The combination of cover crops with regulated deficit irrigation has been lately shown to be a good method to improve harvest quality in irrigated vineyards of Southern Europe with semiarid climate, as an alternative to the conventional management, that consists on mechanical tillage and irrigation from fruitset to veraison and from then on reduced, or even ended. In this work, we present the implications of this alternative management method on vineyard nutrition through blade, petiole and berry analysis, showing that the presence of the cover crop does not imply further nutrient needs but, rather on the contrary, results in a progressive improvement of vine nutritional status as a result of the decrease of its nutrient needs due to lower growth and yield, and probably of an improvement of soil characteristics enhancing nutrient availability.
Authors: Luis Gonzaga SANTESTEBAN, Carlos MIRANDA and J. Bernardo ROYO
Dpt Producción Agraria, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
Keywords: Vitis vinifera L., cover crop, nutrient dynamics, plant nutritional analysis