Research Order

New York Wine & GrapeResearch Order

A Research & Development Order, also known as a market order, is a GROWER SUPPORTED, GROWER FUNDED, GROWER LED funding stream administered in cooperation with the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets for research that will benefit ALL New York grape growers. Every grower will contribute an assessment based on farm gate value. The capital generated from this order will fund research and extension projects that will assist grape growers – 5% of the funds will be used for administration of the program. Details on how the assessed funds are spent and results of research and extension will be public information. Growers will have a chance to reaffirm the order every 7 years.

An Advisory Board (assembled from nominations submitted by growers) consisting of seven growers (3 from Lake Erie, and 1 each from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Long Island, and the North Country regions), one processor of juice grapes, and one processor of wine grapes will ensure proper administration of the program and will approve all research and extension projects undertaken.

Processors in New York state will reserve the funds from payments to growers and submit them on their behalf to the UDC. Growers who sell fruit out of state will be responsible for submitting those assessments directly and wineries who process their own fruit will be responsible for submitting the assessment based on the value of their fruit. All funds will be directed to the UDC.

The assessment can be up to ½ of 1% or .005% of the farm gate value of all juice and wine grapes grown in New York which is estimated to generate up to $240,000. For example, if you’re getting $250/ton for Concords, and the Advisory Board approves an assessment at ¼ of 1% would be 63¢/ton.

Do other ag groups in New York have research and development orders?

YES, the Dairy ($2 M), Apple ($437K), Cabbage ($20K), and Onion ($22K) industries all have research and development orders.

Where does New York rank nationally for grape production?

New York ranks 2nd nationally only to California in juice grape and table grape production and 3rd in wine production behind California, and Washington.

How much do other states invest in research and how are their research efforts funded?

In California, the PD/GWSS program and various regional winegrape commissions are funded through mandatory grower assessments which are projected to fund more than $3.5 million worth of research and research related activities in 2017. 

The Washington State Wine Commission approved a budget of $1,053,000 for research in March of this year (an increase of $183,500 from 2016). Research is funded through the Washington State Grape and Wine Research Program, a unique partnership that combines industry, private, and state funding from the Washington State Wine Commission, Auction of Washington Wines, WSU’s Agriculture Research Center and state liter taxes collected on all wines sold in Washington.

The Oregon Wine Board is funded primarily through grape assessments and a wine tax. In 2015-2016 they spent nearly $400K on research and research related projects.

Why should I support a research order?

  • Funding raised by this assessment is managed by the grower Advisory Board – no government entities will have access.
  • The New York apple industry offers a successful example of this mechanism. The apple growers voted to establish the New York Apple Research and Development Program in 1990. Since then their program has generated over $200,000 annually, and it is used to fund programs that address industry problems and generate profitable practices, new products and technologies.
  • Research is vital to the future of the New York grape industry, which is vital to the agricultural economy of New York state. The proposed Grape Research and Development Order is not a tax; it is an investment - a small investment for every grower in research and development that will yield an enormous return.
  • The grape industry in New York State is over a $5 billion dollar per year business, and research in viticulture and enology is vital to the future of its grape, grape juice and wine industry.  We need research to maintain our position as leaders of the Eastern wine and grape industry and to be competitive nationally and globally.
  • Budgetary signals continue the longer-term decline in the public sector's "willingness to pay" for food and agricultural research and extension programs, despite the demonstrated benefits and urgent need.
  • As the competitiveness of the businesses increases globally, the need for problem-solving research will only increase to meet the challenges of identifying rapid responses to region-specific viticulture challenges to increase grower profitability and generate new products and technologies. These challenges include emerging pests and pathogens, often associated with climate variability, winter injury, consumer preferences and changes in markets.
  • Overall Federal and State spending for agricultural research and development has declined significantly whereas costs associated with research have increased. In the past 50 years, support for agricultural research and development has fallen. This stagnation in research and development funding from public sources could have profound implications on investments in problem solving research and extension that address disease and pest management and vineyard management practices.
  • Most research takes many years to attain the desired results, and a steady, reliable source of funding is necessary for any successful research program
  • Expenses are shared amongst ALL wine and juice grape growers in the state keeping the assessments lower for all growers.
  • Investments in research and extension throughout the years have directly benefited the New York grape industry.

Click HERE for a comprehensive listing of research and extension projects completed in the last seven years.

Why is research important for growers in New York state?

