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Development of a combined equipment for sustainable weed control in vineyard

Tamagnone, M., Balsari, P., Marucco, P.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.978 pp. 225-228
cutting, environmental factors, equipment, herbicides, mechanical weed control, nutrient availability, pesticide application, soil, spraying, vegetation, vineyards, weeds
Weed control in vineyard is a key aspect during the crop cycle, as this operation has a direct influence on the amount of water and nutrients available for the main crop. The presence of weeds under the rows is very variable, depending on several factors (soil characteristics, environmental conditions, training system, density of vegetation, etc.) and often the amount of weeds do not justify an herbicide application over the whole field. This latter can produce environmental negative effects, especially if it is made applying high volume rates. In the last years a raising interest for sustainable weed control techniques was therefore registered. The objective of the present study has been to develop a machine able to make a sustainable control of weeds under the vineyard rows. The equipment is made of a cutting element that works between the plants coupled with a spraying system which applies the herbicide mixture only in correspondence of the plants collar. Laboratory activities allowed to set up the mechanical system in charge of controlling that the pesticide application is made only in correspondence of the obstacles (plants and poles) along the row where the mechanical weed control cannot be completely effective. Field tests pointed out that using the new prototype is possible to reach a good weed control saving up to 80% of chemicals with respect to the conventional application systems.