ANNOUNCING: Lightsabers & Jedi in the Wine Industry - Special Event
ANNOUNCING: Lightsabers & Jedi in the Wine Industry - Special Event

ANNOUNCING: Lightsabers & Jedi in the Wine Industry - Special Event

Lightsabers & Jedi in the Wine Industry

Special Event Discussion on Technology in the Hands of Viticulturists

Monday, November 13, 2023


Vineyard Team announces a limited-space, intimate conversation with Cornell University’s distinguished researcher on precision viticulture, Dr. Terry Bates. On Monday, November 13, 2023, preceding the first day of the in-person Sustainable Ag Expo, Dr. Bates will lead a discussion on technology in the hands of viticulturists. The conversation will examine the metaphorical connection between lightsabers and skilled vine cultivators, and discuss how cutting-edge tools could transform modern viticulture.

In 2021, the Precision Viticulture market was valued at $1,528.56 million US dollars. It is projected to grow at a 9.17% compound annual growth rate over the next seven years, reaching $3,308.66 Million US dollars by 2030. (Verified Market Research, 2023)

While growers have large spatial variations in soil, vine growth, and fruit yield, they often do not have the tools or technology to effectively manage individual blocks to maximize potential. They want to know how they can integrate state-of-the art devices to optimize grape quality.

As Senior Research Associate and Director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory, Dr. Bates’ program focuses on viticulture with an integrated systems approach to vine productivity, fruit quality, and farm profitability. He was the lead Principal Investigator on the Efficient Vineyard project – a software for vineyard managers to collect, process, and organize spatial data for their own operation.

Many growers have looked at the suite of technology in their vineyard that promise to target yields, improve fruit quality, and ensure economic sustainability and thought, “These aren’t the droids I am looking for.” The Efficient Vineyard myEV tool has evolved over 18 years to bring viticulturalists new hope.

Funded through the USDA-NIFA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the software helps growers become one with the Force by aggregating data on vineyard soils, canopy development, crop size, and fruit quality. The data is translated into useful viticulture information so vineyard managers can improve yield and quality, lower production costs, and conserve labor and environmental resources. Dr. Bates says, “The Efficient Vineyard project is a national effort to advance the use of precision viticulture in wine, juice, and table grape production.” (

After hearing from Dr. Bates, attendees conclude their evening saga with a flight of sustainable, SIP Certified wines from event host Center of Effort, and gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres from local Alba Provisions. And, of course, an opportunity to network with the Yoda’s of precision viticulture.

If attendees still feel that their technology stack is drawing them to the dark side, there is another opportunity to continue the journey to precision vineyard management. Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Dr. Bates is joined by Donnell Brown, President of the National Grape Research Alliance; Dr. Mason Earles, Assistant Professor of Viticulture and Enology, Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of California, Davis; and Dr. Andrew McElrone, Adjunct Professor of Viticulture and Enology at USDA-ARS at the University of California, Davis in an expert panel discussion.

Dr. Bates will describe his protocol for collecting spatial data, translating sensor data to viticulture information, integrating spatial information with simple data processing, and generating customized prescription maps. The panel will discuss AI- and sensor-enabled yield estimation, precision irrigation and water management from space (don’t worry, it is not the Death Star), and all of the variable rate management and decision support in between.

Beth Vukmanic, Executive Director at Vineyard Team says, “With the constant evolution in science and technology, we are all Jedi in training. Our mission at Vineyard Team is to bring together the teachers so viticulturalists’ can continue to master their craft.”

For 18 years, the Sustainable Ag Expo has brought together farmers, ag professionals, and pest control advisors to learn about the latest in farming research, resource issues, and business trends related to sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Ag Expo ticket holders are invited to claim one of the limited spots at the Monday, November 13, 2023 conversation with Dr. Terry Bates, Lightsabers & Jedi, while supplies last.

Tickets for the Sustainable Ag Expo are on sale now at

Lightsabers & Jedi: Technology in the Hands of Viticulturists is exclusively sponsored by Fieldin.

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