Archive for the ‘About the project’ Category

What grapevines do when everybody is sleeping?

Posted: March 30, 2014 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News, Research Paper

New study shows results of night-time water losses for grapevines.

By Sigfredo Fuentes



Night-time water uptake (Sn) mainly corresponds to stem and organ rehydration and transpiration, the latter through stomata and cuticle. Nocturnal transpiration is uncoupled from photosynthesis, therefore it contributes to reduce water use efficiency (WUE). Night-time grapevine physiology was measured on field grown grapevines (cv. Shiraz) under partial root-zone drying (PRD) and deficit irrigation (Exp 1), on potted vines (cv. Tempranillo) (Exp. 2) and on potted vines (cv. Cabernet Sauvignon) on a progressive drought treatment in the glasshouse (Exp. 3). Sap flow probes using the compensated heat pulse method (cHP) were installed in vines (Exp. 1 and 3). Night-time gas exchange measurements were performed for Exp. 3. Other vine water status monitoring methods used were: midday stem water potential (Ψs) for all experiments, and abscisic acid (ABA) concentration monitored from leaf sap for Exp. 3. Results showed that Sn was parabolically correlated to Ψs measured on the previous day for all treatments and cultivars. Two distinct zones where vines exhibit different night-time behaviour within the Ψs vs Sn parabolic relationships were identified for all experiments. The differences between the two identified areas were related to the water status conditions of the vines:  i) non-water stress conditions (0 < Ψs < -1.0 MPa); ii) water stress conditions (-1.0 MPa < Ψs < -2.0 MPa). Furthermore, levels of water stress were negatively correlated to concentrations of leaf sap ABA, which helped to explain the parabolic curve found for cv. Cabernet Sauvignon.

Link to full article, click NighttimeVines


Posted: March 12, 2014 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News

Viticopter from the Vineyard of the future. The University of Talca (CITRA) – Chile

THE EXTREME EFFECTS of climate change are taking their toll on the viticulture industry, making the future of vineyards here and abroad uncertain. Which is why University of Melbourne wine science lecturer Dr Sigfredo Fuentes and a team of researchers around the world are developing a project to better arm the industry against that change. Vineyard of the Future (VoF) is being conducted in Australia, Chile, Spain and the US.

Full Article: VOF 2014 IR

News from Chile – VoF

Posted: December 30, 2013 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News, Projects, Research Grant > Actualidad > 26/12/2013

Durante los días 18 y 19 de noviembre del presente

Importante Dr. de Australia dictó charlas en la Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas de la UTA

Dr. Sigfredo Fuentes del Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, Melbourne School of Land&EnvironmentUniversity of Melbourne y MEMBER OF THE VINEYARD OF THE FUTURE (VoF) INITIATIVE, Australia

Publicado por Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas

Imagen foto_00000001Durante los días 18 y 19 de noviembre del presente año, en el marco del proyecto MECESUP UTA 1102 “Especialización interactiva y práctica de los estudiantes de la Carrera de Agronomía de la Universidad de Tarapacá, para el mejoramiento del desempeño laboral en el área de riego y fertirrigación como eje principal de una agricultura sustentable”, la Universidad de Tarapacá conto con la visita del Dr. Sigfredo Fuentes delDepartment of Agriculture and Food Systems, Melbourne School of Land & Environment University of Melbourne y MEMBER OF THE VINEYARD OF THE FUTURE (VoF) INITIATIVE, Australia.

El Dr. Fuentes, es ingeniero agrónomo de la Universidad de Talca, Chile y Doctor of Philosophy(PhD) at the Centrefor Plantand Food Science(PaFS), University of Western Sydney, Australia en Fisiología de Plantas y Riego, con mas de 40 publicaciones ISI. Durante su visita, dictó varias charlas para estudiantes en la Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas de nuestra universidad, basada en los efectos del cambio climático en la agricultura y las nuevas y emergentes tecnologías para la investigación y adaptación a estos efectos. Destacando la utilización de drones (controladores de vuelos no tripulados y automatización para la toma de datos) llamados multicopters, cámaras infrarrojas y cámaras multiespectrales.

