Sheldon Haynie
 
April 30, 2014 | Sheldon Haynie

Low Water Farming

The current exceptional drought has been mitigated slightly by late rains, the estate gauge showing just about 9 inch since New Years. The typical range is 10-15 in, so that's not as bad as we had been looking at during February. We  made choices to prune severely and have been doing shoot thinning earlier to limit canopy size, so that we need less water to grow a smaller crop. We've put quite a bit of time into checking for leaks, and fixing the ravages of coyotes, freezing and hard water deposits as we don't want to waste any. 

In Athena's vineyard, we found that our irrigation pump can pressurize 1/4 of the acreage at a time, so we'll need to manually turn off half of the rows in alternation of each block to keep within a level where we get uniform dripping. We've mowed everywhere to reduce the evapotranspiration losses, and will continue to keep a low cover to reduce water needs and losses. 

 

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