Even with a heat index of 105 plus degrees on July 11, 40 people attended the Eastern Nebraska Viticulture Field Day at Eric Nelson's Oak Creek Vineyard near Raymond, Neb. Vineyard Manager Scott Dvorak and University of Nebraska Viticulture Program Professor Paul Read, Research Technician Steve Gamet, and Doctoral Student Ben Loseke hosted the event.
Loseke led the day's workshop on ground cover options for new vineyards. His research involves looking at different types of grasses or other plant material that may be considered as a ground cover for both the alleyways in a vineyard as well as for ground cover under the vines. He is also examining ease of establishment, maintenance, weed suppression, erosion control and cost effectiveness.
Dvorak showed the vineyard's state of the art irrigation system. He explained the installation process, how it can be used to water the vines or the ground cover and its implementation with fertigation. He also presented information about the nutrition program implemented at the vineyard.
Read's presentation focused on vineyard injury recovery from cold fall, winter and spring temperatures, crop estimation and planning for harvesting, the rejuvenation of an old vineyard and the changing of a trellis system in the vineyard.
The day concluded with a tour of WindCrest Winery vineyards also near Raymond.
Visit viticulture.unl.edu for more information.