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Saturday, June 24, 2017
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Stakeholder Meeting on Vineyard Monitoring

The third FieldCopter stakeholder meeting took place on Tuesday 9 July 2013 in Lleida (Spain). The meeting brought together experts in precision viticulture and agriculture. Among the participants were a wine grower, crop water use specialists, agricultural scholars and agricultural service providers. With this meeting the consortium wanted to discuss and evaluate the added value of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)-based sensing as proposed by FieldCopter in viticulture and vineyard monitoring.


Dr Antidio Viguria introduced the concept of the different UAS and addressed the added value of EGNOS for guidance and safety of the airspace. Mr Eric van Valkengoed showed how potato growers are using UAS to decide on the cultivation actions. The final presentation was by Dr Pablo Zarco who discussed the on-going work on supporting wine growers with adequate sensing information to improve their business.

 

Measuring leaf temperature informs the growers of irrigation performance and crop water needs. The participants discussed the imagery taken the day before in a nearby vineyard. Clear patterns in the temperature distribution showed differences in water stress or water status. Irrigation is an important management option for growers during the season directly linked with the quality of the grapes for wine production. Irrigation is a frequently operated cultivation measure in some wine growing areas. It is a block-wise practice. The field we have been measuring has sprinklers, irrigating 10-20 hours a day on a weekly basis. Other fields use drip irrigation methods. In order to provide comparable imagery, fields must be monitored around noon, between 12h and 14h. Pixel resolution must be sufficient to separate vines from bare soil and background effects such as shadows.

 

Another remote sensing product in viticulture is vegetation indices revealing the crop vigour. This is used for establishing management blocks, yield predictions and in selective harvesting. This is of particular interest to wineries willing to separate different management areas to ensure the homogeneity of the quality within each independent block. However, different indices for imagery from the same date and the same field reveal other differences in the crop. Using the correct Vegetation Index is therefore key to making the best decisions.

 

The meeting concluded that remote sensing products and services enhance the decision making of vine growers and wineries. The technology of UAS is very promising. For irrigation the imagery must cover the whole farm in one acquisition and the imagery must be delivered within 24 hours.

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FieldCopter is carried out in the context of the Galileo FP7 R&D programme supervised by the GSA (Nr. 277612-2).