Missouri vineyard owner dealing with damage

The owner of a Missouri winery that opens on Saturday says she’ll invest in specialty crop insurance next year following three hard freezes this spring.

Kathy Houchins, with Claymalnay Vineyard and Winery in Frankford, Missouri tells Brownfield Ag News two freezes in mid-April and then another freeze hurt their grapes that were “looking beautiful.”

Houchins says, “All of our primary shoots are gone, on the St. Vincent (variety). We had secondary shoots coming on and then April 20th we had another hard freeze and I’m losing a lot of my secondary shoots.”

She says the damage was random, like something a tornado would do,

“The whole vine would be completely burnt and then there would be one spur that didn’t have any damage and then the next three or four did.”

Houchins is hoping a third shoot on the vine will produce something – and come back stronger. She doesn’t believe they have vine damage which can devastate a vineyard.

Houchins says this year’s grape damage will affect production of next year’s wine but she’s planning to protect her 2013 crop with some form of crop insurance.

AUDIO: Interview with Kathy Houchins, April 24, 2012 (8:00 mp3)


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