SEATTLE  – Washington State University scientists will showcase research to improve irrigation scheduling, grapevine plant models and heat stress mitigation on July 21, 2023, from 10 am to 12:30 pm at the WSU Roza Farm in Prosser. The research is funded by the AgAID Institute and the Washington wine industry.

Melissa Hansen, Washington State Wine Commission Research Program Director says, "This is not just an 'okay we did some research, here it is.' They are going to really dive into how do growers use this information."

The field day will share the why, what and how of irrigation scheduling and heat stress management for wine grapes.

"They're going to talk about how to telecommute it all with the technology so you can get it up on your phone," Hansen explains. "Most of our vineyards are not where this is good Wi-Fi service or 5G service. So how do you make that work? Then they'll have a computer in there that will show the data collected. It will have two models, one for low irrigation treatment, one for high irrigation treatment. The other station will look at heat stress management."

 Discussions and demonstrations will focus on best management practices to balance vine growth and deficit irrigation with data from soil moisture sensors, understanding the uses and limitations of soil moisture sensors and how to integrate sensor technology with machinery operations and mobile networks. Two technologies to help reduce the impact of heat stress on grapevines—mist evaporative cooling system and solid set canopy delivery system—will be demonstrated, including how to set up such systems and considerations for their use.

This Smart Vineyard Field Day is important for producers as it bring the wine industry into the 21st Century with apps and technology to check vineyards. Even if producers don't use these sensors or computers there will still be information to pick up and use in the vineyard.

The research is conducted through AgAID, an agricultural artificial intelligence Institute for transforming workforce and decision support, which is led by WSU. The institute’s mission is to build and foster partnerships between AI and agricultural communities and create a transdisciplinary ecosystem for technology innovation and knowledge transfer. It is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Institute members include WSU, Oregon State University, University of California, Merced, Carnegie Mellon University, Heritage University, Wenatchee Valley College, Kansas State University, IBM Research and InnovateAg.

The Washington State Wine Commission has provided supplemental funds to the institute to evaluate promising soil moisture sensors for application in Washington wine grape vineyards.

Registration and a $10 fee are required to attend the field day. Register at

For additional information, contact Melissa Hansen at

 Sources: Washington State Wine Commission & PNW Ag Network

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