New viticulturist joins Cornell Extension Lab for grape program

A big change for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) is the addition of a new viticulturist. Luke Haggerty joined the team in mid-July and is excited to be part of the respected team of researchers and extension specialists at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL). Luke recently received his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota’s Applied Plant Sciences Graduate Program. As a former research assistant, he has a strong background in grape berry phenology, with a focus on profiling specific sugar and acid concentrations during grape berry development.

Since July, Luke first has been busy assisting growers with recommendations toward soil health, disease and pest management and vineyard health. He is also involved in the current sensor research and other ongoing projects at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program.

The LERGP is a joint program of Pennsylvania State University and Cornell. Its four-member extension team provides research-based outreach in IPM, farm business management and viticulture to its clientele of 840 farms growing 30,000 acres of grapes in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties in New York and Erie County, Pa. In addition to conducting research projects, Haggerty has been involved with many outreach and education efforts in the Lake Erie region.