Verizon partners with vineyards in California’s Wine Country to enable more sustainable farming with the Internet of Things

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With changing climate conditions, wide variations in soil conditions and unique water demands for each grape varietal, when it comes to grape growing, irrigation can be a complex, cumbersome and labor-intensive process – a process technology has not traditionally kept pace with. That’s why three vineyard growers in California’s wine country have partnered with Verizon to help optimize their farming processes at every growth stage of their crop and drive industry standards with IoT-enabled technology.

Verizon has teamed up with ITK, one of the leading crop modeling companies in the world, to provide Delicato Family Vineyards, Scheid Vineyards and Renteria Vineyard Management with an automated solution that delivers intelligence to help these leading growers adopt improved planning, irrigation management and sustainability programs in an effort to continue to lead the way in sustainable growing practices.

Spanning thousands of acres across Monterey County and Napa Valley, each vineyard is using the ITK data analytics engine which is the underlying component of Verizon’s ag tech solution. The ag tech solution also includes a Verizon-provided weather station, a secure LTE gateway and flow meters combined with Verizon’s IoT ThingSpace platform, and a dashboard which provides a single pane of glass so that growers have a holistic view of their environment. ITK’s analytics engine is instrumental in helping growers optimize vine stress management at every growth stage of the plant.

“As an irrigation tool, the solution is not only economical and scalable, it gives growers an integrated view of the vines’ water needs to improve quality and drive sustainability,” said Gregory Brun, senior Viticulturist at Delicato Family Vineyards. “It’s one of the most rational approaches based on water constraint evaluation.”

According to Verizon’s IoT experts, existing technology is too expensive, unreliable and not tailored to the unique requirements of grapevines.

“As a result of working closely with many expert vineyard growers in the adoption of the Verizon ag tech solution, we are seeing a reduction in applied water irrigation which has helped growers reduce operating costs, lower risk and drive profitability,” said Mark Bartolomeo, vice president, IoT Connected Solutions. ”Overall, the potential upside is significant.”

Growers, farmers and other businesses interested in learning more about Verizon’s ag tech solutions can email agtech@verizon.com.

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