terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 GiESCO 2023 9 Subsurface irrigation: a means to reduce chemical and water inputs in vineyards

Subsurface irrigation: a means to reduce chemical and water inputs in vineyards

Abstract

Context and purpose of the study – Grape growers around the world are seeking to reduce their reliance on herbicides. However, traditional alternatives to chemical weed control do not always integrate seamlessly into established vineyard operations. Employing nonchemical weed management often requires trellis alterations, purchasing or hiring new equipment, and depending on region, may significantly increase tractor passes required to reach desired level of weed control. Critical thinking and thoughtful strategies are necessary to minimize expenditures and maintain quality during the transition away from herbicides. In this trial, irrigation was installed underground in an effort to minimize water loss due to evaporation, better direct the water to the vines, and reduce weed growth in the difficult to control undervine area.

Material and methods – Split-plot trials were established, with sections of the vineyard having dripline installed 30 cm below the surface and 30 cm off the vine row, rather than the standard above ground in-row configuration. Trials were carried out in Syrah vineyards in Hawke’s Bay and Sauvignon blanc vineyards in Marlborough, both in New Zealand. Vines received the same irrigation amounts and timing, canopy management, and spray regime as the control, the only difference being the location of the dripline. Five two vine replicates were set up in each treatment for measurements of vine performance, fruit development, juice composition, and productivity. Undervine weed growth was assessed visually as well as by measuring fresh biomass within a 625 cm2 quadrat in the vine row at budburst, flowering, veraison, and harvest.

Results – There were no consistent significant differences in canopy development, midday stem water potential, berry growth, juice chemistry, and productivity between vines receiving their water from below ground rather than above. The major consistent difference between treatments was in the amount of weed growth in the challenging undervine area. Once regular irrigation was established in the blocks, there were significant differences in the undervine weed growth between treatments. Irrigation fed weeds in the subsurface treatment grew in the alleyway, where they could be controlled with a normal mowing pass, rather than specialized under vine equipment. Having some blocks with subsurface lines allows growers to irrigate the subsurface blocks during the day and above ground blocks at night, reducing evaporative losses. Industry trials with subsurface irrigation showed that water use could be reduced by 30% with no loss in yield or quality compared with aboveground irrigation. Subsurface irrigation offers a viable way to reduce the need for herbicide sprays, and offers the potential to more efficiently irrigate, thereby reducing both the water and chemical footprints of vineyards.

DOI:

Publication date: June 22, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2023

Type: Article

Authors

Mark KRASNOW1*, Danielle MCMILLAN1, Allison HAYWOOD1

1Thoughtful Viticulture Ltd., Blenheim, New Zealand

Contact the author*

Keywords

irrigation, subsurface irrigation, herbicide reduction, climate change, sustainability

Tags

GiESCO | GIESCO 2023 | IVES Conference Series

Citation

Related articles…

Effects of water deficit on secondary metabolites in grapes and wines

In this video recording of the IVES science meeting 2021, Simone D. Castellarin (University of British Columbia, Wine Research Center, Wine Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada) speaks about the effects of water deficit on secondary metabolites in grapes and wines. This presentation is based on an original article accessible for free on OENO One.

VitExpress, an open interactive transcriptomic platform for grapevine

[lwp_divi_breadcrumbs home_text="IVES" use_before_icon="on" before_icon="||divi||400" module_id="publication-ariane" _builder_version="4.20.4" _module_preset="default" module_text_align="center" module_font_size="16px" text_orientation="center"...

Haplotype-resolved genome assemblies of Chasselas and Ugni Blanc

Haplotype-resolved genome assemblies were produced for Chasselas and Ugni Blanc, two heterozygous real-field genetic pool Vitis vinifera cultivars by combining high-fidelity long-read sequencing (HiFi) and high‐throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C). The telomere-to-telomere full coverage of the chromosomes allowed us to assemble separately the two haplo-genomes of both cultivars and revealed structural variations between the two haplotypes of a given cultivar.

Preliminary studies on polyphenol assessment by Fourier transform-near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR) in grape berries

NIR spectroscopy has widely been tested in viticulture as powerful alternative to traditional analytical methods in the field of quality evaluation. NIR instruments have been used for assessing must and wine quality features in several works, but little information regarding their application on whole berries for polyphenol determination is available.

Evaluation of methods used for the isolation and characterization of grape skin and seed, and wine tannins

Validation of the phloroglucinolysis and RP-HPLC method showed selectivity and repeatability within acceptable limits for all investigated matrices. Recovery of polymeric phenols by SPE was also acceptable.