About Grape Compass
Since 2013, HydroLogic and WineJob are researching and developing a low-cost and user-friendly Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Western Cape Government to help grape growers in this region increase sustainable farming.
Fungal diseases are common in high density, monoculture grape growing areas, such as South Africa’s Western Cape. As a relatively expensive measure against these pest damages, many grape growers use fungicides.
Grape Compass focuses on signalling three fungal diseases, which will contribute to more efficient spraying programmes by grape growers saving costs of fungicides, labour and the environment. The diseases include botrytis, downy mildew and powdery mildew.
For signalling location-specific fungi disease pressures, weather data is implemented from ECMWF (www.ecmwf.int). This weather forecast information is used to signal disease pressures on a single vineyard basis.
Implementation in Hydronet portal
In 2015, the Grape Compass application is operational in the award-winning Hydronet portal to visualise the three fungal disease pressures in vineyards on a 6-hours interval, up to 5 days ahead. Grape growers have access to this on-line dashboard in the Hydronet portal by use of a webbrowser the entire growing season.