Projects

Irrigation BMPs: Creating a Culture of Water Conservation (DWR)

DU Test in Vineyard

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GOAL

To increase the adoption of irrigation Best Management Practices (BMPs) by winegrape growers resulting in irrigation water conservation.


METHOD

1.    Vineyard Team performs a free irrigation system distribution uniformity evaluation for the grower.
2.    A report is written identifying areas that negatively impact irrigation system efficiency.
3.    Vineyard Team staff meet with the grower to discuss the report and collect additional information about irrigation scheduling and maintenance.
4.    BMPs with the greatest potential to improve irrigation water use efficiency are identified and discussed.
5.    Vineyard Team staff follow up every two to three months with some of the growers in the project to see what they are thinking about or doing in regards to the most beneficial irrigation BMPs identified in the report and the meeting.
6.    Vineyard Team staff provide technical assistance regarding the implementation of irrigation system BMPs to the grower as needed.


BENEFITS TO THE GROWER

1.    Free irrigation system distribution uniformity evaluation
2.    Irrigation BMPs recommended based on the particular situation
3.    Free technical assistance regarding irrigation BMPs for two years

Irrigation is just one of many things on a grower’s mind on any given day. This project investigates how growers make decisions about adopting agricultural water BMPs given the competition of other management areas for the same scarce resources.


Enroll now in the project for a FREE Distribution Uniformity (DU) Evaluation on one irrigation set in your vineyard and personalized technical assistance.

SIGN UP FOR THE PROJECT HERE and WE'LL SCHEDULE YOUR FREE DU! or
To learn more contact Craig Macmillan, Ph.D. at (805) 466-2288 ext.17 or craig@vineyardteam.org


FAQs

What is the purpose of the project?
To help growers conserve irrigation water in vineyards and to better understand how growers think about and make decisions about irrigation. 

What size block can I have evaluated?
That depends. One irrigation set is evaluated. This may include several blocks, or it may consist of a single block. It's best to contact us to see if it will work for the project.

How long does the initial meeting take?
About 90 minutes.

Will I get a copy of the report?
Yes, you will receive both a hard copy and digital copy of the report.

I already know how to interpret a DU report. Can I have the DU report without meeting?
No. The information we need to collect for the project comes from the time we spend with you one-on-one.

How many follow-up phone calls will there be and how long will they last?
Some growers will be called every two to three months. The calls last five to fifteen minutes depending on what there is to talk about. Other growers will be called one year after the DU evaluation just to remind them they are still in the project. All growers will be called and asked to meet again at the end of the project (two years).

Besides DU tests, what else is involved with this project?
Vineyard Team will organize and distribute a number of educational tools (tailgates, fact sheets, articles, podcasts) related to irrigation management.


Additional Resources

Jul 4, 2019

Jim Anshutz, Partner, AgH2O talks about irrigation system maintenance, technology, and efficiency.

Mar 7, 2019

Mark Greenspan, Ph.D., President and Viticulturist, Advanced Viticulture, Inc. shares his insights on irrigation scheduling, technology in the vineyard, and more.

Feb 22, 2019
M.D. Greenspan, K.A. Shackel, & M.A. Matthews Plant, Cell, and Environment

Diurnal changes in berry size pre- and post-veraison.

Feb 22, 2019
Mark D. Greenspan, Hans R. Schultz, and Mark A. Mathews Physiologia Plantarum

A study of how water flows into to and out of grape berries pre- and post-veraison.

Feb 22, 2019
Mark Greenspan Wine Business Monthly

Sometimes a series of short irrigations are better than one long irrigation.

Dec 20, 2018

Kris Beal, M.S., Executive Director of Vineyard Team, recounts some of the history of the organization, it’s current activities and what the future holds in store.

Nov 26, 2018
Vineyard Team

Calculating the amount of water and Nitrogen applied to a vineyard are important for tracking inputs and improving efficiency. Required for SIP Certified vineyards and a helpful tool for any farmer, this workbook includes how to interpret soil and water analysis reports and how to calculate total water applied from irrigation, frost protection, and rainfall plus total nitrogen applied from fertilizer, compost, and water.

Nov 15, 2018

Jean-Pierre Wolff, Owner & Vintner of Wolff Vineyards, talks about how restoring the creeks around his vineyard created steelhead trout habitat and prevented losing his land to erosion.

Oct 4, 2018

Sarah Lopez, Executive Director of Central Coast Water Quality Preservation, Inc., gets into the details of checking water quality to comply with regulations through cooperative monitoring.

Aug 29, 2018
Jacob Hernandez & Craig Macmillan, PhD

In winegrowing regions with insufficient rainfall, the importance of a well-functioning irrigation system cannot be overstated. Here are some of the most common problems found with drip irrigation systems in vineyards and some practical solutions.

Aug 23, 2018
Jacob Hernandez and Ben Burgoa Tailgate Meeting

This meeting brought together experts, boots-in-the-field irrigators, and vineyard managers to share their knowledge and experience with drip irrigation system maintenance and repair.

