Commercial grape farming is a very old and highly profitable business in many countries around the world. It is a branch of the science of horticulture and very common and popular in many countries.
Actually grape farming or viticulture or wine growing is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a very common and popular business commercial grape farming can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Commercial grape farming is relatively an easy and lucrative business. You can start this business for making high profits. Duties of a viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, irrigation, fertilizing, canopy management, monitoring fruit development, harvesting etc.
The grape is actually classified as a berry. It is a perennial and deciduous woody climbing vine. It is a good source of many vitamins and minerals.
Grapes are generally used for raw eating and also used for making different types of products such as jam, jelly, raisins, juice, vinegar, seed oil, grape seed extracts etc.
Commercial grape farming is done in many countries. But the major grape producing countries are USA, France, South Africa, China, Turkey, Portugal, Iran, Italy, Argentina, Chile etc. Among these countries, China is the largest grape producer.
Grapes are very nutritious and healthy. Raw grapes are 1% protein, 18% carbohydrates, 81% water and negligible amount of fat.
A 100 grams serving of raw grapes provides 69 kilocalories (288 kilojoules) of food energy and a moderate amount of vitamin K with no other micronutrients in significant content.
Health Benefits of Grape
As you can see above, grapes are nutritious and high beneficial for health. They are high in nutrient and antioxidant contents.
Consuming grapes on a regular basis has numerous health benefits. Here we are trying to describe the top health benefits of consuming grapes.
- Grapes are packed with nutrients. They are great source of many important vitamins and minerals. Grapes are especially rich in copper and vitamins B and K.
- Consuming grapes on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and thus this fruits are great against heart diseases.
- As we have mentioned previously, grapes are very high in antioxidants. And you probably know, antioxidants are beneficial plant compounds that may protect against chronic health conditions.
- And the antioxidants in grapes may protect against certain types of cancer.
- Regular consumption of grapes may protect against diabetes and also help to lower blood sugar levels.
- Grapes contain several beneficial compounds which are very good for eye health. They contain resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin and all these may help to prevent common eye diseases.
- Grapes contain compounds that may improve attention, memory and mood, as well as protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Regular consumption of grapes are beneficial for your bone health.
- Grapes contain several compounds that may have beneficial effects against harmful bacteria and fungi.
- Regular consumption of grapes may slow the signs of aging and promote longevity. Resveratrol is found on grapes, and it has been shown to activate genes associated with slower the signs of aging and longer lifespan.
- Grapes contain several compounds with anti-inflammatory effects. And all these compounds can help you to protect against chronic diseases.
- The antioxidant resveratrol in grapes may protect your skin from damage and promote hair growth.
- Regular consumption of grapes may improve your sleep quality. Because grapes are a natural source of melatonin (a hormone that may improve seep quality).
- Moderate consumption of grapes may relieve constipation. As the grapes are good source of water and fiber.
- Antioxidants in grapes may combat obesity by inhibiting appetite and preventing weight gain.
- Grapes are easy to snack on or add to your meals. Grape juice and red wine (in moderation) may provide health benefits as well.
Advantages of Grape Farming Business
Grape farming is a very easy and profitable business. Starting grape farming commercially is relatively easy and simple. You can start this business even if you are a beginner.
Although, we recommend having practical knowledge first before starting this business. However, here we are trying to describe the top advantages of grape farming business.
- Commercial grape farming business is an excellent way for making high amounts of profits.
- Starting commercial grape production is relatively easy and simple. Even the beginners can also start this business.
- Commercial grape farming is already an established business. So, you don’t have to worry much about starting and operating this business.
- The grape plants are relatively hardy and they grow well in minimum care and management.
- The plants generally require less caring, and the caring process is also very easy.
- Both demand and vale of grapes are very high in the market.
- You can make many products from grapes or sell the raw grapes directly in the market.
- Many people are already doing this business commercially. So, you don’t have to worry much about starting and operating this business.
- Marketing grapes and grape products is very easy. Because, grapes already have very good demand and value in the market.
- Commercial grapes farming is a very profitable business if you can manage everything perfectly. So, it can be a great employment source for the people.
- Commercial production of grapes can be a great employment source especially for the educated but unemployed people.
- Production costs of grapes are relatively less, but the returns are very good.
- You will be able to make high profits continuously once the plants are established.
- As you can see above, the grapes are highly nutritious and have numerous health benefits. And you can start enjoying fresh grapes if you start your own production.
How to Start Grape Farming
As we have mentioned previously, starting commercial grape farming is very easy and simple. It’s just like starting other crop farming business.
Even the beginners can also start this business easily. Although, we recommend having practical training or knowledge from an existing farmer.
Having practical knowledge will help you to make good profits. Here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating a successful grape farming business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
The grape plants grow in a variety of soil types. But these plants generally grow well in fertile soil which is rich in organic contents.
Ideal pH range of the soil is between 6.5 and 8.5. The soil with good water holding capacity is very good for commercial grape farming business.
Prepare the Soil
Preparing the soil perfectly is very important for commercial grape farming business. Because well prepared soil will ensure good production and maximum profits.
3-4 deep ploughings should be done by tractor followed by 2-3 harrowings to bring the soil to a fine tilth. Add enough organic contents while preparing the soil.
