Vintel: a single decision support system for irrigation, fertilization and disease management of grapevine
Context and purpose of the study – Vine growers face an increasing number of decisions, both tactical and strategic, in a context where available data and constraints are on the rise, such as resources, societal, environmental, climatic, and economic factors. This has led to a growing supply of decision support systems (DSS) and softwares to manage vineyards. Facing this new complexity, growers must now consider several options: giving up the use of DSS, using systems that are compatible with each other but may limit their options, or using a single system that may be too complex to use effectively. In this context, itk has expanded its Vintel® tool, which was originally designed for grapevine water status management (irrigation, inter-row, cover-crop, etc.), to include fertilization and disease management.
Material and methods – Vintel® was built after a research project involving public research institutes (Inrae) and private companies. This resulted in a DSS simulating pre-dawn water potential as a function of crop growth, soil properties and meteorological conditions. Thus, Vintel® guides the vineyards irrigation according to the targeted type of wine, allowing to save water while maintaining vine quality (Peterlunger et al., this conference). Another public-private partnership led to improve this DSS by adding nitrogen fertilization needs and management (both tactical and strategic) to the system, leading to Vintel N-expert. The daily N absorption is predicted and N inputs, including fertirrigation, can be controlled as close as possible to the plant’s needs. As the quality of water data in the grapevine systems is a key to ensure the quality of predictions, Vintel® is directly connected to major weather providers (history and forecasts), as well as rain gauges and pressure switches. itk also co-developed Movida® with Bayer Crop Science. This DSS deals with downy and powdery mildews and recommends crop protection triggering and renewal according to disease pressure, risks of disease amplification, vegetative development, and current level of crop protection. To tend towards a comprehensive grapevine management tool, itk recently coupled all models supporting tools that were independent until now.
Results – Vintel® is now a DSS providing comprehensive information for vine growers on where efforts must be put. Disease risks can be closely monitored enabling the deployment of a protection strategy, be it beforehand, early in the season or when risk occurs. In addition, irrigation and evolution of soil nitrogen content can be planned and monitored. Irrigation and fertilization recommendations consider the effects of cover crops management on water and nitrogen availability. On the user side, there are two levels of complexity of information for diseases, irrigation, and fertilization.
It is important to keep in mind that irrigation, fertilization, and diseases are in constant interactions as for example: no need to fertilize in case of water stress; disease risks increase when nitrogen is in excess; better attention to irrigation is needed to prevent an excess of moisture which could help the diseases to develop during sensitive stages. Thus, a DSS combining all those information is a valuable asset to vine growers for having a comprehensive view of their vineyards and be advised to take the most effective decisions.
Issue: GiESCO 2023
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