On July 21, we organized, together with the European project IPMWORKS, financed by the Horizon 2020 program, a demonstration day of agricultural machinery that promises to revolutionize the application of phytosanitary products in viticulture. The event took place in the Pé Redondo vineyard of Bodegas Martín Códax with the collaboration of Clemens Technologies.
More than fifty winegrowers had the opportunity to witness in action the LIPCO-TUNNEL spray technology, developed by Clemens, which offers an innovative solution by recycling the overspray directly into the tank. Suspended product particles are recovered, filtered and reused, resulting in a decrease in the consumption of phytosanitary products. This results in a reduction of up to 99% in drift, which, in turn, translates into a significant reduction in the application of phytosanitary products over the entire season, resulting in 35-40% less being used.
This approach not only protects the operator from drift and exposure to harmful substances, but also preserves the biodiversity surrounding the vineyards. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, the use of machinery such as the one presented at today’s event allows winegrowers to save time by treating two rows of crops simultaneously. Suspended product particles are recovered, filtered and reused, which reduces product consumption.
During the day, a demonstration of weed control using different mechanical methods was also given. All attendees, including members of the Viticulture Hub that we lead, had the opportunity to get an up-close look at the operation of tools such as Intercepas Radius SL+, Intercepas with rotating hooks and the Intercepas finger weeder. These solutions offer effective and sustainable methods for the control of harmful vegetation in vineyards, avoiding the need to resort to herbicides.
The next machine to be tested was a leaf remover designed for grapevines. It can greatly optimize leaf removal, for which time is very limited. It works by means of strong air blows and keeps the bunches intact.
To conclude the day, Martín Códax’s technical managers gave a final demonstration focused on the calibration of the machinery, a key aspect for its correct operation. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the importance of accurate calibration and how to optimize machinery performance in their winemaking tasks.
These demonstrations highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable practices in viticulture, not only by reducing the use of pesticides, but also by implementing efficient mechanical methods for weed control. The combination of innovative technologies and the focus on proper machinery calibration provide growers with valuable tools to improve productivity and protect the environment in their vineyards.
IPMWORKS is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program that brings together 31 partners from 16 European countries, coordinated by the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE). The objective of IPMWORKS is to promote the adoption of integrated pest management strategies by demonstrating that they “work”, i.e. that they enable low dependence on plant protection products with improved pest control, reduced costs and increased profitability. In this project, we stimulated a group of winegrowers interested in learning about new integrated pest management practices that would allow them to reduce the application of chemical inputs. Members of the Galician HUB belong to wineries such as Martín Códax, Viña Costeira and Viña Almirante.