Data-Driven Vineyard Irrigation
Reineir van der Lee had a successful tech career when he decided to buy a vineyard. He was told how much irrigation to apply based on how much had always been used. But Reineir decided to apply his tech background to get more precise data. Turns out, he was able to reduce his water usage by 50%.
Now he’s helping others use data determine their needs with his company Vinduino.
Van der Lee…”Self-explanatory if you look at soil moisture that if the soil measures too dry that you need to water more, and if it's too wet then you can water less. What is less intuitive is determining evapotranspiration, which is a method that was developed at UC Davis by Professor Larry Williams 20 years ago. So, not that long ago that that method was developed. But it basically uses evapotranspiration data, based on weather data.”
Vinduino is an open source platform that pulls data from weather stations and sensors to help producers make more data-driven decisions. But not all customers are overwatering like Reineir was. He says some are discovering they haven’t been giving their crops enough water.
Van der Lee…”We have customers who had expectation to, to save a lot of water, but it turns out that they were under-irrigating. That means that they're hurting their crop and their yield, so they need to pay a little more for water. But that gets greatly compensated by the improvement in yields and quality of grapes.”