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Sensors to monitor wine grapes will protect vineyards from climate change

New technology has been invented to provide winegrowers with water and nutrient readings that can sense when a vine is in need of attention.

It takes 109 litres of water to produce one 125 millilitre glass of wine, according to statistics from Water Footprint Network – a nonprofit collaboration that aims to tackle the global water crisis – however, winegrowers are becoming increasingly nervous about climate change limiting rainfall and how it will affect their livelihoods.

In response, New Zealand agritech startup Croptide has developed sensors that can improve water efficiency by 30-50% and make nutrient and water information available to growers through their smartphone via internet-enabled sensors that can transmit data within seconds.

By highlighting the precise amount of water needed by each vine, the technology is set to assist growers and allow them to take measures to improve water efficiency. With climate change leading to increasing water scarcity around the globe, according to Croptide the need for this kind of technology is going to become ever-more necessary.

Croptide co-founder Hamish Penny explained: “Many regions around the world are facing dire water scarcity and growers are expressing the need for a quick and reliable method of gathering the critical data needed around water use and plant health.”

The startup has recently raised USD$1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Icehouse Ventures and this will be used to progress trials of Croptide’s technology with winemakers including: Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Cloudy Bay New Zealand, T&G Global and Indevin.

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