Irrigation Water Testing
Knowledge of the composition of irrigation water is particularly important. This is due to the effects individual components may have on soil structure, vine physiology, as well as potential effects on irrigation infrastructure.
Comprehensive testing and ongoing monitoring of soil parameters is essential. Testing includes organic matter, Phosphorous, Sulphur, Nitrogen, trace elements (deficiencies and / or toxicities), Cation Exchange Capacity, pH, density etc. Additional tests will be conducted if salinity is suspected to be a problem. Subsoil can also be tested.
This provides an important measure of actual vine status in relation to nutrient uptake and physiological health. Consideration should be given to the soil test results as well as any plant symptoms of either toxicities or deficiencies.
Saline and / or Sodic Vineyard Sites
If salinity or sodicity issues are suspected, specific tests will be conducted. For example, soil Chloride levels as well as the electrical conductivity (EC) of the saturated paste extract shall be measured. Overall salinity (EC) as well as specific toxic ion content in irrigation water shall be measured etc. High soil salinity levels have drastic effects on the growth and yield of grapevines. Sodic soils, can exhibit adversely affected soil structure, limiting water, air, and root movement in the soil. Specific irrigation and soil management is required to ensure sustainability.
All results are compiled and interpreted in a comprehensive report giving tailored management practice recommendations in an easy to use format. Naturally, due consideration is given to previous analysis results and can be incorporated into the report.
NB: Samples can be either taken by Robert Black, or sent to him via courier.