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Improving winegrowing with sap flow driven irrigation - a 10-year review
- Scholasch, T.
- Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1222 pp. 155-168
- business enterprises, case studies, irrigation scheduling, markets, monitoring, precision agriculture, sap flow, technology, vineyards, viticulture, wine industry, wines
- The Fullerton sap flow meeting presented lots of scientific evidence showing how useful sap flow measurements could be for application in horticulture. For the past 10 years, our company, Fruition Sciences has been using real time sap flow data to improve irrigation scheduling across many vineyard regions worldwide. However, despite its solid scientific basis, converting a theoretical concept into a fully actionable decision tool has been a challenge. The goal of this article is to examine how and why viticulture has adopted sap flow monitoring to improve irrigation strategy for commercial applications. By dissecting historical steps leading to the successful implementation of sap flow in viticulture, it is illustrated how it is possible to overcome the challenge of introducing a new technology in a traditional industry. In the context of precision farming, adopting sap flow metrics means disrupting traditional habits and pre-existing status quo on irrigation and vineyard management. It is discussed how understanding the wine market guided strategic decisions in order to convert a scientific concept into a business opportunity. Through a few case studies it is described how sap flow monitoring has gained popularity in the wine industry and why it contributes to improving vineyard management beyond irrigation strategies.