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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #440862

Research Project: Defining Soil Health for Winegrape Production

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2032-21220-008-048-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2021
End Date: Oct 1, 2024

The objective of this work is to define appropriate metrics and values for 'Soil Health' in winegrape production. Wine grapes are unique from other annual crops, in which the majority of studies on soil health have occurred. Traditionally, wine grape vineyards are low input systems that must balance yield, fruit chemistry and soil conservation needs. Many soil conservation practices like cover cropping and compost addition lead to increases in soil nutrient availability, which may be detrimental to wine grape production. This work will contribute to ongoing collaborative work with the cooperator addressing the relationship between soil conservation practices, soil health indicators and the soil microbial community in wine grape vineyards.

The cooperator will pair grower perceptions of soil health for wine grape production with biophysical measurements of soil health. These indicators include soil microbial enzymatic activity related to nutrient availability in vineyard soils. These will be paired with assessments of the soil microbial community composition to further examine the relationship between composition and function.