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Wente Vineyards and GGI Announce Development of a Terrestrial Hyperspectral Imaging System for Smart Vineyard Management

Posted on May 02, 2018

Livermore California - Locally grown technology startup, Green Grid Inc. (GGI), San Ramon, CA and Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA have announced a project to develop a Terrestrial Hyperspectral Imaging System for Smart Vineyard Management that will enable high resolution spatial and temporal monitoring of vines to consistently produce high quality grapes at increased yield rate. The system will help environmental sustainability by water and energy conservations by more efficient and effective grapevine stress and yield management practices.

Monitoring, detecting, and managing crop plant stress effectively and efficiently is a global agricultural challenge. The common plant stresses are caused by pests, insects, pathogens (biotic) and/or water and soil nutrient deficiencies (abiotic). Plant stresses causes significant damage to the crop yield across the nation and globe. For an example, Pierce's disease (a biotic stress) of grapevine, caused by a strain of the bacteria, Xylella Fastidiosa threatens an industry with farm value of production exceeding $3 billion per year as described by Tumber, K. et al. in 2014. Early detection of diseases at a lower severity level can prevent or reduce this kind of crop damage. While most of these plant stress detection, monitoring and management practices are manual, erroneous, inefficient and costly, a few technological advancements have been made over the past recent years. Spectral imagery-based technology is one of the most promising solution to this agricultural problem. Spectral imaging sensors and platforms need to be integrated along with suitable hardware and software for optimal results. Satellite and aircraft (manned and unmanned) imageries don't have the adequate resolutions and capture frequencies that are needed for accurate and timely monitoring of crops health. Flight range limitation of battery powered small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) make them impractical for large farm field coverage at reasonable economic threshold.

Unlike satellite, manned and unmanned aircraft (aka drone)-based imaging systems, our system will be able to precisely monitor and detect stresses by analyzing vegetation phenomenology at a single plant level with georeferenced unique identification for efficient and effective management of plant stress without creating additional cumbersome steps in the current farming workflow. This system can be integrated with autonomous or human driven farm mobility equipment with potential for running on renewable and/or alternative clean energy. Our system and method will overcome the current vineyard stress management systems' limitations and provide highly accurate results at a much lower cost because the monitoring process is concurrent to other essential farming workflow.

“Our smart farm management technology was conceived in my backyard vineyard of 101 Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines. We tested drones, aerial imagery, LIDAR and multi-spectral sensors and identified the technical and economical deficiencies associated to them and formulated this solution to overcome those deficiencies" said Chinmoy Saha, CEO of GGI. GGI has teamed up with one of the largest family owned and operated commercial grape growers and wine makers in California (USA), Wente Vineyards. Karl Wente, COO and 5th Generation Winegrower of Wente Vineyards expresses his excitement “every single day, we strive to be better than the day before. For five generations, we’ve worked relentlessly to grow and produce great tasting wines. We see this innovative approach a great fit to our continuous improvement and sustainability initiatives.

The team is excited to have a miniature hyper-spectral imaging (HSI) sensor manufacturer as a technology partner. This new generation of sensor is essential for solving the key challenges associated to the stat-of-the-art systems. The team is working on a prototype system research, development and demonstration project and anticipates to update the audience by third quarter of this year. GGI is seeking funding to accelerate the development and commercialization of this technology. Please stay tuned!

About GGI
GGI is a technology development and services startup in San Ramon, CA. Dedicated to sustainability and environmental protection, the company focuses on proven technologies to uncover new strategies, automate asset management and field operations and improve operational efficiencies, functionality and safety in energy, utilities, aerospace and precision agriculture industries.

About Wente
Wente Vineyards is the country's oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery, founded in 1883. The company owns and operates approx. 3,000 acres of vineyards in Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and Arroyo Seco, Monterey, CA, and produces great tasting wines of approx. 30 varietals. Nestled in the Livermore Valley, the historic Wente Vineyards Estate Winery & Tasting Room, The Winemakers Studio and Vineyard Tasting Room offer three unique opportunities to experience and taste award winning wines. They offer public tastings, private tastings, group tasting experiences and fun interactive educational classes.

Contact GGI
Green Grid Inc.
111 Deerwood Road, Suite 200
San Ramon, CA 94583

 


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