In the United States, some of the space-age technology that helped to send man to the moon has been adapted by a Californian farmer to help him grow grapes.
GV Helicopter takes off and flies over vineyard
AERIAL V Vineyards with some pumps working
SV & CU INT with operator working value group controls on computer
SV Valves near water intake from lake (3 shots)
LV PAN Sprinklers working in vineyard
AERIAL Vs Young vineyards (3 shots)
GV Dry scrubland PAN TO vineyard
Initials BB/1554 GM/MR/BB/1548
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Background: In the United States, some of the space-age technology that helped to send man to the moon has been adapted by a Californian farmer to help him grow grapes.
Dick Hughes, of Lodi, has built a fifty-thousand-dollar computer which is programmed to endure that his vines are protected from frost and the summer heat, and that they are properly irrigated.
The computer automatically turns on water pumps, monitors the resulting water flow, and sends and receives data on how well the whole process is working.
The computer can also turn on all, or some, of the twenty-five-thousand sprinklers.
Initially, Dick Hughes tried his technique on a 3-acre test plot and, when it worked, he bought II-hundred acres of unproductive land and planted vines. He says some of his colleagues were sceptical oat first--saying that grapes could not grow on this scrubland.
But now, after many nearby vineyards have fallen victim to killer frosts and heat waves, Hughes' break with tradition is being taken a little more seriously.
SYNOPSIS: When a California farmer wants to look at his eleven-hundred acre vineyard, he uses a helicopter. He used to be an electrical engineer in aerospace, but two years ago he adapted some of that technology to grow grapes.
He built this fifty-thousand dollar computer, and programmed it to make sure his vines are protected from both frost and summer heat, and that they're irrigated properly. It can turn on pumps automatically, and then monitor the water flow, while sending and receiving data on how well everything is working. All, or some, of the twenty-five-thousand sprinklers can operate with the computer deciding where the water is needed, and when.
Dick Hughes tried his technique on a three-acre test plot, and, when it worked, he bought eleven-hundred acres of unproductive land. His colleagues were sceptical at first, they felt grapes could not grow on the dry scrubland. But Dick Hughes was undeterred, he bought the land when it looked like this, and in two short years, had transformed the countryside with his advanced methods.