The hot dry summer has been good for one of Missouri’s crops that’s being harvested now. The mild winter and the warm March got the grape growing season started about a month early. May and June were good for the grapes although July’s withering heat caused development to shut down in many fields and the grapes to be smaller than usual. But the head of the state agriculture department’s grape program, Jim Anderson, says they’re still going to be good.
He says the harvesting of white grapes should be finished later this month or early September and the red varies should be harvested by the end of September or early October. That’s three to four weeks ahead of time. The long dry spell is causing a long-term concern, though. He says many younger vines have not fared well in the drought and badly need winter moisture to develop next year.
Missouri has 121 wineries that will use this year’s crop.