Effect of irrigation in cover cropping vineyards
Cover cropping in vineyard is a sustainable and alternative soil management system to conventional tillage that is gaining more and more importance among winegrowers and is being promoted, among other organizations, by the European Union through the eco-schemes of the Common Agricultural Policy.
However, the use of cover crops in Mediterranean viticultural environments is conditioned, to a large extent, by the availability of irrigation water which, in a context of global warming like the one we are experiencing, must be adjusted to savings strategies, supplying to the vine only what it needs in each moment.
The objective of this work is focused on studying the combined use of irrigation strategies together with the implantation of cover crops, analyzing its effect on the vegetative, productive and quality characteristics of must and wine. To determine the practice of irrigation, the measurement of stem water potential has been used as an indicator of the water status of the plant.
The essay has been raised with four treatments: tillage, tillage with irrigation, cover crop and cover crop with irrigation. The cover crop has consisted of a mixture of grasses and legumes.
The results obtained have shown that the covered treatments have offered a more pronounced water deficit than the tilled treatments, without this having been a limiting factor for the vine. Besides, irrigation has stimulated the effects of accumulation of organic acids, sugars and cations. Regarding the cover crop, it has achieved to reduce the vigour of the vine and has had a notable increase in the content of anthocyanins and polyphenols with respect to tilled treatments.
Acknowledgements: This work is part of the actions of the project “Sustainable viticultural strategies and practices for adaptation to climate change” (VITISAD), 65% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDP) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France- Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020).
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Issue: ICGWS 2023
Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (ICVV), Ctra. LO-20 Salida 13, Finca La Grajera, 26071 Logroño, Spain