Abandoned Vineyard

Abandoned Vineyard

Extension Granted for the Vineyard Improvement Program

PORTLAND, NEW YORK (4/4/2023) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is excited to be able to announce that the Vineyard Improvement Program has been extended for another two years! The program will now end on March 31, 2025, so all projects will need to be finished and supporting documents submitted by January 2025 so that reimbursements can be completed before the grant terms.

The extension applies to Concord vineyard removals of at least 1 acre in New York state in Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Erie, Niagara, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins, and Tioga Counties. This program aims to strengthen the grape industry by encouraging the elimination of abandoned Concord vineyards which are a reservoir of disease and insect pests, and establishing healthy agricultural crops, be it Concords, other grape varieties, or another agricultural commodity.

This is a reimbursement grant that matches funds used to remove Concord vineyards and then replace them with an agricultural commodity. It will match 50% of removal costs up to $1,500 per acre, which may include labor, custom hire, equipment use or rental, and land clearing. It will also match 25% of replant costs up to $1,500 per acre. This could include trellis, perennial plant material – vines/trees (seed cost will not be reimbursed), labor, equipment use or rental, and land preparation for specialty crops. Reimbursement cannot exceed $3,000 per acre with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant. Because they are a reimbursement, funds will be distributed at the completion of the project.

The application can be found online at lergp.com. Click on the big purple button labeled Vineyard Improvement Program. Once there you can read more about the program. The application can be found on the menu to the left – VIP Application. You will be asked to upload a budget for removal and a business plan that shows how removing the current Concord vineyard and replanting will be a benefit to your vineyard operation. Once the contract is established work can begin to remove the old vineyard. If you have already removed or are in the process of removing an old Concord vineyard that you think might qualify for this program, please contact LERGP as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about what this means for you, or questions about your project, please feel free to contact Kim at ksk76@cornell.edu.

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 716-792-2800 or visit our website at http://lergp.cce.cornell.edu/

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.


Jennifer Russo
Team Leader, Viticulturalist
716-792-2800 ext 204

Last updated April 4, 2023