Abandoned Concord Vineyard

Abandoned Concord Vineyard

Vineyard Improvement Program Nearing the End

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (May 6, 2022) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is beginning to wrap up the Vineyard Improvement Program. This five year grant was one of the outcomes of the Concord Grape Summit held in Westfield New York in April 2018. The LERGP continues to accept applications for the reimbursement program, however the removal and replant will need to be completed in this growing season so that the reimbursements can be completed by the close of the grant at the end of March 2023.

The Vineyard Improvement Program is a reimbursement program that matches funds used to remove unwanted Concord vineyards that may be in a poor site, not producing well, or the vineyard is in disrepair or not contracted. Eligible vineyards would be those in the Southern Tier – Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Tompkins, Tioga, Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties, as well as Erie (NY) and Niagara Counties. Reimbursement for vineyard removal is 50% of costs up to $1,500 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 for approved commodities such as vineyards, orchards, Christmas tree plantings. If we aren’t sure if it is eligible, we will ask! For those approved replants, eligible costs include trellis, perennial plant material – vines/trees, labor, equipment use or rental, and land preparation. Replants of seed crops are not eligible for reimbursement. Reimbursements cannot exceed $3,000 per acre with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant. The land must be returned to agricultural use.

The application can be found online at lergp.com. Click on the big purple button that says “Vineyard Improvement Program”. Once there you can read more about the program. The application can be found on the menu on 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. If you need any help with this process, please contact Kevin Martin at kmm67@cornell.edu. Once the contract is established work can be done 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 give Kim a call at 716-792-2800 ext. 209 and we will walk through the details with you or email at ksk76@cornell.edu. Again, all projects will need to be completed this year.

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County are working with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to administer the program which is funded by the Southern Tier Agricultural Improvement Fund.

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 May 6, 2022