Vineyard frost mitigation

Late spring frosts have created some serious crop losses in the UK in the past few years and investment in frost mitigation systems for vineyards is now seen as a good commercial option.

Using an automated low flow strip sprinkler system can mitigate vineyard frost damage. Using this technology vines are being protected from frost damage across the globe. Our systems reduce labor and machinery costs and investing in an automated low flow strip sprinkler system can take the heartache out of losing vines to late spring frosts.

purple wine grapes irrigated with Netafim drip irrigation
frost in vineyard

What is a low flow strip sprinkler vineyard frost mitigation system?

Using sprinklers specially designed for vineyard frost mitigation systems allows water to be applied in a strip above the canopy.

This water is applied continuously during a radiation frost event hence the importance of using low flow strip sprinklers.

How does it work?

The precise application of the water along the rows creates triple protection by:

  • Creating a microclimate around the vines
  • Releasing latent heat
  • Creating a thin layer of ice that protects the inner cells in the grapes

Our vineyard frost mitigation system uses strip sprinklers specially designed for applying the water to vines. Using our automated low flow sprinklers brings the following operational benefits:

  • Up to 50% less water use than other systems also using strip sprinklers.
  • Reduced pumping costs
  • Lower labor costs than other methods
  • Automatic temperature activated control

In addition to these, there are lower costs involved in providing the system including:

  • Lower capital pump and pipe infrastructure costs
  • Reduced water storage requirement

Vineyard irrigation

Drip irrigation is transforming the wine production in many parts of the world providing the most efficient method of applying water and fertilizer whilst at the same time reducing the amounts of these resources required. In the UK, drip irrigation can bring these same benefits as we strive to produce better crops. With increasing regulation of water, a key resource, the need for an application method that provides the most precise way to apply it to the vines is environmentally and commercially crucial. Drip irrigation provides a system that meets both of these essential objectives. In addition, it allows integrated fertilizers application creating a managed way to give the best opportunity to produce high yield of the high quality grapes.

What is a vineyard drip irrigation system?

It is more than just a way to apply water.

Drip irrigation delivers water and also nutrients directly to the vine’s root zone, in the right amounts and at the right time, so each plant gets exactly what it needs to grow optimally. Drip irrigation enables growers to produce higher yields whilst saving water, fertilizer, and energy.

In the UK vineyard industry, being able to apply water and nutrients during the critical plant establishment stage can provide the best opportunity to produce the best wine grapes in the optimum time. It significantly reduces the risk of poor and slow vine establishment. In addition, once the vineyard is in full production, the ability to control water and nutrient supply provides an important tool in managing the growing environment.

How does it work?
The water and nutrients are delivered along the vineyard rows via small diameter pipes that have highly engineered drippers at regular intervals along their length. Each dripper emits water or nutrient-enriched water uniformly either above or within the rootzone.

Why choose precision irrigation and nutrient application for vines?

  • Allows full control of the application of water and nutrients in accordance with the plant requirement
    Drip irrigation in vineyards allows exactly the right amount of water and nutrients to be applied at the most appropriate time.
  • Provides new vines with the best development during establishment Precisely applying water and nutrients to vines during establishment helps produce plants that have the resilience required to grow the best grapes for winemaking.
  • Control plant stress 
    Drip irrigation gives you the ability to control water deficit (RDI) and plant stress. You can regulate vegetative growth and grape size while controlling stress-induced sensorial parameters.
  • Reduced water and nutrient costs
    Drip irrigation delivers a controlled amount of water and nutrients straight to the roots of each plant, wasting nothing. This practice can significantly reduce water and fertilizer costs compared to any other irrigation method. In addition, precise water delivery ensures minimal weed growth, reducing herbicide application costs.
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