Climate Requirement For Grape Farming
Commercial grape farming can be done in a variety of soil types and agro-climatic conditions. They can be grown in sub-tropical, hot tropical and mild tropical climatic regions.
Grapes are grown in both temperate and tropical climate. And the vines remain evergreen in a tropical climate. The plants generally perform well where there is no or little rain at the time of ripening of the grapes.
Best Time For Grape Cultivation
The best season for planting the rooted cuttings of cultivated varieties in the main field is September to October whereas for rootstocks it is February to March.
Choose a Variety
There are many different grape varieties available to choose from. Different tastes and flavor, many color, many shape and sizes available. You should consult with your local farmers for selecting the right variety.
And you should choose the variety which grow well in your area and which has good market demand and value.
Grapes can be propagated in many different ways. But the most common and popular grape propagation method is through dormant cuttings. Wait until after the vines have gone dormant for collecting propagation material.
Today, there are many nurseries available which are producing grape plants. You can purchase ready plants from these nurseries.
Many nurseries also have online presence. So, you can also consider ordering online.
Planting grape plants is very easy and simple. You can plant the plants immediately after purchasing. But we recommend planting in the afternoon.
And water the plants immediately after planting. Use spacing of 3m x 3m, 5m x 3m or 6m x 3m depending on the variety and planting method.
The grape plants generally require less caring and other management. Although, taking additional caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more fruits.
In newly planted vines, application of Urea at the rate of 60 grams and MOP at the rate of 125 grams is done in April month and then repeat the same dose in June month.
For older vines, application of fertilizer is done according to given in the table. Full dose of FYM and SSP and half dose of Nitrogen and Potassium are applied after pruning and half dose of Nitrogen and Potassium are applied after fruit set in April.
Spraying of urea is done two times, first is done at the time of full blooming and second at fruit set. Review the full fertilizer requirement chart based on the age of the plants.
Adequate irrigation/watering is very important for good production of grapes. Apply one irrigation after pruning in the 1st fortnight of February, then another in the first week of March.
Apply irrigation at 10 days interval after fruit set in April till the 1st week of May. And apply irrigation on weekly interval during the rest of the month May.
Apply irrigation at 3 to 4 days interval in June to October if rainfall is insufficient. And one irrigation in November to January if soil gets extremely dry.
Mulching helps to retain moisture into the soil, and at the same time it also helps to control weeds. You can use organic materials for using as mulch.
Weeds consume nutrients from the soil, so it’s important to control them. You should always emphasis on manual weeding. Consult with a horticulture specialist in your area if you are willing to apply chemical weeding.
Pruning is very important for commercial grape farming business. Pruning should be done in January every year when the vines are still dormant.
Keep only healthy fruiting canes with the recommended number of buds per cane depending upon the cultivar.
Pests & Diseases
Like many other commercial crops, the grape plants are also susceptible to many pests and diseases. Here we are trying to list the common pests and diseases of the grape plants and also preventive methods.
Common Diseases & Their Control
Common diseases of the grape plants are powdery mildew, downy mildew and anthracnose. Learn more about symptoms and preventing methods.
Deep sunken wounds of canker are seen on fruits, stem and branches, and brown color stains are seen on the leaves. To get rid of anthracnose start spraying of copper oxychloride or M-45 at the rate of 400 grams per 150 liter water.
Irregular shaped yellow color spots are seen on the upper layer of leaves and on lower layer fungus of white color is seen.
Apply the first spray of Mancozeb at the rate of 400-500 grams during training and pruning. And then the second spray after 3-4 weeks of the first spray, the third spray before twig development and finally apply the fourth spray when bunch development start.
As the name suggests, powdery material is seen on both sides of leaves and on a bunch of flowers. Spray Carbendazim at the rate of 400 grams or wettable sulphur at the rate of 600 grams before flower development and at the time of fruit development.
Pests & Their Control
Common pests of the grape plants are leaf roller, beetles, yellow and red wasp, and thrips and jassids. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment methods.
Beetles are very dangerous. They eat fresh leaves and make the vines leafless. You can spray Malathion at the rate of 400 ml per 150 liter water.
These pests make the leaf roll and also eat flowers. You can spray Quinalphos at the rate of 600ml per 150 liter water to get rid of leaf rollers.
Thrips & Jassids
These pests suck the juice of leaves and fruits. You can spray Malathion at the rate of 400 ml per 150 liter water to get rid of thrips and jassids.
Yellow & Red Wasp
Yellow and red wasp eats the mature fruits by doing the hole. You can spray Quinalphos at the rate of 600ml per 150 liter of water to get rid of yellow and red wasp.
Prevention is better than cure. So, always try to monitor the plants and their growth and overall appearance and performance. And take necessary steps ASAP.
Harvesting grapes is very easy and simple. Generally, you can start harvesting when the fruits are fully matured. Grading is done after harvesting depending on the size.
After grading, fruits are pre cooled at 4.4° C temperature within six hours. Packing of grapes is done in containers for long distance markets.
It’s very tough to tell the exact number. Because it depends on numerous factors. Learn more from existing farmers in your area.
Marketing grapes is very easy and simple. You can either sell raw fruits or grape products depending on market demand and value. Although, we recommend determining the right marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful grape farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!