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Audio Postcard: Real-time farming


Pinot Grigio truly makes a white wine and it is gained a couple of varieties in California that, uh, is a fairly widespread selection that truly we make purple grapes that make a white wine. So my identify is Dirk Heuvel and I’m the VP of winery operations right here at McManis household vineyards. 

My household truly sort of set roots right here, truly farming almonds. And some folks say almonds, we are saying in Ripon, and we are saying, say, almonds. 

I really feel like, if it was like my dad or my grandpa attempting to undertake this expertise, completely. I feel there’d be an enormous tradition shock there for them. I nonetheless assume they do not fairly perceive it, however they’re seeing the outcomes of it. So I feel that is an important factor—that we’re capable of present them that it’s working and the way it’s working for us.

I’ll say right now, I really feel that we’re rising higher high quality grapes than we had been 30 years in the past. Just adapting a number of this aerial imagery, trendy irrigation expertise, operating drip system expertise, you already know, having the ability to fertilize via drip methods. And you’ll be able to truly take a look at the imaging in your cellphone and you may truly pinpoint exit and stroll to a selected vine. You know, that is likely to be a   vine that died, that exhibits up on the aerial imaging. You can use the expertise and, and stroll proper into a selected space. Just having the ability to determine areas, you already know, utilizing GPS. We can have discipline checkers undergo the sector now and on their app, they’re capable of truly drop and pinpoint the place we’d have mite points the place we’d have, you already know, leafhopper points, areas that must get handled. And that truly permits us to undergo and simply cite particular deal with. Instead of treating a complete winery block, we’re capable of simply deal with particular areas.

Jennifer: It was solely what like 5, seven years in the past, it was half of farm staff weren’t utilizing smartphones. 

Dirk Heuvel: Yeah. 

Jennifer: So, if individuals are dropping pins that’s…

Dirk Heuvel: Yeah. You know, 30 years in the past, with the intention to make a cellphone name, you’d should drive in a, in a city or go to your home to name your irrigator to do stuff. And now it is, that is virtually, it is like actual time farming. Now we will make choices on the fly. And one of many massive benefits to utilizing variable fee functions is that you simply’re solely making use of the quantity of vitamins or amendments which can be wanted for a selected space. So earlier than we tailored this variable fee expertise, we’d drive down a row and we might put a constant quantity of amendments, whether or not or not it’s gypsum, lime, soil, sulfur, we’d apply that quantity evenly all through your entire winery block. Now we understand going via and utilizing this variable fee expertise is that we’d minimize the, the amendments which can be wanted by 20 to 30% on a selected winery block, simply by making use of the right quantities of vitamins the place they’re wanted and never overlying the place they are not wanted 

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