similar to other agricultural producers, grape growers face increasing pressure to improve productivity and production efficiency while reducing their environmental impact. Threats due to extreme climate events, as well as the uncertainty of available water and labor, provide significant challenges to the future of grape production. This presentation will provide an integrated overview of the tools and technologies being developed to address these issues and to help growers manage vineyards in the future, including vineyard design, remote and proximal sensing, automation, data management and decision support systems, and germplsm improvement. The potential impact of these advancements on vineyard productivity, fruit quality, and sustainability will be discussed.
Vine water status is a crucial determinant of vine growth, productivity, fruit composition and terroir or wine style; therefore, regulating water stress is of great importance. Since vine water status depends on both soil moisture and aerial environment and is very temporally dynamic, direct measurement of vine water potential is highly preferable. Current methods only provide limited data. To regulate vine water status it is critical to monitor vine water status to be able to: (1) measure vine water status to predict the effect of water stress on the overall vineyard performance and fruit quality and optimize harvest management and wine-making (2) properly regulate the water status to impose for a desired fruit quality or style (3) determine if water management has reached the desired stress level.
Vine water status is one of the most influential factors in grape vigor, yield, and quality (Ojeda et al., 2002; Guilpart et al., 2014). Severe water deficits during the first stage of crop development (bud break to fruit set) impact yield in the current year and the following year. While during grape ripening, water availability impacts berry size, grape composition, and health status. Therefore, a correct assessment of plant water status allows for proper water management with an impact on grape yield and composition (McClymont et al, 2012; Pereyra et al., 2022).
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.
Irrigation as a tool for heatwave mitigation: the effect of irrigation intensity and timing in Cabernet Sauvignon
Heatwave events, defined as 2 or more days reaching ≥ 38 °C, are an increasingly frequent phenomenon threatening grape production worldwide. Heat stress has been shown to have negative consequences on grapevine physiology, leading to increased evaporative demand and intensified water stress. Due to heatwaves overlapping with important stages of grapevine reproductive development, spanning from berry set to the ripening stage, severe heat can potentially compromise yield and grape quality. The physiological response of grapevine to heat stress suggests a potential use of irrigation to mitigate heatwaves, however there is limited information regarding the irrigation amounts and timings needed for this purpose. Following up on a pivotal trial conducted between 2019 and 2022, in this study irrigation treatments with varying intensity and timing of application were refined to determine their potential mitigation of heat-associated damage to yield and fruit composition.
Monitoring grapevine water status using Landsat 8 images: a two-year case study in a Merlot vineyard
Viticulture needs for spatial and temporal information are increasing to improve vineyard management, especially concerning water efficiency. Remote sensing, particularly from satellites, can be a powerful tool to assess vineyard characteristics such as vigor or water status in space-time. In this study, we use Landsat 8, an American Earth observation satellite with six bands from the visible (VIS) to the Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) domains with 30m spatial resolution and two thermal bands with 100m spatial resolution.
Effect of scion-rootstock combinations on the performance of a near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy method for determining vine water status
In the context of sustainable viticulture, modern and efficient techniques to determine water status are required to optimize irrigation practices. Proximal techniques such as thermography and spectroscopy have shown promising results. When these techniques are incorporated into mobile systems is possible to evaluate the water status on-the-go, offering the possibility to generate variability maps. However, in most cases, complex protocols of data acquisition and analysis are required. Also, the inherent physiological behaviour of the plants under certain water stress conditions needs to be considered. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of scion-rootstock combinations on the performance of a predefined plant-based method based on proximal near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy.
The informative potential of remote and proximal sensing application on vertical- and overhead-trained vineyards in Northeast Italy
The application of remote and proximal sensing in viticulture have been demonstrated as a fast and efficient method to monitor vegetative and physiological parameters of grapevines. The collection of these parameters could be highly valuable to derive information on associated yield and quality traits in the vineyard. However, to leverage the informative potential of the sensing systems, a series of preliminary evaluations should be carried out to standardize working protocols for the specific features of a winegrowing area (e.g., pedoclimate, topography, cultivar, training system). This work aims at evaluating remote and proximal sensing systems for their performance and suitability to provide information on the vegetative, physiological, yield and qualitative aspects of vines and grapes as a function of different training systems in the Valpolicella wine region (Verona, Italy).