Gracias a su experiencia de trabajo en Australia, el Dr. Fuentes explico a los alumnos cómo en ese país han optimizado el riego para fines agrícolas, con el fin de ser más eficientes en el uso del agua y así mitigar la escasez de agua producto del cambio climático que esta sufriendo ese país. Además, presentó las nuevas tecnologías utilizadas hoy en día para monitorear el estado fisiológico de las plantas y el estado hídrico del suelo, ambos a tiempo reales. Todo esto, se realiza como se menciona anteriormente, mediante el uso de multicopters, para obtener los datos de los sensores de humedad de suelo, sensores instalados en las plantas, imágenes satelitales, estaciones meteorológicas, fotos infrarrojas cercanas y lejanas, entre otras. Con esta charla, los alumnos de la carrera de agronomía de la Universidad de Tarapacá, conocieron otra realidad, y las tecnologías de punta en Australia y a nivel mundial, toman medidas para mitigar los efectos del calentamiento global, siempre ligados al ámbito agrícola. Es importante considerar, que el grupo de trabajo del Dr. Fuentes, esta utilizando técnicas que puedan ser accesible, especialmente, con los sistemas de teléfonos celulares para medir el índice foliar, obtener fotografías para subirlas a plataformas de sistemas espectrales y así, evaluar el estado hídrico de las plantas, pero a nivel de extensiones grande de cultivos. En este ámbito, se esta redactando proyecto FONDEF IDEASen conjuntocon la Universidad de Talca (CITRA), Universidad de Melbourne y la Universidad de Tarapacá, para comenzar verdadera cooperación entre las universidades y firmar los convenios respectivos.

Imagen foto_00000002

Dr. Sigfredo Fuentes dictando charla sobre el cambio climático en la Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas de la Universidad de Tarapacá.

First international VoF project won in 2013

Posted: August 14, 2013 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News, Projects, Research Grant

The Vineyard of the Future (VoF) initiative has won the first project presented in Chile (FONDEF – IDEAS). The project is entitled:

“Development of a mobile system to generate thermal maps from crops to optimise irrigation scheduling”

mobil map

University of Talca (Chile): Dr Carlos Poblete and Dr Claudio Balbontin
University of Melbourne (Australia): Dr Sigfredo Fuentes
University of La Rioja (Spain): Prof. Javier Tardaguila
General objective: 
To develop an integrated device to obtain thermal maps using a mobile system that will capture spatial variability of water status within crops
Specific objectives:
  • To integrate infrared thermal sensors, GPS technology and automated data collection on board a terrestrial mobile system
  • To conduct field work in vineyards to acquire thermal data, plant water potential, soil water content and gas exchange data
  • To generate thermal maps showing the spatial distribution of temperatures within the field and associated plant water stress indices estimated using established algorithms
  • To develop an on-line SIG system for growers to visualise and interpret thermal maps to manage irrigation scheduling more efficiently
Funding: 2013-2017.
Total Funding: AUD$400K

Link to full article: Fuentes et al-MayJune13WVJ



Picture: Octocopter from VOF – Chile

First VOF workshop: A success!

Posted: May 4, 2013 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News, Seminar presentation

The first workshop from the VOF – International was a success. Among the attendants were managers of important vineyard companies from Chile, professionals, academics and students. The workshop was held at the Faculty of Agronomy Sciences belonging to the University of Talca in Chile and organised by CITRA (Integrated Centre fro Transference on Irrigation and Agroclimatology).

In that opportunity, a  fly demonstration was performed with the newly acquired Octocopter from the VOF – Chile.


VOF pic

International Symposium: “The vineyard of the future: Technological advances for Viticultural adaptation to Climate Change”

DATE: 29th of April 2013 

Where: Faculty of Agronomy, The University of Talca – Chile. Avenida Lircay S/N Talca.

Key Note Speakers:


Dr Sigfredo Fuentes (Australia)

The University of Melbourne


Prof. Javier Tardaguila (Spain)

University of La Rioja


Dr Martin Mendez-Costabel (USA)

Gallo Wineries


Prof. Samuel Ortega (Chile).

University of Talca



Dr. Carlos Poblete will carry out a flight demonstration of unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

University of Talca

Information, costs and registration:

More info: CLICK HERE

Full Symposium Program: CLICK HERE

New Octocopter for VOF – Chile: already taking off!

Posted: April 5, 2013 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News


A new octocopter is already taking off at The Vineyard of the Future – Chile.

IDETEC Unmanned Systems has delivered their first iMK-8 multirotor unmanned aerial system equipped with 3 payload cameras capable to obtain up to 10 spectral bands simultaneously. The final customer, CITRA – University of Talca in Chile, will use the system for a wide range in agriculture research helping the industry to define and improve performance and quality models in crops.


Canopy LAI App Beta testing agreement signed

Posted: April 5, 2013 by vineyardofthefuture in About the project, News

A beta testing agreement has been signed with WiseConn – Chile to beta test the Canopy LAI App to characterise canopy architecture for different crops in Chile.


Fig 2 App