Crop Water Stress Index of an irrigated vineyard in the Central Valley of California

Abstract

Water-limiting conditions in many California vineyards necessitate assessment of vine water stress to aid irrigation management strategies and decisions. This study was designed to evaluate the utility of a Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) using multiple canopy temperature sensors and to study the diurnal signature in the stress index of an irrigated vineyard. A detailed instrumentation package comprised of eddy covariance instrumentation, ancillary surface energy balance components, soil water content sensors and a unique multi-canopy temperature sensor array were deployed in a production vineyard near Lodi, CA. The instrument package was designed to measure and monitor hourly growing season turbulent fluxes of heat and water vapor, radiation, air temperature, soil water content directly beneath a vine canopy, and vine canopy temperatures. April 30–May 02, June 10–12 and July 27–28, 2016 were selected for analysis as these periods represented key vine growth and production phases. Considerable variation in computed CWSI was observed between each of the hourly average individual canopy temperature sensors throughout the study; however, the diurnal trends remained similar: highest CWSI values in morning and lowest in the late afternoon. While meteorological conditions were favorable for plant stress to develop, soil water content near field capacity due to frequent irrigation allowed high evapotranspiration rates resulting in downward trending CWSI values during peak evaporative demand. While the CWSI is typically used to evaluate plant stress under the conditions of our study, the trend of the CWSI suggested a lowering of plant water stress as long as there was adequate soil water available to meet atmospheric demand.

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Acknowledgements

We recognize the considerable contributions scientists and technicians and students from the Viticulture, Chemistry and Enology Division of the E&J Gallo Winery for the tremendous collaboration, collection, and processing of field data during each of the IOPs conducted at the Borden/McMannis vineyard site. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for cooperation provided by Mr. Ernie Dosio of Pacific Agri Lands Management as well as the help and generosity of the entire Borden/McMannis vineyard staff for their continued cooperation as well as the invaluable logistical support of the GRAPEx research activities. USDA is an Equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Correspondence to John H. Prueger.

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Prueger, J.H., Parry, C.K., Kustas, W.P. et al. Crop Water Stress Index of an irrigated vineyard in the Central Valley of California. Irrig Sci 37, 297–313 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-018-0598-4

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