Use of herbicides and pesticides is very dangerous and expensive for agricultural practice, and many farmers are trying now to lower quantity used in their fields.
Agrotech allows to have a better knowledge of soil, for a winery or a farm this is of primary importance, so to acting fastly against parasites, sicks and other bad things.
Use of technical equipments like drones can be an effective way to reduce amounts of medicines, as it happens not only in the technologically advanced California or Australia, but in the more conservative France also.
The Ecophyto project born in 2008 and was rescheduled in 2015 as Ecophyto 2; its goal is going to reduce use of pestycides until 50% by 2018.
Wine in France is one of the most important items in abroad market, and some French winegrowers are going to study how technology can help them in this fight.
Among more active regions there is Aquitania, with Vitidrones project developing a remote sensing of vine’s health using UAV’s (Unmanned Air Vehicle).
Aero measures will be at first crossed with ground ones, to check consistency of data harvested from drones; in the meantime GPS mounted on drones will be used, to build digital maps of wineyards. Among most famous Graves vineries we found Chateau Pape-Clémente, gran cru classé.
A set of drones surely costs less than a satellite, equipment used until now to map in InfraRed light only 3% of wineyards, and data coming from drones can be available in real time.
Soil digital mapping has another advantage, as to have capability to send coordinates of vineyard to driven autonomous terrestrial equipments, so to guide Unmanned Vehicles whitin perimeter.
Vitirovers are going to be used, and they are exactly what their name says, that is rovers like running to Mars surface ones, but this run among rows measuring health of vines, cutting grass all around where it is dangerous, checking the ripening of grapes. These equipments have a little chemical laboratory aboard by which verify acidity, sugar, ripening, and are powering by solar energy.
If France will be able to lower under 50% use of pesticides into 2018, will be a great news.
This technology will bring new jobs also, new craft for young people (and some older ones, also) in the next 5 years.