Digital technologies for state-of-the-art wine production
The main challenges in grape production are related to management of pests and diseases and, in some regions, to optimizing irrigation schedules. How to save grapes from diseases and harmful insects, what is the right time to use pesticides, when to irrigate, how much water to use are some the main questions faced by winemakers. The current practice relies primarily on expertise and experience of farmers than on technology and measurements-based decision, resulting in sub-optimal activities, higher than necessary production costs and negative impact on the environment and soil as natural resources.
New IoT and AI technologies can not only provide real-time insights into the situation in vineyards, the environmental and soil conditions, vegetation status, utilization of machinery, record of activities and measures undertaken, etc., but also provide recommendations and advices on the best actions taking into account a multitude of parameters thus simplifying the decision process for the winemakers and significantly optimizing the operation.
About SREM – FRUŠKA GORA
The Association of Producers of Grapevine and Wines with Geographical Indication „SREM – FRUŠKA GORA“ is founded in 2015 as a result of desire of Fruška gora’s winegrowers and winemakers to continue the fabled grapevine growing tradition of this area and also to improve the production of grapevine and wine. Today, there are 77 grapevine and wine producers in the association.
The winegrowers of Fruška gora – leading the way
Last year in September H2020 DEMETER project was started as a large-scale deployment of farmer-driven, interoperable smart farming – IoT based platforms, delivered through a series of 20 pilots across 18 countries. Involving 60 partners, DEMETER adopts a multi-actor approach across the value chain (demand and supply), with 25 deployment sites, 6,000 farmers and over 38,000 devices and sensors being deployed.
Under the umbrella of the H2020 DEMETER project, DunavNET has started collaboration with the Serbian Association of producers of grapevine and wines SREM – FRUŠKA GORA. The association gathered 77 members with around 650 ha of vineyards on Fruska Gora mountain in north part of Serbia.
The main challenge farmers are faced with is how to save their crops from pests and diseases. Important role in meeting the challenge play new technologies which can help farmers to react on time thus preventing disease spreading and harmful insects’ overpopulation. Automatically created recommendations on when and what type of pesticide to use based on real time in-filed measurements will help farmers to optimize pesticide usage thus producing better crop quality but also reducing negative impact on the environment.
agroNET, a solution developed by DunavNET has been put in service within one of the DEMETER project’s pilots as the main decision support system. agroNET devices (weather stations and smart pheromone traps) are deployed across the Srem – Fruška gora association’s vineyards in order to provide real-time insight into environmental parameters and accordingly provide precise recommendations for controlling diseases as well as the population of grape moth.
The main results are preventing pest and disease outbreaks, cost savings and increase of the yields. A 20% reduction of the pesticide usage is achieved. Continuous monitoring of the number of caught insects without having to do on-site visual inspection significantly contributes to the reduction of monitoring costs. The number of insecticide treatments is reduced by approximately 15-20% and yield losses up to 10% thanks to real-time insights which also help in defining the right moment for using selected insecticides. Reducing the negative impact on the environment is an additional benefit. Last, but not the least, combining the art of grape production with the art of digital technologies and science will result in even better tastier wines.