aims and actions

Project Title:
Implementation of demonstrative and innovative strategies to reduce the use of pesticides in viticulture.

Objective:
To show the environmental impact of a reduction in the number of applications of pesticides in the control of grapevine downy and powdery mildew in the production of grapes, grape must and wine in different agro-climatic areas.

Different strategies and products will be used to do this, such as conventional fungicides and other phytosanitary defence measures. Vine growers will be made more aware about the calibration of pesticide application machinery and an analysis will be carried out on residues and their bio-accessibility. Also, a device will be developed to automatically detect downy mildew early.

Consequently, the impact of this reduction will be studied in economic and social terms.

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Actions:

The following actions will be carried out by the LIFE FITOVID project:

• Application of different treatment schemes against grapevine downy and powdery mildew based on different management schemes.
The plots on which the actions of this project will be carried out are located in Laguardia (Alava) and Aia and Zarauz (Gipuzkoa).

The Laguardia area, located in Rioja Alavesa has a temperate oceanic climate, with an average annual rainfall of 500 mm and average temperature of 13°C. Its wineries are affiliated to the Qualified Denomination of Origin ‘Rioja’ and, depending on their characteristics, to ABRA.

Aia is included in the Getariako Txakolina (Gipuzkoa) Denomination of Origin web link. It has a fresh, humid, oceanic climate. It has an average annual rainfall of about 1500 mm and average temperature of 13.5°C.

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Both plots have been divided into different sub-plots, with 3 reiterations on each.

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Weather stations were installed on these plots to record different environmental parameters, such as temperature, humidity and solar radiation.

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• Adapting a device to automatically detect downy mildew, before the symptoms are visible to the human eye.
Tecnalia will carry out tests to adapt technologies based on mass spectrometry and hyperspectral images at its Vision Department, and feasibility tests to identify and classify the pathogen at different light ranges from the electromagnetic spectrum using different optical configurations, as well as to discriminate between healthy and infected tissue.

• Analysis and characterisation of phytosanitary product residues, as well as their toxicity and bio-accessibility from the samples obtained for each strategy.
NEIKER will distribute aliquots of fungicides acquired to treat downy and powdery mildew, which have been chosen from among those commonly used by farmers in each study area, to its partners AZTI and UPV/EHU.

The METABOLOMIPs group of the UPV/EHU will analyse fungicide residues in water, soil, berry, grape must and wine samples.
AZTI will analyse the toxicity of active substances under study in zebrafish embryos and will analyse their toxic effect.

• Informative workshops about inspecting machinery and phytosanitary product application machinery to improve the efficiency of the process.
During the different scheduled workshops, Professor Emilio Gil of the UPC machinery group will explain the need and reasons of interest for inspecting phytosanitary product application machinery. Demonstrations will then be provided on the condition and inspection of various pieces of equipment. Participants will be requested to fill in a survey about the degree of knowledge that vine growers have about the regulations relating to applying pesticides. The aim is to inspect 100 pieces of equipment in Rioja Alavesa and 50 in Gipuzkoa during this project.

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