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Economics of Grape Production in the Great Lakes Region of New York

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Abstract

New York State growers produced about 97 thousand tons of grapes for processing in 1977, 64 percent of which were produced in the Great Lakes Region (primarily Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties) Eighty-seven percent of the Great Lakes Region production was Concords, while 75 percent of the total State production was Concords. Although Concord is by far the dominant variety in the Great Lakes Region, there has been significant interest in recent years in growing French- American hybrid varieties for New York's premium wine industry. Concord production in the Great Lakes Region totaled an estimated 100,000 tons in 1978, 53,417 tons in 1977 and 100,089 tons in 1976. French-American hybrid production in New York State increased from about 5,000 tons in 1973 to almost 15,000 tons in 1974. In 1976, however, French-American hybrid production was only 13,026 tons. The Great Lakes Region accounted for 29 percent of the non-Concords and 79 percent of the Concords produced in the state in 1977. In addition, there has been considerable change in the national grape industry. Grape acreage, particularly on the West Coast, has increased substantially while the growth rate in wine sales has declined quite drastically in the last 10 years. Even though the traditional market for the Great Lakes Region grape crop has been unfermented juice, jam and jelly, and sweet Concord wine, these recent changes have created much uncertainty. A need has been expressed for current cost of production information to assist the grape grower in decision making. This report presents cost analyses for growing Concord grapes, both on single curtain and on Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) training systems; and for growing French-American hybrid varieties such as DeChaunac, Aurora, Foch, Cascade, and Chelois with single curtain training. The report is essentially an up-date of an earlier report by D. G. Good and T. D. Jordan, The Economics of Grape Production in the Great Lakes Region of New York, A.E. Extension 75-18, June 1975,

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1978-11

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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

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