Aug 21, 2018
Ashley Poupart

Ashley Poupart explores why sustain practices are important to the wine and winegrape industries followed by an overview and comparison of the major sustainability certifications available to vineyards.

Aug 21, 2018
Kaan Kurtural 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Dr. Kaan Kurtural, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist with UC Cooperative Extension describes the benefits of mechanizing viticultural operations. Q&A for this session is here: https://youtu.be/JUF1FaEUudE

Aug 21, 2018
Bart Haycraft 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager for Jackson Family Wines Los Alamos, answers questions about the vineyard operations he has mechanized on his ranches including weed control, canopy management and efficient harvesting. The full session is found here: https://youtu.be/ItFu_50H0og

Aug 21, 2018
Kaan Kurtural 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Dr. Kaan Kurtural, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist with UC Cooperative Extension answers questions about the benefits of mechanizing viticultural operations. The main talk is found here: https://youtu.be/V6gQ-KJ_XFM

Aug 9, 2018
Stephanie Bolton and Craig Macmillan LWC-VT Aerial Imagery Workshop

The Lodi Winegrape Commission and Vineyard Team invited vendors with different technologies to a workshop for show-and-tell.

Aug 9, 2018
Stephanie Bolton LWC-VT Aerial Imagery Workshop

Glossary of terms and some useful information about aerial imaging.

Aug 9, 2018
North Dakota State University
Aug 9, 2018
Andrew G. Reynolds et al. Wines & Vines

First in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.

Aug 9, 2018
Andrew G. Reynolds et al. Wines & Vines

Second in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.

Jul 20, 2018
Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast

Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.

Apr 9, 2018
Dan Rodrigues 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.

Apr 9, 2018
Dan Rodrigues 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC, takes questions about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.

Apr 9, 2018
Dan Rodrigues 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.

Mar 27, 2018
Brian Dugas 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Principal Biologist, Terra Verde Environmental Consulting talks about regulatory agency reviews, permit requirements, road/culvert designs, permitting strategies, and ecological considerations for vineyard development and management at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo.

Mar 15, 2018

Irrigation is just one of many things on a grower’s mind on any given day. To help growers conserve irrigation water in vineyards, Vineyard Team has launched a project to investigate how growers make decisions to adopt agricultural water BMPs.

Feb 26, 2018
Margy Lindquist 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Slides from Margy Lindquist's talk about the importance of conservation planning as part of vineyard development at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo.

Feb 26, 2018
Andrew Johnson 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Slides from Project Manager Andrew Johnson's talk about how the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD and Resource Conservation Districts can help growers protect and improve their land during vineyard development.

Jan 11, 2018
San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Department

Contacts, definitions, and processes for disposing of pesticides (hazardous waste in San Luis Obispo County.

Dec 7, 2017

Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, Associate Professor of Viticulture at Cornell University, explains how growing cover crops in the vine row can devigorate vines and protect water quality.

Dec 4, 2017
Craig Macmillan, PhD

Calculating how much fertilizer to apply or was applied is easy using these simple steps.

Dec 4, 2017
Craig Macmillan, PhD

Use this helpful spreadsheet to calculate how much liquid fertilizer to apply or was applied.

Nov 16, 2017

Paul Crout, Vineyard Manager and Viticulturist at Vineyard Professional Services explains why keeping records of water and Nitrogen use in the vineyard is important and how to use that information to best manage your crop.

Oct 5, 2017

Stacie Clary, Communications Manager for Western SARE discusses the program and some of its many successes from funding grower-lead projects to find sustainable solutions to agricultural problems.

Sep 5, 2017
Craig Macmillan, Ph.D. Technical article

A fact sheet about cover crops and tillage.

Sep 5, 2017
ITRC Publication

A list of questions you should discuss with your irrigation dealer before purchasing an irrigation system. This will help you make better decisions about system design options. You will also understand the obligations of both yourself and the dealer when designing your irrigation system.

Jul 26, 2017
Craig Macmillan, PhD

The crop looks good and canopy growth is strong.

Jul 10, 2017

Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Jun 1, 2017

Doug Beck, Science Advisor for Monterey Pacific Inc., talks about the different types of technology used in the vineyard.

Mar 28, 2017

A template for creating your own plan to better manage the natural resources in and around your vineyard.

Feb 27, 2017
Michael Cahn Managing Salinity Tailgate

These slides explain the terminology used in lab reports regarding soil and water salinity issues and include equations for calculating leach requirements and leaching fractions.

Feb 6, 2017
Craig Macmillan, PhD

To make sure your drip irrigation system is going to operate as your expect it to, follow these steps before the irrigation season arrives.

Nov 15, 2016
Laurel Warddrip

Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and Statewide Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges

Nov 15, 2016
Erik Ekdahl

State implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

Oct 26, 2016
Craig Macmillan
Aug 16, 2016
Craig Macmillan, Ph.D.

Do cover crops deplete soil moisture enough during the winter and spring months to increase the amount of irrigation water required during the growing season? These two experiments suggest that the species of cover crop and when and how it is terminated do not have this effect.

May 1, 2012
Dr. Charles Burt ITRC Cal Poly