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.

Related Articles


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 November 23, 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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