Soils & Nutrients

Learn more about: Vineyard Floor Management or Soil Health


Mar 3, 2022

Did you know the plant microbiome mirrors the human gut? We are rebroadcasting one of our most listened-to episodes with Dr. Tara Sullivan. Tara discusses how the plant microbiome mirrors the human gut, the ways in which soil microorganisms can alter the bioavailability of micronutrients and metals for plants, and much more.

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.

Jan 3, 2022

Science and Management of Increasing Salinity in a Drier Climate links with resources.

Dec 16, 2021

Right now, there are more than 200 million dollars in grant funding coming online to help California farmers and ranchers preserve their land, better water efficiency, and improve soil health. Renata Brillinger, Executive Director at California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), and her team are working to incentivize sustainable practices like composting, cover crops, and solar pumps at farms to help combat climate change. They promote four grant programs that help farmers and ranchers have a positive impact on the planet and their bottom line.

Dec 2, 2021

David R. Montgomery defines regenerative agriculture as leaving the land better off and more fertile as a consequence of cultivation. In this research, he has defined three principles to build soil fertility; minimal disturbance, cover cropping, and growing a diversity of crops. David has studied the success of these principles around the world, from subsistence farmers to large commodity crops in North America. Healthy soils support more crop growth, have less erosion, and even look and smell healthier.

Sep 2, 2021

Plant SAP analysis gives farmers insight into how the plant can take up and mobilize nutrients. SAP Analysis is actually a pair of tests, comparing nutrients in young and old leaves to see what is being taken up today and how the nutrients are moved around. Learn more about SIP analysis and also some fascinating research about the relationship between silica, iron, and aluminum in grapevines.

Aug 19, 2021

Numerous vineyards have utilized sheep and goats in their vineyard for grazing but most only during the winter. Kelly Mulville was on a mission to design a vineyard for year-round grazing to restore the ecosystem with livestock. Using the sheep will eliminate all suckering and tipping, dramatically reduce fertilization, decrease irrigation use, and lower labor costs. Listen in as Kelley explains the trial process for tips on how to set up your own vineyard for year-round grazing.

Aug 5, 2021

A healthy soil has hundreds of different species of microbes while a depleted one may only have one dozen. A number of common viticulture practices are not conducive to a healthy soil biology so Dave Olson of Sustainable Growing Solutions is looking at how we can improve soil quality with microbes, ultimately improving plant quality. David discussed the best time for applications and the importance of having an objective before trialing inoculants.

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

Vineyard development begins with the soil. Steve Vierra, Director of Vineyard Operation at Derby Wine Estates and Certified Professional Soil Scientist explains how he develops a vineyard that is easy to farm around natural resources and the goals of the business.

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.

May 6, 2021

Using sheep to graze vineyards has many benefits including lowering the carbon footprint, fewer tractor passes, and reduced herbicide use. Kelsey Brewer, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California at Davis has been researching how these living lawnmowers impact nutrient and energy flows in the eco system.

Apr 28, 2021
Doug Beck 2020 Sustainable Ag Expo

This presentation from Dr. Douglas Beck, Science Officer, Monterey Pacific Inc is about Biochar: Soil Amendment for Improved Vine Performance and Long-term Carbon Sequestration

Apr 15, 2021

What, bury charcoal in the vineyard? Biochar is a specialized form of charcoal made from waste woody biomass at high temperature in the absence of oxygen. Doug Beck, Science Officer at Monterey Pacific in Monterey California, shares how biochar and compost amendments improve nutrient efficiency, improve water holding capacity, and positively impact yields.

Jan 1, 2021
CRAIG MACMILLAN, Ph.D., Macmillan Ag Consulting and KRIS BEAL, Vineyard Team

The What, When and How Much for Applying Key Nutrients. The goal of fertilization for any crop is to ensure the optimum levels of nutrients are available to the plant at key stages in the growth cycle. Balancing these factors is an art as well as a science. The first step is identifying what nutrients to apply. The second step is deciding how much fertilizer to apply. The third step is choosing the best time to make the application.

Sep 17, 2020

David R. Montgomery defines regenerative agriculture as leaving the land better off and more fertile as a consequence of cultivation. In this research, he has defined three principals to build soil fertility; minimal disturbance, cover cropping, and growing a diversity of crops. David has studied the success of these principals in agricultural systems around the world, from subsistence farmers to large commodity crops in North America.

Jul 16, 2020

50-million-year-old reserves of humified organic matter are a substance called lignite. It is commonly known as brown or soft coal, a substance usually equated with energy production. Researchers at the Technical University of Dresden have found that this very old, carbon rich plant material has the same building blocks as humus – the organic matter reserves found in soil. Virginia Corless, Chief Growth Officer at Novihum Technologies, explains how reacting lignite with nitrogen has created a new soil amendment to improve nutrient retention, water storage, and the vitality of the microbiome.

Jan 14, 2020
January 14, 2020 - Weed Management: Biology, Technology & Practices

Scott Steinmaus, PhD - Horticulture and Crop Science Department, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Jan 1, 2020

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

Nov 21, 2019

Dr. Tarah Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Soil Microbiology at Washington State University. In this interview, Tara discusses how the plant microbiome mirrors the human gut, the ways in which soil microorganisms can alter the bioavailability of micronutrients and metals for plants, why plants in alkaline soils can be deficient in iron when the soil is not, if cover crops can improve soil microbial communities, and what is next for her research.

