Grape production workshop to feature breeding program tour
Katie Hanshaw, Fruit Research Station,
Clarksville, 479-754-2406, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elena Garcia, extension horticulture specialist,
John R. Clark, horticulture professor and grape breeder,
Howell Medders, Division of Agriculture communications,
CLARKSVILLE, Ark. – A tour of one of the nation’s leading table grape breeding programs will be part of a table grape production workshop Aug. 12 at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Fruit Research Station, near Clarksville.
The workshop, which will begin with registration at 3 p.m., is for beginning and experienced growers, says Elena Garcia, an extension horticulture specialist with the Division of Agriculture. Table grapes are a good fit for many small-scale farmers who market fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and “U-pick” operations, she says.
Presentations will be on cultural practices, by Keith Striegler, University of Missouri viticulturist; the market for eastern table grapes, by Dennis Rak, owner of Double A Vineyards, Fredonia, N.Y.; the Arkansas table grape breeding program, by John R. Clark, Division of Agriculture fruit breeder; and insect management, by Donn T. Johnson, Division of Agriculture entomologist.
Advance registration and a $20 fee, which includes a light supper, is required by Aug. 9. To register, contact Katie Hanshaw at the Fruit Research Station, 479-754-2406, email@example.com. The station is six miles north of Clarksville on Hwy. 818. More information at http://aaes.uark.edu/fruit.
Clark will lead a tour from 7 to 8 p.m. of the breeding program vineyards where seven Arkansas table grape varieties have been developed. The most widely planted varieties are Jupiter and Mars. The program has a number of advanced selections being considered for release, which will be viewed at the Field Day.
The tour will include a muscadine breeding program with a goal of developing varieties with increased hardiness. Muscadines are susceptible to cold injury in the Ozarks region.
Arkansas varieties include:
Jupiter- Reddish blue, seedless, non-slipskin, highly rated for flavor, semi-crisp, high yielding, early ripening, widely grown.
Mars - Blue, seedless, slipskin, skin thickness typical of eastern table grapes, very hardy, least susceptible to common grape diseases among Arkansas varieties.
Neptune - White seedless, non-slipskin, skin thickness similar to many eastern table grapes.
Reliance – Pink, seedless, slipskin, highest rated flavor, melting texture, hardiest of Arkansas varieties, susceptible to fruit cracking.
Saturn – Red, seedless, non-slipskin, sweet and fruity flavor, crisp texture, moderately hardy.
Sunbelt – Blue, seeded juice grape, ripens more evenly than Concord under hot conditions, juice quality similar to Concord.
Venus – Blue, seedless, slipskin, earliest ripening Arkansas variety, moderate to high yield.
Vines for planting are available from licensed propagators listed at http://www.aragriculture.org/horticulture/fruits_nuts/Grapes/.