Feb 16, 2011

Satellite images help Cornell map vineyards

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Satellite-generated images have helped Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Finger Lakes Grape Program map roughly 8,400 acres of vineyards in the region and pinpoint where specific grape varieties grow.

Armed with geographic information system technology that relies on satellite views of vineyard blocks, the grape program uses the maps to identify trends and make projections about the region’s grape-growing industry, as well as provide growers with information that helps them plan, manage and protect their crops.

Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture extension specialist for the grape program, will discuss the project on March 4 at the opening session of the 60th Annual Finger Lakes Grape Growers Conference in Waterloo, Seneca County.

According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the Finger Lakes region has nearly 9,125 acres of vineyards. The grape program plans to map every vineyard in the region.

To keep the maps current, the grape program asks anyone who has recently planted or removed a vineyard in the Finger Lakes to call the program’s office at (315) 536-5134.

For more information on the grape program’s advocacy and research, visit http://cceflgp.posterous.com.