Bud dissection to evaluate the ’07 crop, the impact of chilling hours on this year’s crop and the impact of recent rainy weather and unseasonable heat on powdery mildew development were just three of the topics covered in the first edition of a new electronic newsletter for the California grape industry.

“The Grape Line” is e-mailed twice a month to growers, pest control advisers (PCAs) and others involved in producing and marketing California table, wine and raisin grapes. The information for the newsletter is gathered and prepared by the editors of Western Farm Press (www.westernfarmpress.com).

“The Grape Line” is sponsored online by Chemtura Crop Protection.

“Chemtura is pleased to sponsor ‘The Grape Line’ e-newsletter as an information service for the California grape industry,” said Steve Kant, director of marketing services for Chemtura.

One reason Chemtura partnered with Western Farm Press on this new e-newsletter is the response from PCAs and others to the Chemtura sponsorship of two continuing education courses, one on powdery mildew management in grapes offered online on the Western Farm Press Web Site. The other online course is on almond pest management.

“We held meetings with PCAs in California earlier this year and we asked them how many were aware of these CEU courses and probably 75 percent of them were aware of the online courses,” said Kant. “This tells us PCAs and others are relying increasingly on online services as relevant sources of timely information.”

“That went a long way in convincing the marketing team at Chemtura to sponsor ‘The Grape Line’ e-newsletter published by Western Farm Press,” added Kant.

Neil Budge, Chemtura regional manager in Clovis, Calif., said e-newsletters and other Web information providers are a growing source of information for people working in California agriculture.

“I am excited that ‘The Grape Line’will become a vital information source for the ever-changing California grape industry and people anticipate the news it will offer twice a month,” said Budge.

“This is our second e-newsletter to go online within the past year, with a third in development,” said Greg Frey, publisher of Western Farm Press. “We track site usage closely and see the response to our online continuing education courses as clear evidence of a growing use of the Web by the agriculture community, particularly in the West.”

“The Grape Line” e-newsletter is part of a growing platform of electronic information products from Western Farm Press, its sister agricultural publications and Penton Media.

“We track Internet use of our Web Sites and we see the response to the online continuing education courses as clear evidence of a growing use of the Internet by agriculture, particularly in the West,” said Frey.

To sign up for the e-newsletter go to http://subscribe.westernfarmpress.com/subscribe_gline.cfm. where you also will find back issues of “The Grape Line”.