of various cultivars in Kentucky. Grape cultivars in the trial include the table grapes Reliance Red Seedless, Mars Blue Seedless, Canadice Red Seedless, Niagara White Seedless, and Glenora Blue Seedless, and the wine grape cultivars Foch, Cayuga White, and Chancellor.
In 2003, USDA Capacity Building grant entitled: "Sustainable control of grape black rot, Japanese beetle, and leafhoppers in the Southeastern United States" was funded for $299,633 that was co-authored by Drs. Jonathan Egilla (formerly of KSU) and Kirk W. Pomper, to be administered by Kirk W. Pomper. Three of the most serious and economically important disease and pest problems of grapes in the region are 1) black rot disease, 2) the Japanese beetle, and 3) various species of leafhoppers. Black rot is a serious disease of grapes in warm, humid regions like the S.E.U.S. Most of the conventional chemical compounds for both insect and disease control, possess environmental and human health concerns due to high levels of toxicity. These are therefore not ideal for sustainable grape production. Pesticides approved for organic and home fruit production are environmentally friendly, less-toxic to humans, and can be used in grape vineyards, but the efficacy of a pest and disease control strategy that combines these compounds with particle film (Surround) technology have not been tested on grapes in the S.E. Our goal is to identify sustainable, environmentally safe pest management strategies that reduce dependence on conventional chemical pesticides, while improving the yield and quality of grapes.
Questions about sustainable viticulture research at KSU? Contact Dr. Sanjun Gu at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone # 502-597-6186 or contact Dr. Kirk Pomper at:
email@example.com or telephone # 502-597-5942
Also check out the web site of theKentucky Vineyard Society. KVS exists to promote interest in grape growth and production and to promote grape products grown in Kentucky.