The first Central Coast Irrigation Management Workshop will be held March 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles, Calif.

This one-day irrigation workshop is the first workshop of its kind and will focus on practical grape water management for Central Coast vineyard owners, managers and consultants. It is hosted by Paso Robles-based Precision Ag, Inc. and the Agricultural Pumping Efficiency Program (APEP) directed by the California State University, Fresno Center for Irrigation Technology.

The workshop was developed by soil-plant-water relationship specialist, Lowell J. Zelinski. A former U.C. farm advisor and CSU professor, Zelinski is an irrigation and fertility with more than 25 years of hands-on experience to the workshop.

Topics include soil-plant-water relations, water quality for grape irrigation, principles of irrigation scheduling, partial root-zone drying and regulated deficit irrigation. Attendees will earn seven ag waiver credits and will learn about rebates for pump retrofit or repair, and have an opportunity to sign up for a subsidized pump efficiency test.

There will be a live, on-site pumping efficiency demonstration presented by APEP director Bill Green. The APEP is a statewide educational and incentive program funded by PG&E that’s designed to improve water pumping efficiency and promote energy conservation in agriculture. A PG&E representative will discuss its Energy Efficiency Demand Response Program and inform attendees about PG&E’s subsidy and rebate programs. A representative from the Cachuma Resource Conservation District will talk about the benefits of an irrigation systems evaluation and have its mobile irrigation lab onsite.

“Proper irrigation management is critical to producing healthy vines that yield high quality fruit,” Zelinski said. “I see many growers applying too much water or not irrigating at right times, and a lot of growers ask me general questions about soil-vine-water relations so I put together a workshop to share what I know and help them with their irrigation management.”

Zelinski is president of Precision Ag, Inc., a viticulture consulting company specializing in irrigation and fertility management and precision farming services.

The cost to attend is $75 per person for registrations received by March 1 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and workshop materials. After March 1, registration is $85 per person. Seating is limited. Check-in and breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. For more information or to register, call (805) 239-8200 or visit www.precisionaginc.com.