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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Commercial Vineyard Testing of Sensor-based Water Stress Index for Precision Irrigation of Wine Grape

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21000-047-28-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

Objective:
1) Develop a methodology for wireless sensor data acquisition and real-time calculation and display of a daily water stress index for wine grape; 2) Delineate index stress thresholds values for different cultivars of wine grape; 3) Estimate commercial adoption potential for wine grape growers to use the sensor network system for irrigation decision-making.

Approach:
In a previous project, we developed a method to calculate a daily vine water stress index (WSI) for wine grape using a neural network model and vineyard measurements of vine canopy temperature, solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed. After three seasons of data collection with different wine grape cultivars, we have shown that the WSI (range 0 to 1) is a sensitive indicator of irrigation events and amounts. In this project we will develop the methodology required for commercial use of the WSI for irrigation decision-making. The research will be conducted on various wine grape cultivars in existing field irrigation trial plots located at the University of Idaho Research and Extension Center in Parma, ID and in commercial vineyards located within the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area. The existing research vineyards in Parma, ID will be used to measure water productivity, yield and berry composition for delineation of desirable threshold values for the WSI and to evaluate potential for increasing spatial resolution of the WSI by collecting canopy temperature data using unmanned aerial vehicles. Replicated plots in research vineyards will be supplied with differing amounts of water at each irrigation event and weather stations and stationary infrared temperature sensors will be installed in trial plots. Data from temperature and weather sensors will be collected in real-time and the WSI will be calculated and displayed using a web-base user interface. The sensor network system will be field tested and evaluated for adoption potential by in commercial vineyards. Vineyard managers will be asked to observe, evaluate and consider the WSI values for irrigation decision-making. The vineyard managers will provide valuable feedback in regards to the usefulness of the WSI methodology. The outcome of this project will be an automated WSI value that could be used by third parties to develop a commercial water stress irrigation network for use in wine grape.

Last Modified: 09/19/2017
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