Vineyard frost mitigation

Late spring frosts have created some serious crop losses in the UK in the past few years and investment in frost mitigation systems for vineyards is now seen as a good commercial option.

Using an automated low flow strip sprinkler system can mitigate vineyard frost damage. Using this technology vines are being protected from frost damage across the globe. Our systems reduce labor and machinery costs and investing in an automated low flow strip sprinkler system can take the heartache out of losing vines to late spring frosts.

What is a low flow strip sprinkler vineyard frost mitigation system?

Using sprinklers specially designed for vineyard frost mitigation systems allows water to be applied in a strip above the canopy.

This water is applied continuously during a radiation frost event hence the importance of using low flow strip sprinklers.

How does it work?

The precise application of the water along the rows creates triple protection by:

  • Creating a microclimate around the vines
  • Releasing latent heat
  • Creating a thin layer of ice that protects the inner cells in the grapes

Our vineyard frost mitigation system uses strip sprinklers specially designed for applying the water to vines. Using our automated low flow sprinklers brings the following operational benefits:

  • Up to 50% less water use than other systems also using strip sprinklers.
  • Reduced pumping costs
  • Lower labor costs than other methods
  • Automatic temperature activated control

In addition to these, there are lower costs involved in providing the system including:

  • Lower capital pump and pipe infrastructure costs
  • Reduced water storage requirement

Vineyard irrigation

Drip irrigation is transforming the wine production in many parts of the world providing the most efficient method of applying water and fertilizer whilst at the same time reducing the amounts of these resources required. In the UK, drip irrigation can bring these same benefits as we strive to produce better crops. With increasing regulation of water, a key resource, the need for an application method that provides the most precise way to apply it to the vines is environmentally and commercially crucial. Drip irrigation provides a system that meets both of these essential objectives. In addition, it allows integrated fertilizers application creating a managed way to give the best opportunity to produce high yield of the high quality grapes.

What is a vineyard drip irrigation system?

It is more than just a way to apply water.

Drip irrigation delivers water and also nutrients directly to the vine’s root zone, in the right amounts and at the right time, so each plant gets exactly what it needs to grow optimally. Drip irrigation enables growers to produce higher yields whilst saving water, fertilizer, and energy.

In the UK vineyard industry, being able to apply water and nutrients during the critical plant establishment stage can provide the best opportunity to produce the best wine grapes in the optimum time. It significantly reduces the risk of poor and slow vine establishment. In addition, once the vineyard is in full production, the ability to control water and nutrient supply provides an important tool in managing the growing environment.

How does it work?
The water and nutrients are delivered along the vineyard rows via small diameter pipes that have highly engineered drippers at regular intervals along their length. Each dripper emits water or nutrient-enriched water uniformly either above or within the rootzone.

Why choose precision irrigation and nutrient application for vines?

  • Allows full control of the application of water and nutrients in accordance with the plant requirement
    Drip irrigation in vineyards allows exactly the right amount of water and nutrients to be applied at the most appropriate time.
  • Provides new vines with the best development during establishment Precisely applying water and nutrients to vines during establishment helps produce plants that have the resilience required to grow the best grapes for winemaking.
  • Control plant stress 
    Drip irrigation gives you the ability to control water deficit (RDI) and plant stress. You can regulate vegetative growth and grape size while controlling stress-induced sensorial parameters.
  • Reduced water and nutrient costs
    Drip irrigation delivers a controlled amount of water and nutrients straight to the roots of each plant, wasting nothing. This practice can significantly reduce water and fertilizer costs compared to any other irrigation method. In addition, precise water delivery ensures minimal weed growth, reducing herbicide application costs.

Things we often get asked:

  • Why should you choose drip irrigation over sprinklers?

    Drip irrigation delivers water and nutrients directly to your vines’ root zone providing optimal, uniform soil moisture and outstanding aeration. As no water is wasted in run-off or evaporation, drip irrigation uses up to 20% less water and energy than sprinkler irrigation. Focusing on the roots means that there is no unwanted weed growth between crop rows, and moisture levels within the canopy remain low, reducing the risk of foliar diseases. 

  • What is Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI)? 

    Regulated Deficit Irrigation is a practice that purposely stresses the vines at specific developmental stages so that there is little, if any, negative impact on the yield.

    Controlling water deficit fosters induced stress at ideal growth stages to achieve better quality fruit rather than extensive vegetative growth.

  • Can drip irrigation systems be activated remotely?

    Yes. Advanced digital tools allow you to activate and manage both irrigation and fertigation from the palm of your hand, wherever you are. You can also utilize additional digital tools like soil moisture and plant sensors to optimize your yields and resources. Learn more about digital farming options to achieve the ultimate remote control solution.

  • Do driplines have to remain above ground, or can they be installed subsurface?

    Driplines for wine grapes can either remain above ground or be installed subsurface, depending on your requirements. Subsurface drip irrigation guarantees that the driplines are protected from cultivation and harvesting machinery or animal-related damage, which is a significant agro-mechanical advantage. Above-ground driplines, however, favor easy inspection and cost less to install. Either way, irrigation performance is equivalent between the two options.

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