Emily C. Dooley, UCDAVIS.EDU
Study finds using less doesn’t compromise quality
- Study sheds new light on how to mitigate drought effects
- California coastal grape growers could cut irrigation water by half without affecting yield or quality
- Replacing 50% of the water lost to evapotranspiration is most beneficial to grapes’ profile and yield
California grape growers in coastal areas can use less water during times of drought and cut irrigation levels without affecting crop yields or quality, according to a new study out of the University of California, Davis.
The findings, published today (Sept. 1) in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, show that vineyards can use 50% of the irrigation water normally used by grape crops without compromising flavor, color and sugar content.
It sheds new light on how vineyards can mitigate drought effects at a time when California is experiencing a severe water shortage and facing more extreme weather brought on by climate change, according to lead author Kaan Kurtural, professor of viticulture and enology and an extension specialist at UC Davis.
“It is a significant finding,” Kurtural said. “We don’t necessarily have to increase the amount of water supplied to grape vines.”