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Washington WAVEx Crop Estimation Webinar

Automating the labor-intensive task of crop estimation has long been a research goal of the wine grape industry. Washington State University researchers are leading an effort to develop a cutting edge smartphone app to address the issue, and the industry is invited to a one-hour webinar on April 8 to hear all about it.

Each summer, wine grape growers and wineries spend thousands of hours counting and weighing grape berries and clusters to estimate crop yields. It’s a vital step to guide vineyard management decisions, but it doesn’t provide real-time data. Because the estimate represents only one point in time, weather events occurring after data collection can skew the numbers.

Dr. Manoj Karkee, WSU biological systems engineer, is working to develop a low-cost, smartphone app that can detect and count the number of clusters and berries (within each cluster) in a vineyard. The mobile app uses the smartphone’s camera to acquire images that are uploaded to a cloud computing platform for image processing. His research is funded by WSU, the Auction of Washington Wines and all Washington wine grape growers and wineries through the Washington State Wine Commission.

Karkee’s research team has successfully developed and tested a similar smartphone app for yield estimation in apple orchards that showed 98% accuracy in estimating yield in a small, commercial orchard trial. He aims to expand the App for crop estimation in field scale and also to include other features such as lag phase detection and plant stress detection.

Karkee will present the concept and features of the App to the industry during the April 8 WAVEx webinar. Register for free here.

For additional information, contact Melissa Hansen, Research Program Director at mhansen@washingtonwine.org.

About WAVE and WAVEx:
Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology (WAVE) are a series of research seminars and webinars sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission and WSU. WAVEx is the condensed, shorter webinar series. The events help make wine research findings more accessible to growers and wineries.

About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness about the Washington wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

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