Published in Yakima Herald
By Mai Hoang
March 5, 2016
PROSSER — As wine grape buds start to bloom during the early spring, many growers prepare wind machines to battle overnight frost.
But operating those machines drives up fuel and power costs.
So Washington State University researchers spent several years measuring the cold hardiness of wine and Concord grapes. That research provided a model that can help growers determine precisely when to implement frost-prevention measures.
Markus Keller, a WSU viticulture professor, and others involved in the research often get calls from people in other wine regions wondering if the model could be replicated. But he said it’s not unusual to hear from Valley growers who are unaware of the research.
“There is some kind of disconnect,” said Keller, who has worked at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center in Prosser since 2001. “How do we tell that story so everyone is aware of it?”
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