The national online resource, eViticulture (eviticulture.org), offers the latest in science-based information for viticulturists.
This new resource, created by the Grape Community of Practice (GCoP) and eXtension (extension.org), is directed toward commercial viticulturists who need proven, tested information to improve their skills in the vineyard.
“This community of practice is made up of a nationwide group of professionals with experience in grape production,” said Eric Stafne, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist. “All the states involved have a grape industry, from the very large to very small, and all have an increasing interest in grape production.”
Expertise within the GCoP includes integrated pest management, plant pathology, food science, distance education, variety selection, canopy management and rootstocks, to name a few.
Stafne said often individuals possess more than one expertise area, and expertise areas overlap, allowing for overall strength in numerous knowledge areas.
The mission of the GCoP is to meet the educational needs of the grape industry as a whole; including industry partners, Extension employees and consumers by providing science-based information and learning opportunities through eXtension.
Tools for eViticulture include more than 200 feature articles from basic concepts of viticulture to the latest, ground-breaking research, written in understandable language in both English and Spanish; ask an expert by submitting a specific question related to viticulture; and future content including webinars, videos, online courses and smart phone applications.
“Any professional, hobbyist or consumer in the field of viticulture will be able to access information about any aspect of growing and producing grapes,” Stafne said. “By doing so, this will increase their knowledge and help them use the information as a way to improve their skills, life and business.
This project endeavors to not duplicate information in other university websites, but work synergistically with them to provide an easier, and more comprehensive, experience for the grower. Our end goal is to be the ‘one-stop-shop’ for viticulture information.”