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IA announces a Vanguard Award recipient

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (July 11, 2018)
— The Irrigation Association is honored to announce that the Netafim and Gallo Vineyards Inc. variable rate drip irrigation project has been awarded a prestigious 2018 Vanguard Award.

Beginning in 2012, Gallo embarked on an initiative to address spatial variability through irrigation system design, data mining and response to data. After partnering with Netafim, the resulting concept called variable rate drip irrigation has led to significant improvements in overall production control and reduction in variability.

“I applaud Netafim USA and Gallo Vineyards, along with their partners in this VRDI project, for their leadership and vision,” IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE, said. “This project embodies the spirit of the Vanguard Award, and I’m excited to recognize it during the Irrigation Show this December.”

Since its inception, the project has resulted in yields between 10 and 20 percent versus grower standard in the trial period of 2013 through 2015, and water-use efficiency increased 15 to 20 percent. Other partners involved in the project include Bennett and Bennett Irrigation and IBM.

“Netafim is honored to receive a Vanguard Award from the IA and to be recognized together with our project partner, Gallo Vineyards Inc.,” said Netafim USA President and CEO John Vikupitz. “Netafim remains committed to investing in innovation and agricultural technologies in order to create value for our customers. The VRDI concept has been one of the most promising research and development investments we have made.”

Launched in 2017, the IA’s Vanguard Award was created to honor an innovative project in the irrigation industry that was executed by a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities. More information about the award and additional past recipients can be found at

The Netafim USA – Gallo Vineyards Inc. VRDI project will be awarded a Vanguard Award during the general session at the IA’s Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Long Beach, California, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.