Do you want to start a grape farm and make money? Here is an extensive guide on the steps to start a grape farming business including varieties, yield, and much more.
Grapes are remunerative crops. And commercial grapes cultivation is a profitable agriculture business. In addition, the fruit is popular worldwide. Grapes are popular both as fresh fruits and processed items. The scientific name of the grape is Vitis vinifera L. And it belongs to the Vitaceae family. Commercially this is an important fruit globally. Grapes account for 16% of world fruit production.
Any individual can make a lucrative profit from commercial grapes cultivation. However, you must provide proper care and vine management. Furthermore, organic grapes fetch more profit and thus are commercially more profitable. The major grapes-producing countries are Italy, France, Spain, the USA, Turkey, China, Argentina, Iran, and South Africa.
However, China holds the first position in grapes production in Asia. In India, the top Grapes producing states include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Mizoram.
Is Grape Farming Profitable?
The major usage of grapes is for different purposes like a table, wine, juice, and raisins. Fresh grapes are a fairly good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, and vitamins like B. In addition, famous champagne and other dessert wines are prepared from grapes.
The fruit contains about 20% sugar in an easily digestible form besides being rich in calcium and phosphorus. The World over it is grown mainly for winemaking (82% production), raisin making (10% production), and the rest for table purposes (8%).
There are scopes for double cropping and harvesting around the year in certain varieties is practically feasible. In addition, sustaining productivity and minimizing risks in grape cultivation are possible.
Health Benefits of Grapes
First of all, grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. It helps to slow or prevent many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, and colon.
The high polyphenol content in grapes may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
The fiber and potassium in grapes also support heart health.
Grapes are high in water content. So it keeps you hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Also, grapes are high in antioxidants important for eye health such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Finally, grapes are good for skin and hair health.
Things To Consider in Commercial Grape Farming
- First of all, decide what type of grapes you want to produce. Whether you want to grow for fresh consumption or processed food. Accordingly, plan everything.
- Check whether the soil conditions are appropriate for the grapevine.
- Select the right variety according to the season and agroclimatic conditions.
- You must adopt a proper plant protection system for your grapevine.
- Finally, arrange the proper irrigation system for grapes cultivation.
Best Varieties For Grapes
Table purpose varieties
Seeded varieties –Cardinal, concord Emperor, Italia, Anab-e-shahi, Cheema Sahebi, Kalisahebi, Rao Sahebi,
Seedless varieties – Thompson seedless, flame seedless, Kishmish Chorni, Perlette, Arkavati.
Raisin purpose varieties – Hompson seedless, Manik Chaman, Sonaka, Black Corinth, Black Monukka, Arkavati, Dattier.
Wine Varieties – Hardonnay, Cabernet Saurignnon, Bangalore Blue, Muscat, Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blane, White Riesling, and Merlot.
Location & Agro Climatic Condition
Grape is a versatile crop and can adjust to any type of climate. The ideal climate is in the Mediterranean region.
In Europe, America, Australia, and Russia, it grows under temperate conditions. Whereas, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, China, Pakistan, Israel, and North India it grows under sub-tropical conditions. Also, it grows under the tropical climatic conditions of Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Kenya, South, and West India.
Sandy to clayey and loamy soil with good drainage and irrigation facilities is suitable for the cultivation of Grapes. Soils having a pH value from 6.5 to 7.5 are most suitable.
In its natural habitat, the crop bears fruit during the hot and dry periods and undergoes dormancy during the period of severe cold. It tolerates frost during the resting stage but is very susceptible during the growing period.
Temperature ranging from 15-350 C is ideal for shoot growth and normal physiological processes of the grapevine. Vines do not grow and fruit well when the temperature falls below 100 C.
Locations where the annual rainfall does not exceed 900 mm. are ideal for its cultivation. Humidity associated with rains during flowering and fruit ripening is not favorable and invites the attack of fungal diseases.
Suitable Soil For Grape Farming
You can grow grapes with a wide variety of soil. However, the yield and quality reach the highest on good fertile soils that have pH 6.5 to 8.5. In addition, grapes prefer organic carbon above 1.0%, are free of lime, and have a medium water-holding capacity. Salinity in the soil is the major aspect that impacts the growth and yield of the crop.
Suggested Read: How To Take Soil Samples For Analysis?
7 Steps to Start a Grape Farm
1. Land Preparation for Grape Farming
First of all, you must level the land with a tractor or bulldozer as per the requirement, soil type, and gradient. The size of the plot will vary according to the type of training system. In addition, you must fill any type of micronutrient gaps according to the soil testing.
2. Propagation of Grapes
The most common practice of propagation of grapevine is hardwood cuttings. However, you can go with seed softwood cutting, layering, grafting, and budding in certain situations. Sometimes you can also plant rootstocks in the field and there they are grafted with suitable varieties.
You must irrigate the plants before the plant shows symptoms of moisture stress. Since the feeder roots concentrate only on the top layer of soil, give light and frequent irrigation than heavy and less frequent irrigation.
Well-decomposed farmyard manure is the best for grapevine. Furthermore, balanced nutrition and the use of chemical, organic, and biofertilizer are essential to get a good yield. Also, you can use neem cake and Vermi wash.
5. Pruning & Training
You can adopt systems like the bower, Kniffin, telephone, head, and Slanting trellis according to the variety. You must adopt proper pruning practices. The number of nodes retained on a cane varies with the variety and cane thickness. There is no scope to prune earlier than October and later than November due to unfavorable weather conditions.
6. Weed Control
You must remove the weeds between the rows of vines mechanically with tractor-drawn implements. Within the rows, you can manually hoe the weeds and remove them. Sometimes the post-emergent weedicides, main glyphosate at about 2.0 kg/ha or paraquat at about 7.5 kg/ha are sprayed in fully grown vineyards.
Plant Protection System For Grape Farming
a) Pest management
Major harmful pests are flea beetle, thrips & wasps. For controlling these spraying with Dichlorovas, Dimethoate & Endosulfan is recommended.
b) Disease Control
The Crop is suspected of diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew, black rot, wilt, leaf blight, etc. You must take proper control measures and treat them instantly.
Related: Profitable Cash Crops to Grow
Harvesting & Storage in Grape Farming
Grapes will not continue ripening once picked from the vine. So check it before picking. However, rich in color, juicy, full-flavored, and easily crushed but not shriveled are some of the parameters to check. you can expect an average yield for seedless varieties – of 20 to 30 t/ha/y. And for seeded varieties – 40 to 50 t/ha/y
You can store grapes for a maximum of six weeks. However, grapes can absorb the odors of other fruits and vegetables, so keep them separate. Use cardboard boxes or crates lined with clean, dry straws.
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