Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 23-6
Presentation Time: 3:35 PM


THOMPSON, Grant B., Master of Environmental Studies, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424 and LEVINE, Norman S., Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424

The wine industry had an estimated nearly $220 billion impact on the U.S. economy in 2017. Viticulture and wine making is conducted in every U.S. state. In South Carolina alone, the wine industry generates an estimate $1.8 billion in economic activity and employs over 10,000 people. Rapidly advancing climate change, and changing consumer preferences, are increasing the demand for precision agriculture in wine grape growing. Climate change is generating measurable changes in water availability, soil chemistry, and surface temperature. All of these factors can greatly impact the chemistry of grapes at harvest and the quality of wine produced. Traditionally, ground-based measurements have provided farmers with data for estimating the condition of their crops. These measurements when combined with GIS mapping techniques become the basis of precision agriculture decision-making.

The growth in the use of remote sensing data has allowed farmers to deduce the conditions across their entire vineyards. Currently there are a number of open-source platforms that are highly effective at generating important measures of crop health, such as water stress and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. The ArcGIS platform allows for these measures and more powerful tools to be applied to the problem. The remote-sensing imagery used in precision agriculture prescription maps has been limited by time and cost constraints, as well as, spatial and spectral resolution. Satellite-based remote sensing ranges from free (resolution poor) high cost (high-resolution) data sets. The data are time-limited to when the satellite passes over the target area. Additionally, aerial remote sensing data collection enable farmers to collect data at a time of their choosing but can be cost-prohibitive. Today, Drone-based remote sensing in viticulture is emerging as a viable technology because of its ease of use, cost effectiveness, and timely data delivery. This study looks at the use of drone-based remote sensing to generate prescription maps for vineyards in South Carolina.