Climate risks in the vineyard: how to face them?
Every farmer has to face a lot of challenges, year after year. Pathologies (old and new) and harmful insects are just some of these challenges. Probably the mother of all battles remains the one with the climate.
In fact, the climate regulates the development of the plant at every stage, and it punctuates almost all the factors in the field (pathologies and insects included). Unfavorable climatic events are the farmers’ nightmare and can compromise entire years.
How can we face these events? There are many methods but the most important is to know the risk in advance.
Climate risk prediction in GrapeDSS
Beyond the weather forecast, it is also important to know the internal risk in the field and what is the joint action of the different factors (wind, humidity, temperature, etc).
GrapeDSS provides a frost forecast system for vineyard able to alert users even 5 days in advance, using weather forecasts. The result of the algorithm is an hourly risk classification:
- no risk
- frost risk
- black frost risk
- advection frost
- mixed frost
Let’s see them in detail: “no risk” simply indicates that the climate is favourable or that the plant is in a stage of development where it does notfear too low temperatures.
“Frost” refers to a meteorological phenomenon consisting of a deposit of ice crystals obtained by frosting water vapour in the earth’s atmosphere. This event is usually caused by a thermal inversion phenomenon.
A “black frost” instead is a thermal phenomenon very similar to frost but without the presence of ice crystals: the sprouts dry and blacken.
The “advection frost” is represented by an extended front of cold air coming in and from which it is difficult to defend.
Finally, “mixed frost” means a type of frost that has mixed characteristics between advection and frost.
The joint knowledge of: i) risk prediction, ii) the type of risk and iii) the geo-morphological parameters of the field, is indispensable to be able to face these events.