Happy 4th of July Everyone!
On Monday we (Pretty much the whole team, Cody, Reese, Ricky, Joey and I) went out to the Redlands site in Grants Pass, which is like a two hour round trip, so lots of time in the car. Although it was worth it because we had a lot to do and I got to learn a lot of new things! When we first got there we all had to sort of chip in on getting the shoots all tidied up. Essentially we just went through the rows and picked up all the shoots that were hanging down and tucked them back into the trellis system. So how the rows work in a Vertical Shoot Position (VSP) Trellis System is that there’s and end post on either side that is tied down by some means (There’s many ways to do this) and then there’s smaller post every how many feet apart (To be determined by row length and how many vines you have). Then sort of in between the posts there are wires that run along the row.
The bottom wire is called the cordon or fruiting wire, as the name suggests, this is where the majority of the fruit will be found, while some may be found a little above the fruiting wire, in this trellis system all the fruit can be found on the bottom portion of the vine. Above this wire there are a series of catch wires. The catch wires are two wires sort of in the same spot but on either side of the posts, these are here so that you can tuck the long shoots up into them, hence the name Vertical Shoot Position.
So when we got there a lot of the shoots hadn’t been tucked into the catch wires so each of us picked a row and tucked them all in. I took some before and after pictures to show the difference.
Also while we were out at Redlands we took some stem water potentials and we used two different methods to measure the canopy. Both of these measurements have to be taken right around Solar Noon, when the sun is at its peak, which often doesn’t fall around 12 o’clock due to day length changes and daylight savings time. One way was we used what’s called a Paso Panel, which essentially a frame with a solar panel on it that is connected to a small digital multimeter, which gives us a reading of how many amps of electrical current are being
produced by the solar panel which in turn tells us how much direct sunlight is hitting the panel. To take these measurements you place the Paso Panel underneath the shoots of the vine, make sure the panel is balanced and centered, and then press the button to take the reading. When taking readings we took a measurement on either side of the vine because vines aren’t really uniform in shape.
The other way we took canopy measurements was by using a special software. The way we do this is we place a white board on the ground underneath one side of the vine, make sure it’s centered and then take a picture of the board with the shadow of the vine cast onto it, then we take a picture on the other side of the vine. Then when we get back to the lab we convert the picture to binary, every image is made up of pixels and those pixels are made up of binary numbers.
The picture needs to be converted so that the computer can read the image. Then we select only the white board in the image, so that it’s not trying to read the whole thing. Then we use the computer to analyze the percent of the area shaded and then we convert that to canopy area (cm²/vine).
Overall Monday was by far the busiest day this week.
On Tuesday I did some research into some different analytical labs that I’m doing a side project for, more to come on that later. We also headed out to Grestoni on Tuesday afternoon to take some more stem water potentials. I talked about this briefly in my previous blog but I was able to take a picture of what the bags that the leaves go into look like. When we first get to the site we have to select the leaves from the data rows that we want to sample, then we put these bags on them and have to wait about 30 minutes before we can actually do the stem water potential testing.
On Wednesday morning it was kind of a slow day in the lab. I went out to the site where the new vineyard here at SOREC (Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center) will be planted and just doubled checked to make sure all the rows and reps were labeled right so that when it comes to planting we don’t have any mishaps. In the afternoon we went out to the Belle Fiore site to label the rows, take some more stem water potentials and to take some leaf samples.
That’s all for this week, I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July and enjoys the nice weather! At least it’s nice here anyway!