Torres family and Jean Leon have presented the results of the field trials they have carried out for two years within the framework of the international project COPPERPLACE and that show that it is possible to reduce the application of copper in the vineyard maintaining the same effectiveness. The reduction in the use of copper in organic viticulture responds to the need to implement environmentally friendly production methods to minimize the environmental impact and promote biodiversity both at the vineyard and soil level.
Mireia Torres, Director of Innovation and Knowledge of Familia Torres and Director of Jean Leon, has described as “excellent” the results of the tests carried out in the vineyards of Jean Leon by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Eurecat and Waatic, from November 2020 to October 2022. In these trials, it has been possible to reduce the use of copper in the vineyard by 37% without reducing the effectiveness of the treatment, and 10% of the water used, thanks mainly to a system of variable application and the use of biodegradable microcapsules with copper, developed by Eurecat.
The results have been released during a demonstration day held at the beginning of November at the Jean Leon winery, which was moderated by Eloi Montcada, manager of Innovi, a cluster of the Catalan wine sector, and brought together some 100 winegrowers and winemakers from Penedès. Montse Torres, Responsible for viticulture research at Familia Torres, explained the tests carried out during a field demonstration of the results and the technology used for the variable application of phytosanitary products.
This technology has been developed by the company waatic and consists of an intelligent and automatic variable application control system. A technology that, according to its director Xavier Blasco, It is “very intuitive and easy to use, with multiple functionalities that generate significant savings thanks to automation and access to information in real time”. The attendees have been able to verify its operation during the demonstration through a screen that reproduced what the operator viewed on the tablet installed on the tractor while he walked the rows of the vineyard.
New technologies, products and strategies
The presentation of the results obtained by Familia Torres and Jean Leon within the framework of COPPEREPLACE has been carried out during a technical conference entitled ‘New techniques for the reduction of phytosanitary products in the vineyard’, in which the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, a member of the COPPEREPLACE consortium, has also presented its results. They participated in the presentation Emilio Gil, director of the agricultural mechanization unit of the UPC, and the researcher Elena Sánchez, who has detailed the results of variable application treatments and copper microcapsules. The conference also featured the participation of Joan Reyes, head of the agriculture and plant health section of the territorial services of the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda (Generalitat de Catalunya) in Barcelona, who presented the legal situation of copper at European level.
COPPERPLACE It is made up of a total of 13 Spanish, French and Portuguese entities from the wine and academic sector that study how to significantly reduce the use of copper in viticulture and the use of alternative productsduring the period between November 2020 and February 2023. Familia Torres and Jean Leon have participated in the project carrying out trials in the vineyard with alternative products to copper and others focused on the use of variable dosage treatments depending on the vigor of the plant obtained by means of satellite images and in analyzing the benefits of vegetal covers in the vineyard.
They are also part of the consortium the Technological Platform for Wine (PTV), Associaçao para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense (ADVID), Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (IFV), Center for Environmental Valorization of the North (CVAN), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-UMA ), Vignerons Bio Nouvelle Aquitaine (SVBNA), EURECAT Foundation, Universidade do Porto (GreenUPorto), University of Vigo, and Sogrape Vinhos, LBS (Gérard Bertrand) wineries.in addition to Familia Torres and Jean Leon.
The COPPEREPLACE project, whose full title is ‘Comprehensive development and implementation of new technologies, products and strategies to reduce the application of copper in vineyards and remediate contaminated soils in the SUDOE region’, It has a budget of more than 1.6 million euros and has received more than 1 million euros in funding from the Southwest Europe Territorial Cooperation Program (Interreg Sudoe).
Watch the summary video of COPPEREPLACE trials and results here.
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Familia Torres and Jean Leon reduce the application of copper in the vineyard while maintaining effectiveness
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