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Oklahoma State University

Register now for OSU’s Grape Management Course

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Alda Jones and Steve Weber, 2018 Grape Management class members, take advantage of the demonstration rows to practice young vine training. Each year, the class plants new grapevines. This gives them the opportunity to train vines of various age and type through the entire season. (Photo by Becky Carroll)

Do you have a small acreage and are wondering what to do with it? For those who have considered growing grapes, or those who already do so but would like more information, you are in luck.

Oklahoma State University is once again hosting the 2019 Grape Management Course to persons interested in the grape-growing industry. Set to begin March 7 and continue one Thursday per month through September, this course is a great place to learn the ins and outs of grape production and management, said Becky Carroll, OSU Cooperative Extension associate specialist, fruit and pecans.

“When we think of crops in Oklahoma, people typically think of wheat, cotton or soybeans, but the grape industry continues to gain popularity as an agriculture crop in our state,” Carroll said. “We’ve been offering this course for 18 years, so it’s apparent there are people interested in this small-fruit opportunity.”

Classes will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cimarron Valley Research Station near Perkins, Oklahoma. Registration is $250 per person and due by Feb. 15. Online enrollment is available at https://okla.st/2FS5Ik0, along with a detailed brochure of the class schedule.  The class is limited to 70 participants and early registration is encouraged.

The course is designed to give participants both classroom and hands-on experience. The hands-on lessons will take place in the demonstration vineyard at the Cimarron Valley Research Station. University experts and industry professionals will be on hand to share all the latest research-based information available on growing grapes. Both new and seasoned growers will get a lot of useful information.

Carroll said each class will cover a variety of topics such as site selection and vineyard establishment, pruning and training, soils/water, insect and disease management, irrigation, weed control, economics, fertilization, propagation, rootstocks, canopy management, harvest preparation and petiole sampling.

Each meeting correlates with what is happening in grape production at that time of year. For example, the first meeting will explore the dormant vine stage, which occurs in March.

Because of the growth in the grape-growing industry in Oklahoma, Carroll said OSU researchers believe it will continue to have a significant impact on the state’s economy, as well as provide those who are interested with another agricultural outlet.

“One of the nice things about growing grapes is you don’t have to own hundreds of acres in order to have a profitable business,” she said. “Growing grapes is a great agricultural opportunity for those landowners whose property encompasses just a few acres.”

For more information, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404 or email at stephanie.larimer@okstate.edu.

Story by Trisha Gedon  

 

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