Water management is commonly used as a tool by vineyard managers to influence fruit maturation and quality. Often, this is accomplished through deficit irrigation to control canopy size and thus fruit exposure. One approach to this irrigation management strategy is to utilize instruments to determine soil moisture content or status throughout the season. This data should enable managers to apply water at critical periods to maintain desired vine water status.
This workshop will discuss devices to measure soil moisture content and moisture status. It will include presentations describing both quantitative measuring devices such as the neutron probe and the Enviroscan, as well as those that measure soil matrix potential. Placement of monitoring devices and desired timing of readings will be discussed. A grower panel will discuss their experiences in utilizing volume-based instrument readings to make irrigation management decisions.