Scalable asymptomatic grapevine leafroll virus complex-3 detection through integrated airborne imaging spectroscopy, autonomous robotics, and cloud computing
The past three decades of terrestrial remote sensing research have delivered unprecedented insights into our fundamental ability to detect, quantify, and differentiate plant disease (Gold 2021). However, much of our fundamental knowledge in this domain has come from studies in non-agricultural systems and until recently, most agricultural studies, when extant, have focused on tree crops where canopy closure and large plot and plant size facilitate stress detection at low spatial resolution. Recent engineering innovations and advancements in constellation architecture design have refined the accuracy and scalability of airborne and spaceborne sensing platforms, enabling us to monitor diverse specialty crops, including grapevine, planted in smaller, spatially varied fields.
Toward an automatic way to identify red blotch infected vines from hyperspectral images acquired in the field
Vineyards are affected by different virus diseases, which can lower yield and affect the quality of grapes. Grapevine red blotch disease is one of them, and no curative solution exists. Once infected, a vine must be removed and replaced with a virus-free vine (aka roguing). Screening vineyards to look for symptoms can be time-consuming and needs well-trained experts. To improve this process, we conducted an experiment identifying infected vines using a hyperspectral camera in the field.
Microbial pathogens of plant have evolved to sense, interpret, and use light to direct their development. One aspect of this evolved relationship is photolyase-mediated repair of UV-induced damage to pathogen DNA. Application of germicidal UV (UV-C) at night circumvents the blue light-driven repair of pathogen DNA and allows non-phytotoxic doses of UV-C to suppress a variety of pathogenic microbes and even certain arthropod pests without damage to vines or fruit. Lamps arrays have been designed specifically for the canopy architecture of grapevines and have been deployed on both tractor-drawn and robotic carriages for partial to near-complete suppression of powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator), sour rot (fungal, bacterial, and arthropod complex), and downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola).
Germicidal ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light has shown promising results for suppression of several plant-pathogenic microorganims, including Erysiphe necator, which attacks grapevine. In Washington State the majority of winegrape production is in a semi-arid steppe environment, with historically low powdery mildew disease pressure, making it a promising area to deploy UV-C as a disease management tool. Trials focusing on UVC application timing and frequency will assist in developing regionally-appropriate application recommendations for eastern Washington State.
Downy mildew is one of the most important grapevine diseases, caused by the Oomycete Plasmopara viticola. The management of the disease in organic agriculture can require up to 15 copper applications per year. However, copper accumulates in the soil, is phytotoxic and is toxic for organisms living in the soil, its use has been restricted in European Union to maximum 28 kg in 7 years. Therefore, testing of alternatives with equal effectiveness is desirable. Among those, the natural biopolymer chitosan, obtained from crab shells, proved to be effective toward downy mildew in plot experiments. The aim of our trials was to extend chitosan applications in large scale experiments in different years, cultivars and environmental conditions.
Management of plant-parasitic nematodes is typically focused on preplant fumigation, especially in a vineyard replant scenario. While the data are clear that this practice reduces nematodes immediately after application, which is useful in annually-cropped systems, does it have staying power in perennial cropping systems? The northern root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla reduces the overall lifespan and productivity of vineyards, but it does so over a long time period (slow, chronic decline). In two different commercial own-rooted V. vinifera vineyards, both undergoing vineyard replanting, we explored whether preplant fumigation reduced M. hapla densities in soils immediately after application. At one of these locations, we have explored the long-term effect of fumigation by monitoring the site for seven years post fumigation.
The spotted lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma delicatula) is a phloem-feeding polyphagous insect invasive to the Eastern U.S.. Since its first detection in Pennsylvania (U.S.) in 2014, large infestations and economic damage (e.g., decreased yield, vine decline, greater pesticide use) have been reported in an increasing number of vineyards, threatening the sustainability and growth of the wine industry in infested regions. Our team has been investigating the impacts of SLF phloem-feeding on physiological processes, fruit production, juice, and wine composition of different grape cultivars, and also evaluated if the SLF can transmit important grapevine pathogens. In addition, we are working closely with stakeholders to better enumerate the economic damage caused by this pest. These findings will provide relevant information to grape and wine producers to help identify action thresholds and develop a more targeted integrated pest management program.