  • New York growers must be able to manage the effects of winter injury, five major diseases, and a short and variable growing season as compared to competitors on the West Coast. With over 30 major grape varieties grown on 33,000 acres, New York’s production is among the most diverse in the United States.
  • Viticulture programs have brought mechanized pruning and crop adjustment to Concord growers, optimal canopy management practices for wine producers, and better training systems for the North Country cold hardy grape varietals.
  • Grape breeding programs over the past twenty years have released seven new varieties with better adaptation to our Northeast climate, unique wine flavor profiles, and enhanced disease resistance.
  • Disease management programs led by specialized plant pathologists are developing management programs for fungal, bacterial and virus pathogens.
  • Insect and Disease Spray Technology programs have advanced the effectiveness of IPM programs for disease and insect management, an online grape berry moth forecasting model, as well as best management practices for spray application, reduce-risk and organic alternatives and minimization of chemical drift.
  • The unique nature of growing grapes in New York’s quickly changing climate is both the greatest opportunity and the greatest challenge growers’ will face over the next decade. Climate change is lengthening the growing season (bloom date has advanced by 7 days since the early 1960s), allowing more reliable ripening of late-season varieties, but also increasing the risk of spring frosts and mid-winter bud injury. New cold-hardy grape varieties that survive sub-zero winter temperatures have allowed expansion of grape production beyond traditional regions- particularly in the Thousand Islands and Champlain/upper Hudson River regions, but also into the Mohawk valley. Wineries now are present in 59 of New York’s 62 counties. CALS climatologists are forecasting even greater extremes in temperature, rainfall and drought events, and earlier season warm-up’s in the years to come, which will place significant pressure on growers in the area of plant pest and disease management. The need for problem-solving research is most likely to increase, rather than decrease, to meet these challenges.
  • Extension programs address growers’ needs in four regions of NY where growing grapes is a primary agricultural and economic component and a valuable diversification strategy for farmers. Extension publications have been developed such as weekly electronic crop updates in the Lake Erie, Finger Lakes, and Long Island regions Veraison to Harvest, a statewide August through October newsletter providing grape maturity and crop development updates as well as Appellation Cornell with which helps connect growers, processors, and winemakers to the latest research and extension developments at Cornell. Extension programs include several critical timed local stakeholder meetings as well as annual meetings such as the BEV conference, CRAVE conference and other field days and grower demonstrations.
  • Agriculture is the business of growing. The healthy growth of plants and animals, as well as farm profitability and economic development, depend on persistently innovative research in particular vineyards, throughout New York, across the nation, and around the world. Despite its small size relative to other state economic sectors, many studies have shown that dollars invested in agricultural industries are transformed into more dollars spent and more jobs generated than in many competing economic enterprises. The New York State wine and grape industry has set a high standard as a major growth sector and economic multiplier across upstate New York for 35 years.
  • Growers in New York State must define and maintain a reliable commitment to public investment in food and agricultural research, in the interests of the upstate economy and consumers looking for high quality, locally produced food and beverages.
  • The wine and grape industry must move ahead decisively to emulate the research funding achievements of New York State apple growers through their recent research order referendum. Until and even after they are established, state administered market orders are all about process. Firm consensus about the level of funding growers can realistically invest in a robust state research and extension infrastructure is key to avoiding delays.
  • Many individuals in and outside agriculture primarily view research and development as the study of pesticides. But it is far more than that and includes highly relevant topics on canopy and ground cover management, understanding how pests and pathogens survive, spread and cause injury to vineyards, the production of disease-free propagation material, mechanization and precision agriculture and much more. To remain profitable while facing increased costs of production, including labor, farmer businesses will need to implement new technologies developed through a diverse portfolio of research.

Important examples of research and extension:

  • Insect and Disease Spray Technology programs have advanced IPM programs for effective pest management, an online grape berry moth forecasting model, as well as best management practices for spray application, reduce-risk and organic alternatives and minimization of chemical drift.
  • Research to understand factors leading to development and spread of fungal, viral and bacterial diseases have impacts on how the diseases are controlled based on weather, varietal susceptibility and pathogen biology in vineyards.
  • Mechanized pruning and crop adjustment to Concord growers.
  • Optimal canopy management practices for wine producers.
  • Extension programs address growers’ needs through critical timed local stakeholder meetings, the BEV NY and CRAVE conferences, and other field days and grower demonstrations in addition to publications including weekly electronic crop updates, Veraison to Harvest, and Appellation Cornell.
  • Better training systems for the North Country cold hardy grape varietals.
  • Grape breeding to produce new seedless and wine grape varieties with better adaptation to our Northeast climate, unique wine flavor profiles, and enhanced fungal, bacterial and viral disease resistance. Since the 1970s the Cornell grape breeding program has released 5 seedless grape varieties and 9 wine grape varieties, including the latest releases of Arandell and Aromella in 2013, already being sold in vintages throughout the state.
  • Economic impact of improved ambience, service, tasting experience, and overall on customer satisfaction on tasting room sales.
  • Helping tasting room staff learn effective communication of wine characteristics in order to help consumers better understand what their preferences are.

When & how will the voting take place?

The New York State Department of Ag & Markets will hold public hearings to receive grower feedback. Based on that feedback, they may call for a vote, ask for changes, or make the decision as to whether the process continues. If a vote is called, growers (> 2 acres) will receive a ballot in the mail in late August to cast their vote for the research order. All ballots will need to be postmarked by September 1, 2017 to be counted.

When & where will the public hearings take place?

June 28, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Hudson Valley Research Library
3357 US 9W
Highland, NY 12528

June 30, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County
423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 100
Riverhead, NY 11901

July 10, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 PM
July 11, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cornell Lake Erie Laboratory
6592 West Main Road
Portland, NY 14769

July 12, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
NYSAES Jordan Hall
614 West North Street
Geneva, NY 14456

July 13, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cornell Cooperative Extension
203 North Hamilton Street
Watertown, NY 13601