In Washington State, ‘Concord’ grape (V. labruscana) production is concentrated in the Yakima Valley in Central Washington and yield is heavily dependent on supplemental irrigation because of the arid steppe climate (Fischer and Turner, 1978), which receives less than 250 mm of annual precipitation (Elsner et al., 2010, Fig. 1). Recently, low winter snowfall has limited the availability of surface irrigation supplies during the growing season (April to October). In 2001, the Roza irrigation district, which services the lower Yakima Valley, only delivered 38% of normal water delivery (Washington Department of Ecology, 2001). Similarly, in 2015, faced with limited irrigation supplies, the members of the Roza irrigation district voted to shut off irrigation availability for almost the entire month of June to extend their allotment later into the growing season (Washington Department of Ecology, 2015). Such decreases in available water can lead to large reductions in yield, especially when deficits occur during critical plant developmental stages, such as bloom and fruit set (Kriedemann and Goodwin, 2003).
Previous research relating to ‘Concord’ irrigation strategies was largely conducted in the eastern United States, which has high rainfall and a humid environment. Morris and Cawthon (1982) and Morris et al. (1983a, 1983b) have extensively studied the interaction of irrigation, pruning severity, and fertilization on ‘Concord’ yield in Arkansas and found that additional irrigation indirectly increased yield by increasing vine vigor. However, increased yields were inversely related to juice quality (Morris et al., 1983b).
RDI is the technique of applying less water than a plant would otherwise use during a specific period of the growing season. This technique can be used to cope with limited irrigation availability or to improve fruit quality in the case of red wine grape (V. vinifera L.). However, there is little research on the impacts of RDI on ‘Concord’ yield and berry quality in part because RDI has the potential to limit yield and economical ‘Concord’ production is largely focused on yield with a minimum set of quality standards. In addition, many Concord vineyards that are irrigated use systems that do not lend themselves to RDI management (Moyer et al., 2013) and there is limited use of irrigation in ‘Concord’ vineyards in regions other than Washington State (Cuykendall et al., 1999).
The objective of this study was to evaluate RDI between bloom and veraison as a potential management strategy in ‘Concord’ production to reduce water use in response to drought conditions. Our study assessed the impact of three levels of RDI on yield, fruit quality, and seasonal soil moisture distribution.
Battany, M. 2006 Crop coefficients—Paso panel. San Luis Obispo County. 10 May 2016. <http://cesanluisobispo.ucanr.edu/Viticulture/Paso_Panel/>
Celette, F., Gaudin, R. & Gary, C. 2008 Spatial and temporal changes to the water regime of a Mediterranean vineyard due to the adoption of cover cropping Eur. J. Agron. 29 4 153 162
CPN International Staff 2011 503 DR Hydroprobe operating manual. CPN International Inc., Concord, CA
Cuykendall, C.H., White, G.B., Schaffer, B.E., Lasko, A.N. & Dunst, R.M. 1999 Economics of drip irrigation for juice grape vineyards in New York State. R. B. 99-01, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Davenport, J.R., Stevens, R.G. & Whitley, K.M. 2008 Spatial and temporal distribution of soil moisture in drip-irrigated vineyards HortScience 43 229 235
Elsner, M.M., Cuo, L., Voisin, N., Deems, J.S., Hamlet, A.F., Vano, J.A., Mickelson, K.E.B., Lee, S.-Y. & Lettenmaier, D.P. 2010 Implications of 21st century climate change for the hydrology of Washington State Clim. Change 102 225 260
Evans, R.G., Spayd, S.E., Wample, R.L., Kroeger, M.W. & Mahan, M.O. 1993 Water use of Vitis vinifera grapes in Washington Agr. Water Mgt. 23 109 124
Gardner, W.H. 1965 Water content, p. 82–127. In: R.C. Dinauer (ed.). Methods of soil analysis. Agronomy. Amer. Soc. Agron. Inc., Madison, WI
Hoheisel, G. & Moyer, M. 2016 Pest management guide for grapes in Washington—2016. EB0762. Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Iland, P. 2004 Chemical analysis of grapes and wine: Techniques and concepts. Patrick Iland Wine Promotions PTYLTD, Campbelltown, Australia
Kriedemann, P.E. & Goodwin, I. 2003 Regulated deficit irrigation and partial rootzone drying: An overview of principles and applications. CSIRO Land and Water Australia, Canberra, Australia
Morris, J.R. & Cawthon, D.L. 1982 Effect of irrigation, fruit load, and potassium fertilization on yield, quality, and petiole analysis of Concord (Vitis labrusca L.) grapes Amer. J. Enol. Viticult. 33 145 148
Morris, J.R., Spayd, S.E. & Cawthon, D.L. 1983a Effects of irrigation, pruning severity and nitrogen levels on yield and juice quality of Concord grapes Amer. J. Enol. Viticult. 34 229 233
Morris, J.R., Spayd, S.E. & Cawthon, D.L. 1983b Influence of drip irrigation on “Concord” grapes. Ark. Farm Res
Moyer, M., Peters, T. & Hamman, R. 2013 Irrigation basics and strategies for eastern Washington grape production. EM061E. Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Pradubsuk, S. 2008 Uptake and partitioning of mineral nutrients in Concord grape. Washington State Univ., Pullman, PhD Diss. 3370414
Soar, C.J. & Loveys, B.R. 2007 The effect of changing patterns in soil-moisture availability on grapevine root distribution, and viticultural implications for converting full-cover irrigation into a point-source irrigation system Austral. J. Grape Wine Res. 13 2 13
Washington Department of Ecology 2001 2001 drought response. Publication no. 01-11-017, Olympia, WA
Washington Department of Ecology 2015 Ecology responding to the 2015 statewide drought. Publication no. 10-11-002, Olympia, WA
Williams, L.E. & Ayars, J.E. 2005 Grapevine water use and the crop coefficient are linear functions of the shaded area measured beneath the canopy Agr. For. Meteorol. 132 201 211
Zeleke, K.T. & Wade, L.J. 2012 Evapotranspiration estimation using soil water balance, weather and crop data. In: A. Irmak (ed.). Evapotranspiration: Remote sensing and modeling. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia