Proper irrigation can help growers save money, improve quality and yields, and promote sustainability. The best ways to achieve optimum irrigation will be discussed at the Irrigation Management Workshop on April 8 at the Vina Robles Winery in Paso Robles, Calif.

The workshop will focus on practical irrigation management for growers, managers, and consultants. The primary focus will be viticulture on the Central Coast, but many topics will apply to other crops and areas.

The program was developed by soil-plant water relations specialist Lowell Zelinski and is being hosted by his company, Precision Ag, Inc.

The workshop will include experts speaking about proper irrigation management. A supplier showcase and soil moisture monitoring equipment demonstrations will be held.

Two of the latest technologies in irrigation scheduling to be discussed include: the leaf Porometer, a new hand-held, easy-to-use tool that records plant water status by measuring stomatal conductance in leaves; and the MPS-1, a new matric (soil water) potential sensor.

Mark Greenspan, a well-respected Napa viticulturist, will discuss the leaf Porometer in vineyard irrigation scheduling. Lauren Bissell, product manager from Decagon Device, will discuss how to use soil water potential to schedule vineyard irrigations and introduce the matric potential sensor.

Other sponsors include the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT), Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, and the Independent Grape Growers (IGGPRA) of Paso Robles.

Zelinski will cover basic soil-plant-water relations and irrigation scheduling methods. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo soils professor Tom Rice will discuss local soils. Steve Gratten, soil-water specialist from the University of California (UC), Davis will address irrigation water quality.

UC Extension Service Farm Advisor Mark Battany will discuss crop coefficients. Paul Sorensen, a principal hydro geologist from Fugro, will provide an update on the Paso Robles ground water basin.

The meeting will include a light continental breakfast, lunch, supplier showcase, and wine reception. Seating is limited.

The early registration deadline is April 1. CCVT and IGGPRA members receive a $10 registration discount.

For more information and to register, go online at www.precisionaginc.com/imw or call (805) 239-8200. Discounted rooms are available at the Paso Robles Marriott.