Could CEA also work for grapevines?

Grapes are an economically important commodity, supplying fresh, dried, and processed markets worldwide. Although grapes are not a crop you immediately consider a beneficiary of CEA technology, it may be possible to adapt field agriculture, putting in measures to circumvent climate change and disease. 

For the last few years, I’ve been attempting to grow my own grapevine indoors, so when Chris Higgins shared the main photo, I felt excited to learn how they were using LED lights to help fruit mature on vines in California. 

Scotland is not known for wine, but with changing climates and carefully chosen hardy varieties, it could provide some competition for our national drink. Success at home is just around the corner as I begin season three with my black Hamburg grape (Schiava Grossa) grafted on S04 rootstock. It’s hopeful too, as earlier than expected, it is producing trusses. The learning curve is not as steep as you may think, and the trick is to not give up with a fruitless vine. 

We will take a look at the growing environment, the diseases that can be encountered, and the pests that need to be eliminated by controlling some of the processes. Then we will examine some real Californian vineyards and how they are adapting and integrating CEA technology to increase efficiency and yield, battling against ever-changing climates and earlier-than-predicted seasonal frosts. 


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