Santa Rosa, Calif., (August 2, 2017) – New changes in the California Sustainable Winegrowers Association (CSWA) Code require documentation on new items for growers, such as Nitrogen input into the soil, water tracking and weekly monitoring of pests during the growing season. CSWA isn’t requiring growers to show less use of water or nitrogen, or even their exact measurements, they just want to see a tracking protocol in place. Here are a few easy ways to document these new requirements and complete continual improvement plans:
- Measuring Nitrogen input into the soil – CSWA has developed new tracking software to help calculate applied nitrogen. Tracking and improving the efficiency of amounts applied as fertilizer or other nitrogen-containing additives is important to save money, meet vine needs and avoid environmental problems. Check out CSWA’s measuring tools at www.sustainablewinegrowing.org/performance-metrics.php.
- Measuring Water – Did you know about 20% of energy consumed in California relates to water? So, reducing use saves energy and money, reduces emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and reduces reliance on constrained supplies. If you don’t want to use the online measure tool through CSWA, you can manually calculate your water. Just divide acre-inches applied by acre to calculate water per acre, or calculate acre-inches applied by ton of grapes to calculate water per tons of grapes. The auditor just wants to see your calculations for the year, nothing more.
- Weekly monitoring for pests, and other events in the vineyard – Have a designated notebook in your truck documenting weekly significant pest sightings, pheniological events, viticulture activities and pesticide applications. Some weeks you may not have any significant pest sightings or pesticide application, just put an (X) to show your auditor you walked through the vineyard that week.