Streamlining production management
Fully aware of the importance of its vineyards’ sustainability, Sogrape has employed integrated production throughout all of its wine-producing areas in Portugal for more than 20 years. Measuring pressure from various vine diseases and pests is one of this system’s key components, to ensure that they are controlled only when potential damages exceed limits which jeopardise the crop’s viability. This control, primarily in terms of insects (direct parasites or disease-bearing insects), has become more complex due to climate change, which has altered the connection between the vine’s cycles and the species which feed on it, and has caused new pests to appear, some posing great risks, such as Flavescence dorée, whose infectious agent is propagated from plant to plant by a species of leafhopper.
EYESonTRAP will develop a smartphone app to automatically detect and count insects captured in traps, a task currently done manually. This faster, more effective way of collecting data will multiply sampling points using a single database, significantly enhancing the ability to follow trends in the appearance of pests. An online portal will be developed to give specialised technicians integrated access to data to analyse it and make recommendations (such as postponing or executing a treatment), which will be received in real time by wine growers via cell phone. The IT system will have a modular architecture allowing the addition of new pests which may appear in the future.
The project, launched in September 2019 with a duration of two years, is being done in partnership with the company GeoDOURO (as consortium leader), ADVID (Douro Valley Winegrowers’ Association) and the Fraunhofer Portugal Institute. It is funded by the national Portugal 2020 programme, with an investment of around €400,000. Some of its tests are being done at Sogrape’s vineyards in the Douro Wine Region.