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During our 2019 Vineyard Tour, Lynn Wunderlich, UCCE specialist, showed tour guests another way to manage vineyard irrigation decisions by using a Pressure Bomb or Pressure Chamber (pictured above).


The Pressure Chamber allows vineyard owners to monitor the stress level in the vine. There are many “shades of grey” between well-irrigated and water-stressed vines. The Pressure Chamber allows you to monitor these shades of grey and stress the vine to a point that is appropriate for your strategy. For instance, when vines are first planted you want to minimize stress levels and keep them irrigated to get them established. However, once established you will want to deficit irrigate to manage canopy growth and also to improve the fruit quality. Using a plant based monitoring system like the Pressure Chamber, you monitor exactly what the plant is experiencing not just one of the environmental stresses. Plant water stress is a sum of four environmental influences; soil moisture, humidity, wind and direct sunlight or heat load. While most monitoring systems only monitor one of these influences, the Pressure Chamber takes all four into consideration when taking a direct plant based measurement.


The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance has purchased a Pressure Chamber that can be used by our grower and winery members.

Questions or want to checkout the tool? Email or call (209) 728-9467.

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