Use of Infrared Temperature Sensing to Continuously Measure Grapevine Water Status for Irrigation Scheduling
Xinhao Hu and Vinay Pagay*
*University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
Grapevines in arid and semi-arid viticultural regions rely on supplemental irrigation to maintain growth and productivity. Fresh water is often scarce in such regions globally and increased irrigation efficiencies are continually sought. Measurement of vine water status is a key approach to improving irrigation efficiency in vineyards. Under certain environmental conditions, leaf/canopy temperature and associated temperature indices are closely related to plant water status or stress. The concept of using non-contact infrared temperature sensing as a tool to manage irrigation is not new; however, the development and realization of a practical tool for growers based on this concept has been hampered by the high cost of existing temperature-sensing platforms. Here, we present a new, low-cost platform for continuous measurement of vine water status based on the Arduino™ microcontroller and miniature infrared thermometers. This platform has high temporal resolution, small form factor, local data storage and wireless data transfer capabilities, the ability to integrate additional environmental sensors, and low cost. We have tested this platform with a new simplified index of plant water status based on canopy temperature under a range of vine water status conditions and compared this index to existing temperature indices. Predictive models of vine water status and decision support systems can be integrated into this platform for automated irrigation scheduling in vineyards.
Funding Support: Coonawarra Grape and Wine Inc.