Team Location: Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia; and Patrick Henry Building, Richmond, Virginia
Taylor Hotchkiss (University of Richmond), Project Lead
Merna Saad (Christopher Newport University), Project Lead
Alexander Nelson (Middlebury College)
David Arabyan (University of California, Los Angeles)
Joseph Miller (Old Dominion University)
Kenton Ross, Ph.D. (NASA, DEVELOP National Science Adviser)
DEVELOP 2013 Summer Virginia Agriculture Team, Langley Research Center (Taylor Hotchkiss, Sarah Trimble, Sonia Szczesna and Meredith Johnson)
Quinten Geddes (Former DEVELOP Geospatial Programmer)
Tony Wolf, Ph.D. (Virginia Tech Agriculture Research and Extension Center)
The agriculture industry is the most economically significant industry in Virginia. However, the industry has seen significant transformation in recent years as growth of traditional crops, such as tobacco, has declined and consumer demands for Virginia products are changing. In 2010, the wine industry contributed $747 million to the Commonwealth’s economy; a 106 percent increase since 2005. To meet this demand for Virginia wine, more grapevines need to be planted across the state. While precipitation, soil type, and slope are important factors in plant health, temperature is an essential component to grapevine growth. A robust understanding of temperature parameters is vital for viticulturalists when deciding where to plant grapevines and which grape varieties are best-suited for a particular location. The success of the wine industry has brought attention to other up-and-coming industries, including the craft beer and hard cider industries. The methodology developed in this study has the potential to be adapted to other crops, such as hard cider apples.
This project used methods developed during the summer 2013 term to improve temperature data in the Virginia Viticulture Site Suitability Investigative Tool (VVSSIT) developed at the Virginia Tech Center for Geospatial Information Technology. Daily low land surface temperature (LST) inputs were derived from Aqua’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and daily high temperature inputs were interpolated from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) weather stations. The team analyzed daily high temperature data and incorporated additional NOAA weather station data for improved estimation and prediction. Maps displaying important viticulture information specific to Virginia (including growing degree days, biologically effective degree days, last and first day of frost, average growing season temperature and susceptibility to Pierce’s disease) were recreated using these datasets.