Chapter 12

Irrigation Scheduling of Grapevines

Water Budget Scheduling Method

Many grape growers use a simple water budget to help guide decisions on the timing and amount of irrigation water to apply in the vineyard. The water budget requires data management. Therefore, growers need to manage date about the soil and vines, including grapevine coefficients, field capacity, available water, yield threshold depletion and the starting soil moisture. Once the starting point is determined, growers need to keep track of outputs (ET) and inputs (precipitation and irrigation) to soil moisture. The amount of soil moisture can be quantitatively determined using soil moisture measuring devices previously discussed in this chapter. To prevent a decrease in yield, growers must irrigate before reaching the previously identified yield threshold depletion level. Typically, a grower will set a management allowable depletion (MAD) level, which is used as a trigger to irrigate and prevents soil from reaching that yield threshold depletion level. This may be based on a percentage of available water.

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