Vieri et al - Engineering of viticultural production: state of the art and future applications

Marco Vieri1*, Giancarlo Spezia2 e Pier Paolo Pagni1
1 Dipartimento di Economia, Ingegneria, Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie e Forestali, Università di Firenze, via San Bonaventura 13, 50145 Firenze
2 Istituto di Frutti-Viticoltura, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 184, 29100 Piacenza

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Key words: vineyard mechanization, sustainable and precision viticulture, technological innovation.

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Abstract

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The modern viticulture is a complex activity, embedded in the wine production system which today is acknowledged as a very high value trade in the whole international market: this status has allowed a high evolutionary development in the operational and productivity techniques and technologies. Italian wine production today requires increasing attention to the quality and tipicity of product; the technological tools that have developed over the years and are now available for application on agricultural machinery are a resource that can enable wine companies to enhance the most out of their available resources. Today the mechanization uses technologies increasingly integrated with the type of crop, seeks energy savings, ensures better safety for workers and is gaining increasing market share and attention. Agronomy, environment, health and engineering are no longer compartmentalized disciplines, rather integrate each other to provide effective solutions safeguarding for environment and human health. These technologies belong to the field of Precision Agriculture (precision farming), an agricultural engineering branch borne in the mid-90s, which employs geo-referenced data based on the currently widely used, GPS technology and analytical models through which management or decision information are directly from the field. Utmost importance is given to digital terrain modeling (DTM) as a new tool for territorial analysis for understanding the shape and surface changes: suitable examples are the monitoring of georeferenced and vectorial soil and microclimatic profiles of the vineyards. CAD and GIS integrated software have made possible the transition from two-dimensional project creation to threedimensional layouts. This shift is useful not just for visualization, but also for the management of information contained within the project and especially for the automated control of the mechanical equipments. Increasing interest is rising also towards the development of monitoring systems (crop, soil, climate, products and related interventions) both remote (satellite images or air) and proximal (mobile laboratories equipped with multispectral sensors). The images are filtered with multispectral analysis, separating colors according to different wavelengths and measuring the intensity at each point of the reticulum. Yet, European precision farming, although using the same basic principle and technologies, has become very different from the original American precision farming, developing more the sensorial part in order to have direct control of the equipment: this approach also allows an increasing number of mechanical operations such as fertilization, defoliation, harvest and soil tillage. The authors report the CURRENT AND SHORT TERM FORESEEABLE INNOVATIONS that farmers will have available for the production of typical and high quality wines in respect of sustainability.

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