(360) Development of a Viticulture Website at Kentucky State University for Growers

in HortScience
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  • 1 Kentucky State University, Community Research Service, Frankfort, KY, 40601

Kentucky has a rich history in viticulture. The Kentucky Vineyard Society was founded in 1798 and Kentucky was the third largest grape and wine producer by 1860. During Prohibition, however, vines were either uprooted or left unattended, and the grape industry essentially disappeared in Kentucky. Since 1990, the grape and wine industry has shown a resurgence; however, there are limited educational opportunities in viticulture in Kentucky. Kentucky State University (KSU) emphasizes the development of alternative high-value crops for sustainable agriculture production. In 2000, a viticulture program was initiated at KSU to develop cultivar, vine management, and pest and disease control recommendations. Aware of the fact that grape growers in Kentucky are mostly new to grape culture, KSU has developed a viticulture website (http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/viticulture/index.htm) to disseminate viticulture information. The website provides information that includes setting up a new vineyard, managing a “mature” vineyard (Vitis, Kentucky weather and climate, site selection, cultivars, rootstocks, trellising, care of young vines, canopy management, irrigation and nutrition, pest, and disease management), grape growers' corner (questions and answers, buy and sale, resources), and selected links. A monthly viticulture calendar is also available. In the future, the site will be updated with research results in viticulture from KSU and other southeastern institutions, growers' feedback, and information on wine making. The viticulture website will aid in the promotion of the grape and wine industry in Kentucky and states with a similar climate, and benefit grape growers from this profitable and expanding market.

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