Jun 19, 2019
June 13, 2019 Healthy Soils Tailgate

Cristina Lazcano, PhD - Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, California Polytechnic State University

Jun 19, 2019
June 13, 2019 Healthy Soils Tailgate

Connie Wong - Graduate Student, California Polytechnic State University. Effects of compost application on soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions in wine grape production.

Jun 19, 2019
June 13, 2019 Healthy Soils Tailgate

Jenna J. Merrilees - Graduate Student in Agriculture; Soil Science. Cover crop management tilling and grazing trial.

Jun 6, 2019

Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission, talks about sustainable farming in the Lodi winegrowing region.

May 16, 2019

Jeff Newton President & CEO, Costal Vineyard Care Associates discusses his career and the history and future of the Santa Ynez American Viticultural Area.

Apr 4, 2019

Fritz Westover, viticulturist with Westover Vineyard Advising and Virtual Viticulture Academy describes growing conditions and challenges in multiple states in the Southeastern United States.

Mar 26, 2019
Verhoeven, Decock, Garland, Lazcano Wine Business Monthly

Factors contributing to nitrous oxide emissions from vineyards.

Mar 21, 2019

Raymond Baltar, Director, Sonoma Biochar Initiative explains how to execute a conservation burn and make biochar to reduce smoke and capture carbon.

Mar 8, 2019
Lorenzo Genesio et al. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and the Environment

Results from four harvest-years showed a higher productivity, up to 66% with no significant differenceswere observed in grape quality parameters. The observed increase in productivity was inversely correlated with rainfall in the vegetative period. These findings support the feasibility of a biochar-based strategy as an effective adaptation measure to reduce the impact of water stress periods with no negative effects on grape quality.

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.

Feb 22, 2019
Elizabeth Verhoeven et al. Wine Business Monthly

What role do grapevines play in the production and capture of greenhouse gasses?

Feb 7, 2019

Production methods for making high-quality compost and sequestering greenhouse gasses in the soil from two professors at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California.

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 17, 2018
Fritz Westover and Will Bakx Spreadsheet

An Excel sheet for calculation how much compost to apply to deliver the desired amount of N in year one.

Dec 17, 2018
Fritz Westover Article

Tips for wineries and vineyards that compost primarily grape pomace.

Dec 17, 2018
Lide Chen et al. University of Idaho Extention

An overview of the science involved in commercial composting processes.

Dec 10, 2018
Chalote Decock Cal Poly Healthy Soils Tailgate

A description of the role soil health plays in capturing Carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil.

Dec 10, 2018
Cristina Lazcano & Charlotte Decock Cal Poly Healthy Soils Tailgate

An excellent overview of what is soil health health and ways to promote it.

Dec 10, 2018
Kevin Piper Cal Poly Healthy Soils Tailgate

A producer of compost explains how good quality composts made. He covers production methods, lab analysis, and quality control.

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.

Aug 29, 2018
Joe DiTomasso & Guy Kyser Weed Control in Natural Areas of the Western United States

Recommendations for control of stinkwort.

Aug 29, 2018
Rachel Brownsey, G.B. Kyser & J. DiTomaso California Agriculture

Description of the weed stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens), its rapid spread through California, and its life cycle.

Aug 29, 2018

Two articles on the spread, biology, and control of stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens).

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 9, 2018
Stephanie Bolton and Craig Macmillan Aerial Imaginig Workshop

A list of vendors compared on 10 variables.

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 17, 2018
Craig Macmillan, Ph.D. Vineyard Team Library

Some resources we hope you will find useful on the topic of soil health including things you can do yourself with only simple tools. Resources include a podcast, slides, a worksheet, and more.

May 15, 2018
Dan M. Sullivan and David Granatstein Nutrient Digest

Describes and explains the “Haney Tests,” an increasingly popular way of quantifying soil health.

May 15, 2018
Natural Resource Conservation Service Worksheet

A simple method for judging the health of your soils with only simple tools and no lab analysis.

Mar 1, 2018

Peter Work - Owner, Winemaker, and Vineyard Manager of Ampelos Cellars - recounts how becoming a certified organic vineyard led to becoming Demeter® biodynamic certified and eventually Sip Certified®.

Jan 18, 2018

This podcast is an excerpt from the talk Dr. Charlotte Decock delivered at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo on understanding soil health - what soil health is, how to increase it, and how to measure it.

Jan 17, 2018
Charlotte Decock, Ph.D. 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Slides that accompany the Understanding Soil Health podcast.

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.

Nov 2, 2017

Chandra Krintz, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara explains how scientists and engineers are working on a computer system that will help farmers make better decisions using data analytics.

Oct 20, 2017

Year end water and Nitrogen use reports.

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.

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.

Oct 26, 2016
Craig Macmillan
Sep 13, 2016
Craig Macmillan, PhD

The period after harvest but before leaf fall is one of the best times of the season for the uptake of Nitrogen and Potassium.

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.

Jan 12, 2016
Craig Macmillan
Mar 22, 2014
Fritz Westover & Will Bakx
Jun 1, 2010
Landers, Andrew Wines and Vines
Jul 1, 2006
Malone, Julian Wine Business Monthly
May 1, 2005
Clean Water Project, CCVT
May 1, 2005
Clean Water Project, CCVT
Oct 1, 2004
McGourty, Glenn Practical Winery and Vineyard