Last but Not Least

The National Grape Research Alliance holds three Board meetings each year, the last typically in November. Accordingly, our End-of-Year Board Meeting took place on November 14, the day after the NGRA-ARS Sensor Technology Workshop (see story below). With back-to-back day-long discussions on research to advance the grape and wine industry, it was a banner week for viticulture in the United States!

At our End-of-Year meeting, we annually review the progress we made over the last 12 months. And I’m proud to say that, through the active participation of our Board and committees, 2019 was a very productive year.  Here are some highlights, focused on our research mission.

With engagement from scientists from across the US and support from planning grants from the NGRA Research Fund, our Research Theme Committees identified and developed three research projects this year, each targeted to a relevant grant program for prospective funding in 2020:
  • High-Resolution Grape and Grapevine Nutrient-Management Tools, led by Markus Keller of Washington State University
  • Functional Grapevine Genomics for Insect Pest Resistance, led by Matt Clark of University of Minnesota
  • Evaluating Plant Performance Models as a Tool to Guide Selection for Heat Tolerance in Grapevines, led by Megan Bartlett of the University of California-Davis
An extension project, Guides to Rootstock or Scion Performance, led by Matt Fidelibus and Glenn McGourty, both of University of California Cooperative Extension, is planned for development next year.
We also continued to nurture three NGRA-supported research projects:
  • Ag-RISCS: Risk Inference, Simulation and Cyber-physical System for Converting Data to Actionable Information in Viticulture, led by Walt Mahaffee of USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR, submitted to SCRI for funding this fall
  • VitisGen2, led by Bruce Reisch of Cornell University and Lance Cadle-Davidson of USDA-ARS, Geneva, NY, midway through an SCRI grant
  • Efficient Vineyard, led by Terry Bates of Cornell University, also funded by SCRI, concluded this year

Of course, none of this work would be possible without our members. If you’ve ever thought about joining NGRA, I invite you to click to the new membership page on our website, where you can get details about being a part of our research agenda. If you like what you see, contact us and let us know know if/how you might like to get involved!

Donnell Brown
President, NGRA