Irrigate, strategic irrigation in the vineyard

Foto-1-portaleThe development of an automated vineyard irrigation program that uses sensors to monitor climate, vines and soil, capable of managing the impact of dry spells on the productivity of grapevines and the quality of grapes: this is the objective of Irrigate, the two year Italian-Israeli research project coordinated by the University of Udine with support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour. The project partners are the Department of Agrarian and Environmental Sciences of the University of Udine and IGA Technology Services of Udine and, on the part of Israel, the Institute for Biotechnology and Agriculture of Drylands of Ben Gurion University in Negev and the company Netafim. The project will study, first of all, the physiological mechanisms that regulate grapevine response to situations where water is lacking, in order to limit the negative effects on the quality and quantity of the harvest. At the same time an intelligent program for automatic vine irrigation management will be created in order to apply the optimal amount of water to safeguard the yield and optimize the quality of the production in dry weather conditions. “The project ˗ explains project coordinator Enrico Peterlunger, of the University of Udine – created with the Israeli partners, who are world leaders in irrigation and drought-control technologies, arose out of the awareness that, in the past few years, grape production has undergone a new threat linked to increasingly unfavourable climatic conditions”.

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