Ten must-have new products
For the Eggonum (above), Vicard’s coopers combine two materials – French oak and stainless steel – in a single egg-shaped fermenter. According to the French producer, the stainless steel contributes “freshness and fruit”, and the wood adds “complexity, tension and length in the mouth”. Removable stainless steel cables have replaced the traditional hoops so, after three or four fills, the oak staves can be removed and replaced with new wood. The fermenters are available in 5hL (€6,500) and 10hL (€10,960)
These hail nets from Filpack Protection can also be used to protect grapes from destructive winds and animals. “It’s a very simple and economic system suitable for all kind of poles,” company director Philippe Augenie told Canopy.
Made of PEHD (polyethylene high density), the net is available in widths of 0.7m, 0.8m and 1m. An example of cost: with 2.5m between rows and a net of 1m in width, the cost of the net and fixing accessories is about €6,000/ha. But it should last more than 10 years, according to the French company, and it takes about 50hrs/ha to install (based on 2.5m between rows).
Here’s an interesting idea from Sun’Agri – an installation that combines the protection of crops from severe weather with the generation of electricity. Solar panels are installed over the crop to protect it from hail, frost and water stress without affecting productivity. The tilt angle of the 4.5m panels allows the sun to shine on the grapes or, alternatively, to offer some shade. Digital technology enables the vineyard manager to adjust the position of the panels. Power generation is a by-product of the farming activity and is not intended to take precedence, although Sun’Agri wants electricity companies to pay for the installation.
The ‘agrivoltaism’ system’s control algorithms were calculated after 10 years of research and tests on several experimental sites.
BM Emballage has developed a high-speed scion-cutting machine which uses artificial intelligence techniques to cut the scions, count them and sort them by size. In a fraction of a second, while it is on the move, the vine stalk is digitalised using an embedded vision system (linear black and white) and analysed by decision algorithms which inform the system of certain features of the wood and where it should be cut to produce scions. Simultaneously, a second industrial vision system (colour matrix) captures pictures of the scions. An image processing algorithm analyses the pictures to conduct quality control. The scions, waste and quality rejects are finally sorted into the relevant containers. In the new BM76G, all of these components are incorporated within a single unit with a single control panel.
To reduce the use of artificial crop protection products, Agrauxine has introduced Julietta, a bio-fungicide made from live Saccharomyces Cerevisiae LAS02 yeasts to fight botrytis on grapevines. This biocontrol acts by competing for space and nutrients with the pest.
With a capacity for survival in much wider temperature and pH ranges than botrytis, Julietta offers robust protection against diseases by protecting the sensitive parts and in particular microlesions and insect bites which are the points of entry for botrytis. The only dosage rate is 2.5kg per hectare. The harvest interval is one day and the re-entry interval is six hours.
Ah BLISS. Dispensing with the need for a recovery panel, the Blade Low-Impact Spray System (BLISS), developed by IRSTEA, prevents virtually all loss of crop protection products on the ground or in the atmosphere and improves the plant coverage rate. The containment is due to a blower that leverages the Coanda effect (the tendency of a fluid jet to stay attached to a convex surface) to create a ring of air that guides the product to the target plant. The ring also hems in the sprays on either side of the row, preventing any drops from falling outside the area to be treated. The airspeed is controlled to generate turbulence at the centre of the vegetation by the meeting of the two ‘face by face’ air blades; this disturbs the leaves and improves treatment at the heart of the vegetation.
Pellenc has developed a new range of Optimum tools that allow for combined tasks. For instance, growers will be able to trim and work the soil at the same time, over two full rows and in a single run. Introducing this key change, Pellenc has taken the opportunity to optimise cleaning of the machine, enhance its safety and improve its level of comfort with a new “spacious and ergonomic” cab.
In addition to its continuous variation transmission (CVT), the Frutteto CVT ActiveSteer tractor from Italian manufacturer SDF has four-wheel steering. A range of driving modes mean it can adapt to different situations. The standard mode reproduces the functions of a conventional tractor, a ‘proportional rear-wheel’ mode steers the back wheels proportionally opposite to the front wheels, a ‘delayed’ mode delays the turning of the rear wheels in relation to the front wheels so as to accompany the towed attachments, and the ‘crab’ mode improves stability on gradients and reduces soil compaction. This tractor (above) also has a multifunction armrest, a four-pillar cab with category 4-type approval filtration, a touchscreen dashboard to manage the entire tractor and a completely flat floor.
VitiSan (above) is a contact fungicide based on potassium hydrogencarbonate (99.5%), a natural substance of mineral origin. Authorised for sale in France since February 2018, it is being used in organic and conventional farming as a preventive and curative treatment for powdery mildew and scab. Upon contact with the VitiSan spray cover, spores of fungal diseases disintegrate and dry out, preventing infection of the plant. Additionally, the alkaline character of VitiSan change the pH of the plant surface to the disadvantage of the fungi. To control powdery mildew, this product from Andermatt can be sprayed before or after flowering. It can also be sprayed at the end of the cycle to protect against botrytis, as it has no impact on the taste of wines.
Grape sorting systems are becoming one of the most popular options on grape harvesters, but usually they can only be used on level surfaces. With its VITIselect sorting system, German manufacturer ERO offers a system which can also be used reliably on slopes up to 30%. This is achieved by automatically reversing the direction of rotation of the de-stemmer screen. This reversal takes place as soon as the grape harvester spends more than two seconds on an upward or downward slope greater than 15%. This ensures that the grapes are always laid on the middle of the sorting table and are uniformly distributed from there.
When driving up a slope, the screen and stripping shaft of the de-stemmer rotate in opposite directions. When driving down a slope, they rotate in the same direction. To achieve uniform destemming when both have the same direction of rotation, the speed of rotation of the stripping shaft, and thus the speed difference between screen and stripping shaft, is increased. This ensures uniform results are achieved whether driving up or down a slope.