Pixel Watering of Wine Grapes in California: Proof-of-concept Testing of a Modular Variable Rate Irrigation Prototype

Ideally, irrigation should be applied differentially throughout the vineyard in order to compensate for soil variation and optimize both fruit yield and quality. Luis will show the results of a variable rate irrigation (VRI) system prototype implemented in early 2013 on a 10-acre drip-irrigated Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard section in Lodi, California. The VRI system irrigates 140 15x15-meter irrigation zones watered independently, with weekly schedules calculated through an energy balance approach using Landsat and local weather data. This project is a joint effort between E&J Gallo Winery and IBM.
E & J Gallo Winery
Senior Research Scientist

Luis is a Senior Research Viticulturist with E&J Gallo Winery at Modesto, California. During the last 11 years he has worked on many research projects on irrigation, mineral nutrition, extended maturation, aroma development, bud fruitfulness, and yield estimation. More recently his work has focused on understanding vineyard variability with tools such as remote sensing, yield monitors and other proximal and contact sensors to establish the bases for precision viticulture. This work includes the introduction of large scale yield mapping to California vineyards and the establishment of a modular, variable rate irrigation system prototype, watering 140 different zones scheduled using Landsat data. Luis has a degree in Agronomy from the National University of Colombia, an MS in Plant Science from UC Riverside and a PhD in Plant Biology from UC Davis. His experience in research and consulting is very diverse and includes breeding and cultural practices in tropical fruit production, integrated pest management in citrus, avocado, grapes and vegetables, breeding in dry beans and guayule, consulting, sales and networking with agribusinesses in Latin America, winemaking and vineyard employee education.

July 28, 2015 02:00pm

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