Pattern spraying to reduce the amount of plant protection products in vineyards

Thursday July 22 2021 by Vitisphere

 IFV V'innopole South-West and its partners organised the first event of the early summer in Peyrole, in the Tarn region, with 45 exhibitors, including Greenshield (photo), and 280 visitors. IFV V'innopole South-West and its partners organised the first event of the early summer in Peyrole, in the Tarn region, with 45 exhibitors, including Greenshield (photo), and 280 visitors. - Photo credit : Bertrand Collard

In the past, the amount of plant protection products used was lowered by applying less mixture per hectare per spray. Greenshield has come up with a completely different approach where only certain vines are treated. The basic tenet for the strategy is that not all vines need to be protected to prevent an epidemic from spreading, a technique called pattern spraying. The strategy was one of the most novel innovations presented at the Vini Viti Vici exhibition, organised by the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV) and various partners on 8 July at the V'Innopôle South-West, in Peyrole, South-West France.

Greenshield is conducting trials on organic crops in Cognac, its first on vines. “On one row of vines, we don't treat the first six metres, then we treat the next eighteen metres and so on”, explains Lucile Verdolaeghe, an agronomist working with the start-up. “On the other row, we proceed in the same way, but with a gap: we start by treating six metres, then we alternate between six untreated metres and eighteen treated metres. Then, with each pass, we shift six metres. In this way, we reduce the amount used by 25%, while still applying the full dose”.

The trial is focusing on combatting downy mildew. On 5 July, according to Verdolaeghe's notes, the pattern method protected vines as well as conventional control methods, even though pressure from downy mildew was high. Greenshield is also developing a tablet with RTK GPS to monitor the health of the vineyard to the nearest centimetre. “People follow untreated controls and do nothing with this information”, commented François Feugier, the founder of Greenshield. “With our GreenEye tablet, we record the intensity and frequency of attacks on a form, down to a single vine, and produce charts”.

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