The project led to the manufacture of a vineyard mist-sprayer able to, on the one hand, optimise the distribution of plant protection products while reducing the spread of pesticides and, on the other hand, improve the ability to use the equipment in hilly terrains, typical of many Italian wine-growing territories. The prototype operates by scaling the rows of the vineyards and spraying the plant protection product inside a tunnel, which recovers all the product that does not land on the leaves, preventing the dispersion of chemical products in the air and soil.
The final design was developed in three separate phases:
– adoption of the best technology available in the market
– study of a system for adapting the machine to hilly conditions characterised by cross- and length-wise slopes
– creation and development of a self-levelling chassis managed by a small-sized, light electronic system
By preventing the dispersion of the agro-pharmaceutical products in the environment, the new mist-sprayer model reduced, in 2 years, by over 50% the average consumption of plant protection products used in vineyards, with a reduction of as much as 80% at the beginning of the season. This resulted in high savings and a low environmental impact. The prototype summarises the entire philosophy behind sustainable viticulture that finds the essence of its mission in social, environmental and economic sustainability.
We are currently working on a new development of the drift recovery mist-sprayer with variable levelling that will be electronically managed via GPS localisation. The new prototype will be equipped with a system for the collection and mixing of the plant protection products in real time, electronically managed at variable rate, depending on the density, vigour and micro-climatic conditions of the vineyard.