Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ideal Irrigation Methods For Premium Wine Grapes Determined

Date:
May 19, 2008
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
A new study should provide vineyard managers new techniques for producing healthy and long-lasting grape crops. After extensive trials, data indicated that soil sampling within a 20- to 40-centimeter radius of the drip line emitter best reflected the amount of water available to the plants.

Robert Mondavi vineyards, Napa CA.
Credit: Photo by Patrick Holian-CSREES/USDA

The inland areas of the Pacific Northwest, where rainfall averages only 4 to 12 inches per year, present growing challenges for vineyard owners and wine grape producers. The arid conditions in this part of the country have not been conducive for vineyard owners who produce and market high-quality wine grapes.

To promote healthy grape production when nature fails to deliver, vineyard managers in the area typically employ an irrigation practice known as "regulated deficit irrigation". More than 60% of the wine grapes in the state of Washington are grown using this drip irrigation method. Unfortunately, the current irrigation methods are replete with problems that can cause over-irrigation and compromised grape quality.

Recently, researchers at Washington State University's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center completed a study that should provide vineyard managers new techniques for producing healthy and long-lasting grape crops. Joan R. Davenport was the lead author of the study published in the February 2008 issue of HortScience. Explaining the impetus behind the research, Davenport said: "Most of these vineyards use drip irrigation to supply supplemental water. Soil moisture is often measured to determine when to apply irrigation. However, without knowing the pattern of moisture under these conditions, the best place to check soil moisture content to mimic what the plant root sees was not understood. Our objective was to establish the soil moisture zone in this system."

Researchers discovered that areas immediately below the drip line and the drip emitter were not appropriate places for monitoring soil moisture.They found that there can be a "dry zone" just below the emitter created by the repeated dropping of water, thus causing the soil to seal. Davenport explained that "right below the drip line the moisture pattern was variable due to distortions (warping) of the lines, and thus was not a good indicator of the patterns of plant available water." After extensive trials, data indicated that soil sampling within a 20- to 40-centimeter radius of the drip line emitter best reflected the amount of water available to the plants.

According to Davenport, the research will have multiple benefits. "Environmentally, the results have the potential to help growers prevent over-irrigation. In the industry, over-irrigation can have serious adverse affects on grape quality, which is equally important to yield for premium wine grape production. For the industry, knowing where to monitor soil moisture to best reflect plant-available water means that there is less chance of stressing the vines by under-watering. Not only can this adversely affect fruit yield, it also has the potential to reduce plant cold-hardiness, making the plants more likely to suffer from winter injury, which leads to vine death in the area on average every 10 years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Davenport, Joan R., Stevens, Robert G., Whitley, Kelly M. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Soil Moisture in Drip-irrigated Vineyards. HortScience 2008 43: 229-235 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ideal Irrigation Methods For Premium Wine Grapes Determined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519134750.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2008, May 19). Ideal Irrigation Methods For Premium Wine Grapes Determined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519134750.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ideal Irrigation Methods For Premium Wine Grapes Determined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519134750.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins