The use of Precision Viticulture technologies can greatly assist grape growers and wine producers manage variability within their vineyards and the factors influencing vine performance. With the dramatic rise in the cost of inputs over the past few years, growers are using these technologies to minimise expenditure by applying those inputs (eg. water, fertilizers, labour, machinery) more efficiently. Similarly, the technology is being used to harvest fruit parcels of uniform quality and to improve vineyard sampling techniques (eg. crop estimation, fruit maturity assessment, pest and disease monitoring).
Remote sensing using light aircraft provides a means by which spatial information describing vine canopy characteristics can be easily collected and is often the 'entry point' for new adopters of the technology due to the potential high return on investment.
Grape growers are also acquiring high resolution soil and elevation data to gain a better understanding of soil and topography related factors controlling vine performance across their vineyards. This data has become an important source of information for irrigation and drainage designers who require the data to ensure that designs meet specification criteria.
There has been a steady increase in the number of harvest contractors and wine companies installing yield monitors to their mechanical harvesters. The output in the form of yield maps has been welcomed by growers and wine producers since they are now able to identify areas of different crop yield, and in some cases different fruit quality attributes, within individual vineyard blocks.
One of the most important tasks when starting to implement Precision Viticulture is to collect accurate block boundary information. If done correctly, it will only need to be done once and should preferably be supplied before imagery or maps are purchased.
Through our subsidiary company Precision Viticulture Australia (pva.ahaviticulture.com.au), we can provide a complete introduction to and implementation of Precision Viticulture techniques in the vineyard.
Our services include:
Precision Viticulture Australia has its own website, click to launch in new window