Date: Tue Jul 28, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
Ideally, irrigation should be applied differentially throughout the vineyard in order to compensate for soil variation and optimize both fruit yield and quality. Luis will show the results of a variable rate irrigation (VRI) system prototype implemented in early 2013 on a 10-acre drip-irrigated Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard section in Lodi, California. The VRI system irrigates 140 15x15-meter irrigation zones watered independently, with weekly schedules calculated through an energy balance approach using Landsat and local weather data. This project is a joint effort between E&J Gallo Winery and IBM.
An approach to conserving water is to maximize the irrigation efficiency and to minimize water loss. Irrigation has become essential to improve crop water and nutrient use efficiently especially on soils with low water and nutrient holding capacity. In recent years, new strategies for precision irrigation have been supported by advances of the technology. Use of information from soil moisture sensors, crop models and weather monitoring are becoming common methods to assist producers with real-time data in making sustainable irrigation decisions. More recently, irrigation apps provide users with information on their smart phones/tablets to better estimate crop water needs using real-time data from the weather stations.