Project develops solution for the early detection of the flavescence dorée of the vines

The FD Controlo operational group promoted a field day in Amares (Braga) with close to 80 participants, representing partners and entities that study flavescence dorée of the vines. The event included the presentation of the results in the area, namely an intelligent trap that will support the early detection of the disease.

The event aimed to raise awareness among winegrowers and nursery professionals in the sub-regions of Minho of the serious phytosanitary issues that can influence local production, as well as to develop solutions to tackle and control a disease that causes serious production losses.

In particular, the FD CONTROLO has been promoting cooperation between entities in the national agricultural sector and partners of research institutions, highlighting all the work carried out over the past few years, while encouraging the transfer of knowledge towards building and disseminating solutions to common problems, like the flavescence dorée.

Intelligent trap emphasises INESC TEC contribution

Among the main results presented during the event is an intelligent trap for monitoring and capturing the population of the insect vector – scaphoideus titanus – responsible for spreading the disease in the vineyards. This trap, developed by INESC TEC, allows to automate the entire process of identifying insects in the culture, reducing field trips, and supporting early detection.

“The trap is equipped with chromatic tape, artificial lighting, georeferencing, temperature and humidity sensors, periodic image capturing, data card for communications and solar power panel. In addition, it is connected to a management platform that provides information to a mobile application that can be used by farmers, researchers, and authorities”, said Filipe Neves dos Santos, head of the project at INESC TEC.

This solution, developed within the scope of the project, introduced innovative monitoring and early detection processes, focusing on the presence of the insect vector, while issuing real-time alerts to the winegrowers.

Based on the studies carried out, the FD CONTROLO has also been contributing to increase the income of farmers by reducing the use of pesticides and providing the National Phytosanitary Authority with information that can be processed in annual flavescence dorée control recommendations.

In 2021, the project team carried out field surveys to evaluate the diversity of vegetation in the vicinity of the traps placed inside and on the edge of the vineyards. This was followed by an inventory for each vineyard, based on floristic surveys of the vegetation associated with each trap, characterised by different ecosystems.

During the project’s final year, the consortium will validate the results already obtained and elaborate a Technical Manual on this subject.

The FD CONTROLO operational group is led by the National Institute for Agricultural and Veterinary Research (INIAV), with other eight partners involved. The project will end in late 2022 and is financed by the Rural Development Plan (PDR) 2020.

The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.

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