The Washington State Wine Commission invites grape growers to a free webinar about the economics of mechanization in Oregon and Washington vineyards on Jan. 20 at 12:30 p.m. PST.
Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert will share findings from his research into the return on investment for mechanizing different vineyard tasks in both Oregon and Washington.
His findings show that while many growers look at the sticker price for equipment and think “I can’t afford that,” most vineyards with modest scale would have better net cash flow per acre with investments in mechanization such as leaf pullers, harvesters and precision pruners.
Every farm is different, however, and in the webinar Seavert will show growers how to use the AgBizLogic program — a suite of economic, financial and environmental decision aid tools he and his collaborators developed — to evaluate mechanization on their own bottom lines.
According to the webinar announcement from the wine commission, attendees are encouraged to create their own AgBizProfit account in advance and set it up with some farm-specific data, so they’ll have a baseline budget to work with as they follow along with Seavert’s analysis.
The webinar is part of the Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology seminar series. Future topics include managing grape leaffolders and introduction to a crop estimation smartphone app.
Registration and more information (along with archives from past webinars) is available at washingtonwine.org/research/wave.
—by Kate Prengaman