America’s first commercial vineyard was located in Kentucky and, before prohibition, Kentucky was the third largest grape and wine producing state in the country.  With prohibition, grape acreage was used to produce tobacco instead.  However, in 1976, Kentucky passed legislation allowing wineries to begin operations and since the 2004 tobacco buyout, the grape and wine industry has rebounded tremendously (source:  University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Magazine).   Grapevine acreage in the state of Kentucky has grown from 67 acres in 1999 to 550 acres in 2015.  Kentucky has over 113 grape producers growing the following categories of grapes:  European, French-American hybrids, and American/Native.  In just the past five years, the number of small farm wineries in the state has grown from 15 to more than 65 and an estimated 100,000 cases of wine are produced each year (kentuckywine.com).  Industry statistics from 2014 published on wineamerica.org show that Kentucky ranked 9th in the nation for wine production with 2,241,527 gallons produced that year.   

The Indy International is billed as the nation’s largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition.  Three of Kentucky’s wineries won medals in 2015 after competing with more than 2000 entries from 40 states and 15 countries (kentuckywine.com). 

Kentucky tourism is also benefiting from the revival of the wine industry in the state.  Following the success of the “Bourbon Trail”, Kentucky Tourism has created “Kentucky Wine Trails” that will lead wine enthusiasts throughout the state.  There are wine festivals and special events such as concerts held at many wineries during the spring and summer months. 

The rising importance of the grape and wine industry in Kentucky highlights the need for a survey focused on pests in this system.        

Egyptian Cotton Leafworm

Egyptian Cotton Leafworm

2011 was the first year of the Grape Commodity Survey in Kentucky.  We surveyed 20 vineyards across Kentucky.  We designed a trapping program targeting six moth pests:  Silver-Y Moth, Egyptian Cotton Leafworm, False Codling Moth, Light Brown Apple Moth, Cotton Cutworm, and European Grapevine Moth.  The traps were in the vineyards from April to October 2011.  In 2012 and 2013, we completed a similar survey with identical target pests except that instead of trapping for Cotton Cutworm, we trapped for the Summer Fruit Tortrix moth instead.  Twelve vineyards were surveyed in 2013, 6 vineyards in 2014, and 12 vineyards in 2015 and 2016.  In 2015, we added a seventh moth, European Grape Berry Moth, to the survey and included it in the 2016 and 2017 surveys.  The 2017 survey took place in 10 vineyards throughout the state.     

Cotton Cutworm

Cotton Cutworm

2011

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Anderson, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Fayette, Grant, Hancock, Henderson, Kenton, Madison, Nelson, Washington, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2012

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  20

  • Counties Surveyed:  Anderson, Bracken, Bullitt, Campbell, Fayette, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison, Nelson, Owen, Pulaski, Washington, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2013

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  12

  • Counties Surveyed:  Caldwell, Daviess, Fayette, Henderson, Nelson, Union, Washington, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2014

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  6

  • Counties Surveyed:  Caldwell, Henderson, McCracken, Union

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2015

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  12

  • Counties Surveyed:  Caldwell, Crittenden, Daviess, Henderson, Lyon, McCracken, Union, Warren, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2016

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  12

  • Counties Surveyed:  Caldwell, Crittenden, Daviess, Graves, Henderson, Lyon, McCracken, Union, Warren, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  0

2017

  • Number of Vineyards Surveyed:  10

  • Counties Surveyed:  Caldwell, Daviess, Graves, Henderson, McCracken, Union, Warren, Woodford

  • Number of Target Moth Pests Captured:  TBD

Silver Y Moth

SIlver Y Moth

False Codling Moth

False Codling Moth

Grape Commodity Survey: 2012

Grape Commodity Survey: 2013

Grape Commodity Survey: 2014

Grape Commodity Survey: 2015