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It is called “Noviagri” – New application Of Vegetation Indexes in AGRIculture, and is the project, wanted and promoted by the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato and financed by the Piedmont Region, dedicated to the creation of a mechanical atomizer prototype – developed by Tecnovit, a leading company in the design of machinery for viticulture – to be used in the vineyard. Basically, a machine that will serve to limit the dispersion of plant protection product during the treatment of the vineyards, with a sophisticated technological system that meets work optimization and low environmental impact. An innovation, which promises to make a fundamental contribution to sustainability between the rows, and which will make its debut among the vineyards of Monferrato, a Unesco World Heritage area.
But how does it work? It is a machine that, through sensors regulated by a vision and telecommunications system, will be able to circumscribe, manage, direct or interrupt the flows and the supply of phytosanitary product on the rows and leaves, limiting its dispersion in the ground or in the air and producing a consequent saving estimated at around 40%. But also water savings, equal to 20%.
On a technical level, in fact, the structure of the machine will be characterized by the separation of the tanks. This will make it possible to divide water and plant protection product, now mixed together, resulting in two substantial implications: that of preserving any redundancies and that of managing disposal in a differentiated and less impactful way, considering precisely the separation of the elements.
The prototype will also be integrated by a smartphone App, which will provide information for the setting and by an optical recognition system by means of multispectral images obtained with flights and aerial drones. This last aspect will allow farmers and technicians to identify the position and number of infected plants in the vineyard, thus allowing them to promptly detect problems of golden flavescence, esca or virosis. The output of the system (DDS, Decision Support System) will return a map of the vineyard including indications relating to two reliefs: where the diseased plants are and what they are affected by. This will finally make it possible to draw up a fight protocol as targeted as possible and aimed at limiting the further spread of the disease.
A concrete innovation, therefore, which meets the need to adopt low environmental impact strategies and, by extension, opens up new areas of economic and tourist interest. First of all for the possible variations that this prototype may have in other crops; and then because, through wine and viticulture, the project transforms the territory into a region that is increasingly attentive to eco-sustainable production and nature, where business and agriculture combine to protect the health of the territory without sacrificing an important production such as wine making, by tradition and vocation, it represents one of the greatest expressions of made in Italy in the world.
“The role of the Consortium in this project is active and concrete. We are proud to be the forerunners of a forward-looking and original initiative – explains Filippo Mobrici, president of the Barbera d’Asti and Vini del Monferrato Consortium – which helps to develop a great innovation for viticulture. Firstly for its highly sustainable character, then because it opens up a space for cost reduction and savings. We have built, step by step, the steps to reach this important result; we have directed research and its applications starting from the knowledge of our territory and the work of our winemakers. We will continue to be present with attention and to follow every moment of the prototype realization, confident that the project will soon have an even greater scope and become a factual reality and usable by companies, in the name of sustainability and respect for the environment “.
As told by Paolo Balsari, Full Professor of Agricultural Mechanics at the University of Turin, partner of the project, “The project is coherently inserted in the wake of the strategies that aim, also at the community level, to develop innovative solutions in sustainability in agriculture. As far as viticulture is concerned, today over 80% of the product used in the treatments does not reach the target, causing considerable economic and environmental damage. The objective of the Noviagri project is to optimize the applications and use of pesticides in order to avoid waste. The University of Turin will support the design of the prototype in all its phases, from the development of the components to the evaluation of their effectiveness. We are convinced that this solution can have a broad scope in the future: because sustainability must be transversal and concern, at the same time, the environment, the economy and work ”.

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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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