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  • Author or Editor: Erick D. Smith x
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More than 3000 acres of commercial muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) vineyards exist in the southeastern United States. The muscadine wine industry is generating an economic impact of $1 billion in North Carolina alone. Muscadines have been cultivated since the 1800s, but muscadine vineyard fertilizer programs, tissue sampling, and nutrient sufficiency ranges continue to be based on anecdotal knowledge. While seasonal changes in tissue nutrient concentration are well documented in bunch grape (Vitis vinifera), questions remain about the seasonal and cultivar-dependent dynamics of muscadine leaf tissue nutrient concentrations. The aim of this study was to assess temporal and cultivar-related differences in tissue nutrient concentration of mature commercially grown muscadines. Leaf tissue nutrient concentration of the muscadine cultivars Carlos and Noble were assessed in three vineyards (Piedmont North Carolina, north Georgia, and south Georgia) at bloom, véraison, and postharvest in 2018 and 2019. Our results show that nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and manganese (Mn) were generally above the recommended sufficiency ranges, with calcium increasing over the season—and N, P, and potassium decreasing over the season. ‘Carlos’ had significantly higher levels of N and P, compared with ‘Noble’, while ‘Noble’ showed higher Mn concentration than ‘Carlos’. With this evaluation, we demonstrate the need for a modification in muscadine tissue nutrient sufficiency ranges that are based on cultivar and vine growth stage.

Open Access