Precision Viticulture (PV*) is precision farming applied to optimise vineyard performance.  

14 Dec 2021

Precision Viticulture (PV*) is precision farming applied to optimise vineyard performance. It ensures proportionate grape yield and maximum quality, while minimising environmental impacts and risk.

How PV does this:

  • By measuring local variation in factors that influence grape yield and quality — soil, topography, microclimate, vine health 
  • By applying appropriate viticulture management practices — pruning, fertilizer application, irrigation, and timing of harvest
PV is based on the premise that high in-field variability for factors that affect vine growth and grape ripening warrants intensive management, customised according to local conditions. It relies on technologies including: 
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS*)
  • Environmental sensors
  • Satellite 
  • Airborne remote sensing 
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS*) 

PV technology addresses agronomic challenges and encourages informed management. 
Right action, right place, right time – more often!

How can I use PV in my vineyard? 

PV uses a broad set of technologies to observe and respond to variability and  vine health. It can be applied via: 
  • Remote sensing: Aerial Plant Cell Density (PCD*) or satellite PCD*/Normalised Difference Vegetive Index (NDVI*) imagery 
  • Proximal sensors: an active sensor such as Greenseeker or Crop Circle NDVI* 
  • Soil and elevation surveys: Electromagnetic Mapping 38 (EM38*), Gamma Ray Spectrometry and Ground Penetrating Radar 
  • Yield monitors: Mapping yield and aiding selective harvesting 
  • Geographic Information System (GIS*) with GPS* Systems: Geo-tagging images and observations are directed to points in the vineyard. Observations are presented in a GIS*. With the rapid development and use of mobile devices, these systems are becoming increasingly accessible and easy to use. 

So, when is the best time to collect data using remote sensing tools and multispectral imaging?

PV service and what time of the year do I collect this info: 

Boundary surveys    Anytime, at the start of all operations

Elevation mapping    Easily performed in conjunction with any Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS*)  related mapping. Included with EM38* surveys or option with DGPS* NDVI* survey 

PCD* imagery    Flowering or Veraison (most common)

EM38* surveys    Winter, with wet profile

Ground truthing:
(a) soil sampling    Winter    
(b) petiole sampling    Pre - flowering 
(c) maturity testing    Weeks leading to harvest

Click here to find out more about new agricultural technology being used on the SuniTAFE SMART Farm.

*Tech definitions:
PV – Precision Viticulture: precision farming applied to optimise vineyard performance, in particular maximising grape yield and quality while minimising environmental impacts and risk. 
GPS – Global Positioning System: a global navigation satellite system that provides location, velocity, and time synchronisation. 
DGPS – Differential Global Positioning System: an enhancement to the Global Positioning System which provides location accuracy.  
GIS – Geographic Information Systems: a computer system used for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface. 
PCD – Plant Cell Density: the most commonly used, remotely sensed indicator of vine vigour or canopy size in Australia viticulture. 
NVDI – Normalised Difference Vegetive Index: a simple graphical indicator that can be used to analyse remote sensing measurements, assessing whether or not the target being observed contains live green vegetation. 
EM38 – Electromagnetic Mapping 38: refers to electromagnetic soil mapping. It is used to generate a spatial layer that provides information about soil variability within a field.