When quality and consistency are critical, progressive viniculturists turn to advanced precision irrigation to assist them in producing fine wine grapes. The need to stay in control of your climate, your terroir and your vines is where Netafim irrigation and nutrigation systems come in.
Changing climatic conditions and market trends can make the production of wine grapes somewhat unpredicatble. Netafim vineyard irrigation solutions have been proven to reduce water expenses, lower unwanted vegetation growth, increase yield quality, and guarantee consistent wine vintages.
If you want to make sure you’re growing consistently high-quality grapes, you need to make sure you have complete control over the water and nutrients feeding them. More importantly, you need a system that will give you control over vine growth, no matter your topography or climate.
Precision irrigation delivers water and nutrients straight to the rootzone of each plant – not the soil. The result is that you’ll be able to increase your wine yield and quality. But crucially, you’d also reduce the amount of fertiliser, water and labour you need.
In order to gain optimal vine development, you need to control the level of water stress.
Known as Restricted Deficit Irrigation (RDI), this practice is designed to keep the vine under controlled water stress conditions, to increase wine grape quality. RDI allows grape growers to control the following elements:
Effective application of an RDI approach is contingent upon stringent and accurate irrigation control, possible only through use of advanced precision irrigation techniques. And if you use digital control systems, you can make it easier to monitor and optimise your yield as it’s growing, and gain data about every stage of the wine grape lifecycle.
How much will precision irrigation cost me per hectare?
It varies. The price depends on three things. First, how you’ll get water from the source to the field – you’d need to choose the right pipelines based on distance and elevation. Secondly, your peak crop water demand, which is governed by your climate conditions and crop canopy cover. And finally, your topography, which will determine your emitter spacing. To give you a quote for a precision irrigation system cost per unit area, our agronomists would need to assess these factors. Get in touch so we can get started.
Why should I choose precision irrigation over other, cheaper methods?
It’s true that precision irrigation isn’t the cheapest method. But it does give you bigger grape yields of higher quality, every season, in a range of challenging environments. It will get you the results you need to meet market demands faster than any other method. And it will save you more water, fertiliser and labour than alternative methods. Giving you better economic returns.
When should I start irrigating, and how should I do so?
Usually, wine grape producers start irrigating just after the end of the rainy season. The frequency is determined by three major factors; soil properties, evaportranspiration rate and water emission rate of the irrigation system. Talk to one of our agronomists today to help determine your ideal irrigation schedule.
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