Free, automated irrigation forecasts from the Vineyard-Soil Irrigation Model (VSIM)
VSIM combines a crop coefficient (Kc) canopy ETc model with a soil water balance model to estimate daily canopy growth, vine ET, soil moisture, drainage, and leaf water potential. With minimal input data (farm shapefile & some basic block info), VSIM can be used to forecast weekly irrigation needs by block across a farm. VSIM can also be used to evaluate irrigation schedules in terms of soil moisture and vine water stress.
We use your farm shapefile to extract the necessary VSIM inputs by block from online datasets, including the USGS Landsat satellite imagery archive, CIMIS daily weather data, National Weather Service 7-day forecasts, USDA SSURGO soils data, and slope/aspect. Once the farm database has been set up, the grower controls how often they receive an updated irrigation forecast; when the grower emails updated irrigation logs to the VSIM server, a new VSIM model run is initiated and the grower automatically receives an updated irrigation forecast.
The power of VSIM is that it automatically a) accesses irrigation-relevant online datasets, b) sets up your farm database, and c) generates an up-to-date irrigation forecast based on the most recent satellite imagery, weather measurements, and forecast estimates for your vineyard. And its free - VSIM is currently being supported by the California Dept. of Water Resources. Your data is secure within your password-protected VSIM account and we do not share your data or forecasts without your permission.
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Here is a link to a 45-minute presentation that I was invited to give at Decagon Devices in Pullman, WA. The presentation gives an overview of the VSIM model and forecasts, how to set VSIM up for a new vineyard, and the results of an early irrigation trial in Monterey County. Decagon Devices makes weather and soil moisture monitoring equipment - we use (and recommend) their products.
VSIM overview presentation: https://decagon.wistia.com/medias/xssbdjuvqz
Decagon Devices web site: decagon.com