William Metz on the Potential of Drones in Precision Viticulture

William Metz on the Potential of Drones in Precision Viticulture


My name is William Metz, I’m a viticulturalist and knowledgist the past year, I have been working on a projet to evaluate the application of drones in wineyards and wine making purposes. The project is a fellowship organized by the Villa d’Est wine symposium covering 15 different regions throughout Europe and
evaluating how this technology fits in with each region’s unique culture
farming practices in winemaking philosophy typically I’m flying the
eBee multiple times throughout the growing season over a vineyard in order to
visualize spatial variation using different types of sensors we are able
to capture which amounts of data with which we can make many different types
of analysis for example using high-resolution visible red green blue
photography were able to do visible inspections over large areas quite
simply with multispectral information we can create NDVI and other vegetative
indexes to evaluate plant health stress and biomass using the pix4D
software we’re able to make high-resolution three-dimensional models
which are useful and extracting useful information from both are multispectral
sensors and/or visual spectrum sensors as well as being able to do accurate hydrology modeling erosion risk
and pesticide transfer valuation furthermore using these 3D models we are
able to quantitatively simulate sunlight capture of vines on different aspects
and in different training systems one case study where the drone proved really
useful is where over a large area as certain number of parcels had a wide
variance in quality the wine makers knew that they were
getting good quality and some parts and bad quality in other parts and it’s quite
a challenging proposition for them when planning how to harvest and planning
their winemaking schemes for their top in wines and their second tier wines using
the drones over the course of the year we’re able to see where the vines
differed especially in their growth patterns this was quite interesting in
using this information to plan the harvest and the one making scheme going
forward we learned right now as we see spatial variation of different things
and in-laws us to run experiments at a much easier level than most wineries
would be able to do on their own this lets us have more quantitative
information when planning our winemaking and when planning our wineyard actions
in a wineyard planning such as fertilization or even how much the crop
in different sections of the wineyard Drones are able to provide a very rich quantity of
data and it’s our job to be able to sift through this information to pull out
specific information isolate variables that can be used to
answer questions the individual companies have so it’s very important to
come with the approach of asking a very specific question what’s my special
variation of maturity in my vineyard can I fertilize more quantitatively and
where are my erosion risks and potentially can I quantifying the amount
of erosion that’s occurring going forward we can imagine that drones will
become a more common source of supplementary information for wine
making decisions we can also expect there’s wine makers will be better
equipped to act upon new forms of information

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