Mobile Irrigation Lab
The Napa County and Sonoma RCDs offer irrigation system evaluations for grape growers. The on-site, rapid evaluations focus on measuring uniformity of irrigation water applied throughout the vineyard. Results from the irrigation evaluation help growers easily identify opportunities to improve water use efficiency and performance of their irrigation systems and vines. The irrigation evaluation is a $2000 service. Thanks to underwriting by the CA Department of Water Resources, the RCDs will provide the first evaluation for FREE if growers provide 2-4 hours of field assistance to complete the evaluation.
“Even before seeing the report, just spending time in the field with RCD staff gave me so much information about improvements I could make in the vineyard to give better water distribution, and to manage this important resource. RCD staff answered all my questions, and clearly has a great level of experience and passion for farming and water management. When I got the report, it was even more informative, with great suggestions for improvements that were reasonable and easy to accomplish.“ – Sharon Hodges, Mogambo Vineyards
Mobile Water Lab Services
- Measurements of distribution uniformity, emitter and sprayer application rates, pressures, flow rates and water quality
- Confidential, site-specific recommendations for irrigation practices and frost protection alternatives.
- Assistance with potential cost share programs, such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to facilitate making recommended changes to irrigation systems.
- MIL evaluations conducted before and after installation of practices can assist agricultural producers and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) planning staff with valuable feedback as to how practices are functioning and help agricultural producers “fine tune” their irrigation scheduling.
Benefits of MIL for Farmers
- Improved water management and conservation
- Decreased pressures on natural resources
- Increased energy efficiency
- Increased evenness of vineyard production
- Meet sustainability and farm plan goals (e.g. CCSW)
Mobile Irrigation Lab Partners
This program is funded by the California Department of Water Resources. Technical advisors include USDA NRCS, Advanced Viticulture LLC, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and UC Cooperative Extension.
To sign up for an evaluation or learn more about the program, contact:
- Charles Schembre, Napa County RCD, 707-252-4188×116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Keith Abeles, Sonoma County RCD, 707-569-1448 x112 or email@example.com