Plantae probes in table grapes in Portugal, control humidity, leachate and drainage. We are going to study in detail how irrigation can be technified, controlled by sensors.
Table grapes in Portugal
Portugal has increasing table grape production. The control of its growth phases, monitored with precision agriculture, will ensure that the quality is ideal and the quantity is the maximum possible.
In Portugal, drip irrigation is increasing. Plantae is aware of this and offers the winegrower the best technology for complete monitoring of the vineyard.
Table grape characteristics
Table grapes are very delicate and need special care throughout their phenological cycle.
- The measurement of cold hours with the Plantae weather station, in the latency period.
- The amounts of hours of sunshine are also measured with the Meteo station, during the production season.
- Control of humidity and conductivity with sensors placed at different depths.
- The measurement of the depth of the wet bulb, to avoid problems of irrigation water losses that increase leaching and drainage.
All this control affects:
- Flavor of the grape that depends on the sugars and organic acids that the plant absorbs.
- Color of the berry that changes as the hours of sun and temperature increase or decrease.
- Bunch shape which can be: conical, globose or cylindrical.
- Berry size that changes with water stress if it is not controlled and with production management.
- Loss of berries from the cluster that detach from the stem due to the lack of flexibility of the pedicel that joins the berry to the stem, altered by stress.
- Berry texture, which improves significantly with the phenological control of the entire process and is one of the qualities that consumers value most.
Installation of Plantae sensors/probes in table grapes in Portugal
We are located in Santa Clara de Louredo, near Beja, in Portugal, on a trellis-grown table grape farm.
The fundamental objective of the installation of sensors/probes is to avoid water stress in the plant and control the levels of humidity, conductivity, leachate and subsoil drainage.
Sensors are installed at 20 cm and 50 cm, at 4 points in 2 plots to control the humidity bulb and drainage at 50 cm at 20 cm, 40 cm and 60 cm. The main objective is not to raise the humidity to 50 cm to save water and avoid evaporation. In addition, with this system the risk of salinity decreases, which is very detrimental to the absorption of nutrients.
The information on subsoil humidity, conductivity and root temperature is obtained in real time and available on the mobile or tablet, very important data to control irrigation according to the type of soil and time of year.