Data, Imagery, and Analytics to Inform Agriculture

We provide several types of agricultural data to assist the grower with vineyard management throughout the year.  Our data services improve your understanding of current and future vineyard conditions, providing you with the information needed to make timely decisions on canopy management and irrigation that optimize yields and quality during any given year.


Our data service products include:

·        Monthly NDVI Imagery of your vineyard

·        Weekly VSIM Forecasts of canopy size, vine water use, leaf water potential, and irrigation by block

·        Irrigation measurement using cellular-enabled flowmeters

·        Services in support of these products




NDVI Imagery



We access the USGS Landsat and the ESA Sentinel 2 satellite imagery archives to provide you with near real-time, calibrated NDVI imagery of your vineyard to help you monitor vine growth.  These products include:


•      The current NDVI image of your ranch (upper left image). 

•      The NDVI Difference image of your ranch, which maps the current NDVI relative to the same date in the prior year (upper right image; blue areas NDVI 2019 > 2018, brown areas NDVI 2019 < 2018). 




VSIM Water Stress and Irrigation Forecasts

We utilize the VSIM soil water-balance model to combine NDVI imagery measurements of canopy growth with local soils, weather (historical & forecast), and block and irrigation data to track vine growth, water use, water stress, and irrigation needs over the growing season for each block.   Along with the NDVI imagery, the weekly VSIM forecasts include:


·        Summary weather and forecast metrics

·        Summaries of irrigation, soil moisture, water stress, and vine size by block

·         Forecast of irrigation needs through the end of the upcoming week by block

·         Trends over the season, and relative to last year, by block


You define your seasonal vine water stress targets for each block.  When calculated vine water stress exceeds your predefined target, we calculate the amount of irrigation necessary to reduce water stress back to your target, and provide this recommendation to you in the weekly forecast.  During the 1st year, we calibrate the VSIM model for each block using your leaf water potential data (by adjusting the rooting depth parameter in VSIM).  Once calibrated, LWP measurements are only occasionally required to check the calibration, letting you save on labor costs by allocating those resources to other blocks. 


Irrigation Trial

In partnership with E&J Gallo, we compared the effects of the VSIM forecast irrigation vs. standard grower practice irrigation on winegrape yield and quality, using split-block irrigation trials across 7 Lodi-area Cabernet Sauvignon blocks in 2016.  Results varied by block based on prior grower practices and the user-defined seasonal water stress targets set in VSIM.  Across 5 of these blocks, the VSIM forecast irrigation led to significant quality improvements with minimal yield reductions; where yields did decline, water savings were substantial and quality improvements more than compensated for yield reductions.  In the other 2 blocks, we observed significant yield increases in the VSIM sub-block relative to the grower practice, with only minimal reductions in quality.  We found that the VSIM forecasts can provide significant insights into balancing yield and quality in any block during any given year, and can help to up-tier quality while minimizing yield reductions.




Support Services

We need data about your vineyard blocks to set up and initialize the VSIM soil water balance model.  These data include:


·        Irrigation to date (from flowmeters)

·        Soils (from the USDA county database or sampled locally)

·        Vineyard block boundary file (shapefile or kml file)


Our support services are aimed at improving the accuracy of your vineyard input datasets, thereby improving the accuracy of the VSIM water stress and irrigation forecasts.  We can provide you with low-cost, cellular-enabled flowmeters that measure daily irrigation and report these data to the web for you to access from your desk.  You can use these data to accurately document vineyard water use and to see how much water is actually going on to each of your blocks.  We can also sample soils across your vineyard, thereby improving on the accuracy of the USDA county-level surveys.  And we can build a block boundary file (shapefile) that we use to summarize these datasets by block across your vineyard.





We provide monthly NDVI imagery and the weekly VSIM forecasts to any US vineyard.  Our current clients include Constellation Brands, E&J Gallo, Trinchero Family Wines, V. Sattui Winery, Mochizuki and Associates, Beckstoffer Vineyards, and The California Table Grape Commission.



For more information, references, or to subscribe to our services,

please contact Lars Pierce at or at (831) 331-3889.



VSIM - Celebrate, Don’t Guesstimate.