Grapevines are damaged by a long list of parasites as fungi (most formidable), insects and viruses. E.g. the charts above
show the complexity of the protection means applicable against two of the most dangerous fungi disease of grapes,
which also nowadays, if undetected, can completely destroy the yield. Against Plasmopara viticola, applications should
begin between the stages of shoots length 10 centimetres and pea sized berries. For powdery mildew (Uncinula necator)
the spraying starts immediately prior to grapevine blooming. Infections depend both on rain and temperature regime.
These two examples show that preventive control of primary infection and following accurate management during the
whole season are crucial for managing the diseases. Basically, fungicides and insecticides can be divided by way of action:
“contact” and “systemic”. Contact chemical cover the foliage and kill the parasites, but they are flushed away by rain and
do not enter the plants, thus they do not have therapeutic effect against infections. As a consequence, it is necessary to
repeat the spraying after every rain, on average 1 time in 7 days during the season. Systemic chemicals enter the plants,
kill the parasites and their action is longer, on average one spraying is needed in 15 days. For improving crop protection
and decreasing the amount of applied chemicals, growers are adopting integrate crop protection systems: this means
that they use different tools for monitoring the actual presence of insects or the probability of starting infections in order
to precisely know when it is absolutely essential apply chemicals. Nevertheless, during the season, several treatments
are carried out with specialized spray dryers that deliver chemicals on all parts of the plants’ canopy with great precision.
Operators must be protected from chemicals: active carbon filters mounted in the air conditioning system of cabin are
mandatory for operator’s safety. As a whole, spraying can amount up to the 55% of tractor activity in vineyards.