Precision viticulture aims to a better description and management of within-field variability that can be exploited or corrected by variable rate (VR) applications. Despite VR fertilization is a recognized powerful tool aiming at optimizing vine balance, few experiences validating this hypothesis are known.
Since 2012, two experiments were performed in order to assess long-term effects of VR N-supply. In both cases, pre-trial NDVI-based vigor maps of two neighboring Barbera vineyards were performed and a randomized block design was established by considering two main factors: vigor (L = low, M = medium and H = high) and fertilization strategy (Standard, VR Application, and Control).
VR reduced N-supply according to vigor delivering 120, 60 and 0 kg/ha (exp.1) and 80, 40 and 0 kg/ha (exp. 2) to L, M and H, respectively.
In both experiments standard supply corresponded to the intermediate prescription whilst control vines were kept unfertilized. Urea (46%N) and a Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF) (13.5.21+Mg+S) were used in exp1 and exp2, respectively. Vine growth, yield, leaf nutritional status and fruit composition were assessed over 4 (exp1) and 3 (exp.2) years.
Report presented at the SIVE OENOPPIA Awards 2019. The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the 12th edition of Enoforum (Vicenza, Italy, May 21-23, 2019).
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