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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
With NCAT, use research findings to create a publication to provide practical, grower-friendly information about best management practices to reduce GHG emissions on farms, and outline economic benefits, including using these practices to market their products as 'C-friendly' to consumers.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
NCAT and ARS will build on CSWA's Vineyard Managment Practices and Carbon Footprints' pamphlet by including new findings, life cycle analysis and case studies, and extend it via many venues.

3. Progress Report
The agreement was established in support of Objective 4 of the in-house project, the goal being to investigate the impacts of vineyard practices on soil microbial ecology. The goal of this project is to characterize soil variability through a landscape-targeted approach emphasizing major soil landscape relationships to stratify the two winegrowing regions into geographical management templates and link greenhouse gas emissions and vineyard nitrogen retention to these templates. The goal of this research is to identify how vineyard management practices affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, carbon (C) stocks, and GHG footprints. The study will occur in North Coast and San Joaquin Valley winegrowing regions. Deliverables include 1) `Best management practices' to increase nitrogen retention and balance production and weed control, 2) Calculation of C offsets potentially gained by reductions in nitrous oxide emissions and increases in soil C content, 3) A decision support system using a web-based GIS to enhance on-farm soil C stocks, 4) grower-friendly publication by partnering with National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Significant progress has been made during FY2011. Intensive grower interviews to determine management practices across nearly 100 vineyards in Napa and Lodi have been conducted. A third of these sites have been sampled for soil characteristics to 1m depth, and soil samples are currently being processed. The remaining sites will be visited in the Fall of 2011. Cooperation between scientists at Applied Geosolutions, LLC has proceeded, and the interactive website where growers can evaluate impacts of their management practices and landscape attributes influence GHG emissions has been initiated. Further, we are cooperating with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) to coordinate our efforts on the website and the life cycle analysis of grower practices as they impact both GHG emissions but other environmental factors like water quality. Equipment necessary for measuring GHG emissions was built and installed across numerous vineyards to capture the effect of management and soil landscape attributes on soil nitrogen cycling. These findings will also be contributed to the project managed by CSWA, in which the DeNitrification/DeComposition model is being refined for use in California winegrapes. The grower-friendly publication is underway, and partners at UC Davis, USDA/ARS and NCAT are developing the specific goals and content for the publication. The project is monitored by maintaining a complete file of the agreement, reviewing the annual reports, and conducting meetings with the cooperator during the course of the agreement.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/22/2017
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