Vineyard & Winery Management

January - February 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 82 of 139

VINEYARD 'Paso Panel' Helps Calculate Vine Irrigation Needs By Ted Rieger, senior feature editor Vineyard tool uses solar technology to measure canopy measurement UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Mark Battany demonstrates the Paso Panel at Kearney Grape Day 2011. Photo: Ted Rieger t Kearney Grape Day 2011, held in August at the UC Kea rney Agr i cul tur a l Research and Extension Center at Parlier in Fresno County, UC Cooperative Extension viticul- ture farm advisor Mark Battany demonstrated a hand-held device that measures vine canopies: the Paso Panel. Named for the Paso Robles region, where Battany test- ed the device and is farm advisor for San Luis Obispo County, the Paso Panel uses a solar panel to calculate vineyard irrigation require- ments. The device is used to take can- opy shade measurements during the growing season, which can then be used to determine the irrigation crop coefficient (Kc) to calculate i r r igat ion needs for specific vineyard sites. Battany has built 13 panels since 2005, progressively making design WWW.VWM-ONLINE.COM changes to improve portability and operation. At the Kearney Grape Day event, Battany demonstrated an 8-foot by 1-foot panel, placed directly under the vine trellis perpendicular to the vine row and held level as the cano- py shadow is cast across the length of the solar panel. The Paso Panel measures the size of a vine canopy by determin- ing the mid day (solar noon) canopy shaded area of a trellised grapevine as a percentage of the shaded area of the solar panel. Previously, can- opy shade measurements required measuring the shaded area on the ground surface under the vine row, using either manual measurements or photographic techniques and computer imaging for calculations. The Paso Panel takes significantly more readings, and can replace a process that was largely limited to research purposes – and imprac- tical for many commercial opera- tions. Irrigation crop coefficients were developed for grapes by Dr. Larry Williams, professor in the UC Davis AT A GLANCE The Paso Panel is a vine canopy shade meter used to more effec- tively determine site-specific crop coefficients (Kc) for calculating vineyard irrigation requirements. The device can also measure vine canopies for rootstock evaluation trials, assess fertilizer and nutrient applications, and assess declines in vine growth and productivity. Information for building the Paso Panel and spreadsheets to calcu- late Kc are available through the UC Cooperative Extension website. JAN - FEB 2012 VINEYARD & WINERY MANAGEMENT 83

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Vineyard & Winery Management - January - February 2012