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 BLOG >> Recent

Precision Viticulture [Agriculture
Posted on October 25, 2016 @ 09:05:00 AM by Paul Meagher

Lately I've been dealing with the issue of not having a good system for identitying rows and vines in my vineyard. I finally came up with this system:

A-[01..11]
B-[12..19]
C-[20..28]

The letters A, B, and C designate the vineyard parcel. The oldest parcel is labelled A, the second oldest parcel B, followed by the youngest parcel C.

Within each parcel there is a row number. A-01 refers to the first row in parcel A. It also corresponds to the first row I ever planted. Likewise C-28 corresponds to the last row of vines in parcel C and also the last row ever planted.

If I didn't want to keep increasing my row numbers, I could organize the numbering like this:

A-[01..11]
B-[01..08]
C-[01..09]

It is possible to extend the system like so:

A-[01..11]-[01..200]
B-[01..08]-[01..200]
C-[01..09]-[01..200]

A-01-15 would identify the 15th plant in the first row of the vineyard.

In the future, I might do a lookup to find out that it is in the second section of the first row between post number 2 and post number 3. In that section I might also note there are 8 vine plant slots, with 2 needing replacement. They will need to be replaced with 2 more Marechal Fosh grape vines. One didn't make it through the cold season and the other died of gall.

There is alot of power latent in well organized labelling schemes. Precision viticulture can involve drones, multispectral sensing, advanced mapping, soil samplers and so on but it is all just data if you don't have a good organizing system for it to go into. Maybe that system is the map itself, or maybe it is something a bit more abstract like a meaningful labelling system.

Another important aspect of a labelling system is that it can help you make better observations.

I can observe that a certain vine is not doing well and I can just as easily forget that observation or do nothing with it because I don't reference it to a precise positional labelling scheme for storage.

A labelling scheme can also help to organize work when you can provide specific instructions on what to do and where to do it. One can walk the vineyard and make job notes on what needs to be done and where in a very precise way if need be.

One way to be more lean is to be more precise.

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