Education programs key for LERGP growers and neighbors

Submitted Photo Come to the LERGP Summer Growers’ Conference or LERGP Open House to hear the results of the research that led the LERGP crew to comb through buckets of soil.

JAMESTOWN — Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is excited to announce, as part of their on-going effort to assist grape growers in increasing the economic and environmental sustainability of their vineyard operations, a schedule of events has been developed for this summer that is sure to provide something for everyone. For those who like face to face interactions, LERGP is planning a Summer Growers Conference on Aug. 11 at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory in Portland. Growers and members of the Lake Erie Grape industry will be able to hear from leading research and extension faculty and staff from Cornell, Penn State, Carnegie Mellon and Newcastle Universities as part of an agenda that covers topics from disease and insect management and Changes to the Worker Protection Standard to what’s happening in the Efficient Vineyard project with talks on Variable Rate Shoot Thinning and Precision Vineyard Imaging.

Helping growers explore opportunities for diversification is part of the mission statement for LERGP at CLEREL and is shown in not only the type of grapes grown at the lab (juice and wine), but also through the research and extension efforts being conducted in grapes, hops, vegetable production and willow biomass at the lab. For those interested in hops production, a meeting focused on late season hops Integrated Pest Management strategies, as well as harvesting, processing and marketing a hop crop will be held on Saturday, Aug. 19. And finally, Darcy Telenko of the Cornell Vegetable Program will be holding a field day at CLEREL on Aug. 29 to provide the opportunity to visit the different field trials that she is conducting during the 2017 growing season.

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, a Public Open House is planned for Saturday, Aug. 12 at CLEREL. LERGP is welcoming our neighbors, both near and far, to come and take a hayride through our research plots and vineyards, join us for lunch and take advantage of the opportunity to see just what it is we do here at the lab. This is a free event. For more information on all these educational opportunities visit our upcoming events calendar on the LERGP website at

Once you are on the web, you can take advantage of some of the distance learning opportunities LERGP provides by visiting our podcast page at Members of LERGP produce weekly video podcast or vblogs on topics ranging from “What is LERGP?” to “How to Manage Grape Berry Moth.” The topic changes each week and there is the opportunity to provide suggestions for future blogs through the comments section of the web page. These types of resources are valuable for growers, as well as people who are just interested in what all is involved in growing grapes in the Lake Erie Region.

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 792-2800 or visit our website at