In the past few decades, breeders at the University of Florida and Florida A&M University have developed grape (muscadine and hybrid) varieties commercially viable in Florida. The 2017 Census of Agriculture shed a positive light on the growth of the Florida grape industry. Almost 1,600 acres of land was reported to be planted with grapes, an 8% increase from 2012, and a 74% increase from the census in 2007. There were 574 reported farms in 2017, up from 558 in 2012, and 329 in 2007. Planting continues to expand, with the number of non-bearing acres almost tripling from 2007 to 2017. While grapes are still a small part of Florida’s overall agricultural sector, this vigorous growth sets it apart from many other crops. All of this creates a very promising picture for the future of Florida grapes.
Our mission for the grape research and extension programs is to help expand the industry and keep the industry sustainable and profitable by conducting appropriate research and extension projects. We work with Florida A&M University, various UF/IFAS stations, and several multi-county extension agents around the state to address establishment and production issues. We are also responsible for effective communication transfer of research results and improvements in grape production with the goal of expanding a competitive grape industry in Florida. We welcome growers' feedback and industry participation.