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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing a Site Selection Tool Using GIS and Grapes As a Model System

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Compile a GIS database of existing grape production areas in the inland Pacific Northwest (PNW; WA, OR, ID). 2. Evaluate inland PNW production areas for site suitability to different grape species/varietals. 3. Establish GIS for grape site potential selection.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This project proposes to utilize Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to evaluate site selection criteria for variety specific grape suitability in inland areas of the three Pacific Northwest states Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Existing data can be compiled into data layers in the GIS and GIS tools will also be used to calculate additional layers. Once compiled, data in the GIS base will be extensively analyzed and compared with information from existing literature on both species and varieties and their historical site optima – largely temperature and latitude criteria (e.g. Gladstones, 1992; Jackson and Shuster, 2001) and soil texture and depth. This will provide a first iteration of site potential by species and variety. The data will be further refined by gathering data on both successful and unsuccessful variety establishment in existing vineyards in these growing regions using a standardized method of measurement to evaluate varietal success. Upon completion of development of the viticulture site selection GIS database, there is the potential to develop a website will be for public access to this information. Documents Grant with Washington State University.


3.Progress Report:

Using the computer Geographic Information System Tool ArcGIS and publically available data, we compiled 30 year weather data, soils data, and topographic data for the inland Pacific Northwest. Once this extensive data base was compiled, we developed a model based on key production factors for site suitability for growing both wine and juice grapes. The model ranks sites for low to high likelihood of success based on cultivar heat requirement. Working with growers in central Washington, we compared our ranking with the growers perception of the field and found that the correlation was acceptable. Further efforts to “ground truth” the model against other sites in a broader geographic range. This research was conducted in support of objective 305 1B Perennial Crops of the parent project.


Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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