Projects

Soil Moisture Monitoring in Vineyards - Demonstration (CIG)

This project's goal is demonstrate the use of soil moisture sensors to increase water use efficiency in vineyards in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. Three demonstration growers were assisted in adopting new irrigation management practices through the use of plant, soil, and weather data collection. The content from the demonstration sites were extended to a broader grower audience through tailgate meetings, newsletters, email lists, website, social media, fact sheets, presentations, and trade publications.


Soil Moisture Sensors in Vineyards: Educational Resources


Special Thanks to the Following:

Funding Source- United States Department of Agriculture, Conservation Innovation Grant

Project Duration

2014-2015

Cooperating Vineyards

Opolo Vineyards
Penman Springs Vineyards
Sereno Vista Vineyards


Additional Water Conservation Resources

A compilation of resources on water conservation can be found on our resources page.


Learn More about Sustainable Vineyard Practices

Feb 17, 2022

Greg Pennyroyal of Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards was looking for soil moisture systems and found that the products available in the market were all expensive, proprietary systems that did not meet the needs of small block Temecula vineyards. He partnered with Reinier van der Lee, CEO of Vinduino, to reverse engineer the technology to develop a product that would give the same results for a fraction of the cost.

Feb 7, 2022

Wondering how the new AG Order 4.0 requirements impact your vineyard? Sara Lopez with Central Coast Water Quality Preservation, Inc reviews the requirements, new Third-Party programs, and how these all relate to grape growers. Watch the recording for free.

Feb 3, 2022

There are numerous tools and technologies to improve irrigation efficiency but by looking at grower demographics, we can better predict which growers will implement best management practices. Nicholas Babin of California Polytechnic State University, conducted a two-year study to assess Paso Robles California AVA grape growers’ thoughts around climate change adaptation, irrigation efficiency, practice adoption, and SGMA.

Jan 10, 2022

If you wish to remain a member of Preservation, Inc. this year, please pay your invoice on time, no later than January 20th, 2022. Preservation, Inc. is required by the Water Boards to submit a list of paying and non-paying operations shortly after the 1/20/22 deadline.

Jan 3, 2022

NEW IN 2022: Preservation, Inc. will be performing the “Pre-Trend Irrigation Well Monitoring” that is required by Ag Order 4.0, on behalf of their members between March 1st and May 31st of 2022.

Sep 16, 2021

How can values, beliefs, and attitudes around irrigation improve water efficiency? That is exactly what a recent California Department of Water Resources (DWR) grant project aimed to discover. Grant recipient, Vineyard Team, worked with 59 growers over three years to conduct irrigation-related behavior interviews, Distribution Uniformity evaluations, and determine if continued interaction (nudges) with the grower would increase the adoption of irrigation best management practices in vineyards.

Jul 15, 2021

Deficit irrigation is used in winegrape production to keep berries small and enhance the flavor of wines, particularly with reds. Joan Davenport, Emerta Professor of Soil Sciences at Washington State University says to get an accurate measure of soil moisture, you need to focus monitoring where roots are.

Jun 17, 2021
The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker

In an era of declining resources, US-based vineyard consultant Kelly Mulville writes of his experience to develop viticulture methods that eliminate the need for mechanical or hand cultivation, mowing, tillage and suckering while simultaneously improving soil health sequestering carbon), increasing biodiversity and reducing irrigation needs.

Jun 16, 2021

Central Coast Regional Water Board adopts General Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges from Irrigated Lands | April 16, 2021. At this point, the new order is in full effect, although simplified fact sheets are not available.

May 20, 2021

There is no doubt that water is a precious resource, particularly in drought prone regions like California. There are a bevy of technological devices available to utilize, from soil moisture probes to pressure bombs, but these tools only provide data on one specific area. Irriwatch founder and CEO Wim Bastiaanssen is aggregating data from 10 satellites to provide daily moisture measurements down to the pixel, allowing growers to optimize irrigation water applications in a world of dynamic weather, soil and crop processes.

Feb 4, 2021

While grape production does not require extensive water use and the majority of vineyards in the Pacific North West are drip irrigated, drought conditions in recent years have led growers to seek more efficiencies to reduce water use. Pete Jacoby, Professor of Crops and Soil Sciences at Washington State University is partnering with commercial growers to test a different sub-surface irrigation system - vertically placed PVC pipe.

Jun 16, 2020

We urge growers to submit individual comments on this draft. This draft is significantly different than prior Ag Orders and will require significant additional documentation and reporting for vineyards (both SIP Certified and non-SIP Certified).

May 26, 2020

Central Coast Water Board staff has developed a Draft Agricultural Order 4.0 to replace the current Agricultural Order 3.0 that expires on January 31, 2021. Please join Water Board staff at one of three stakeholder workshops to learn more about the Agricultural Order.

May 6, 2020

Spring 2020 Update: Agricultural Water BMP Adoption Project

May 1, 2020
Craig Macmillan, Kris Beal, Jacob Hernandez The Grapevine

Vineyard Team is a non-profit outreach and education organization based in Atascadero, California. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded a grant to Vineyard Team in 2017 to study grower adoption of irrigation best management practices in vineyards. Over three years 57 growers were recruited into the project.

Apr 10, 2020

Due to COVID-19, the comment period for the Ag Order 4.0 has been extended to June 20, 2020. Outreach meetings will be announced as they are scheduled.

Mar 9, 2020

The Draft Ag Order 4.0 has been released. Comments are due by APRIL 6. This Draft marks a significant change from prior Ag Orders and will affect vineyards - it is very important for growers to submit written comments.

Feb 28, 2020

Handy guide for pre, during and after season.

Feb 27, 2020

Mantenimiento del sistema de irrigacion. Previo, durante y despues de la estacion.

Jan 16, 2020

Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Kahn, Soares & Conway gives an update on new policies that affect the wine industry including the Water Resiliency Plan and how it affects Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; regulating power shutoffs to prevent wildfires; anticipated regulations on pesticides; and impending labor law changes.

Jan 1, 2020

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

Sep 19, 2019

Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State discusses recent research on integrated pest management for grapevine powdery mildew, how short term weather patterns impacts farming decisions, why clean plants may have made red blotch virus more detectable, controlling wine quality with water stress and “Farming by Excel” – how fewer people working in the field has increased growers reliance on data and technology.

Sep 5, 2019

Gregory V. Jones, Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, at Linfield College in Oregon discusses climate structure and suitability for viticulture, how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality, why we plant only a few hundred of the of the more than 24,000 varieties, how warm climate winegrowing regions have hedged against climate risk by growing multiple varieties, factors beyond fossil fuels that affect climate change, and our biggest challenges ahead.

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.

Dec 10, 2018

Ag Order 4.0 is open for comment. It is IMPORTANT for growers to submit written comments to the staff and board for consideration in the next phase of the Order by January 22, 2019.

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.

May 2, 2018

The five water quality issues addressed in Ag Order 4.0 in RWQCB Region three.

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.

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.

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.

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