An innovative and interactive webtool for improving soil health and functional biodiversity in viticulture


Abstract: To successfully transfer the knowledge acquired within the LIFE+ SOIL4WINE project on proper soil management in viticulture, an innovative ICT tool was developed. The tool supports grape growers in implementing and maintaining the best solutions (i. e., soil management practices) for mitigation of the negative effects of soil and environment problems in each specific situation. It is a stand-alone tool, meaning that it does not require the intervention of external experts (consultants, specialists, etc.), yet it allows farmers to self-evaluate their specific problem(s), take right decisions about the necessary mitigation measure(s), implement them following good agricultural practices and, finally, check the success of the intervention; it can therefore be considered a Decision Support System. A first checklist allows the user to describe the site and a computing engine provides synthetic numerical indexes and ratings related to soil potential threats. Vineyards monitoring protocols and related inputting data user interfaces are proposed to the user to verify whether the potential risks estimated by the computing engine are real or not. After that, a decision engine suggests best practices to be implemented in vineyard to decrease the risk of soil threats and a registration module allows the user to register in the tool the activities performed in the vineyard. Finally, a third checklist enables to perform an objective evaluation of the soil’s threats changes after the mitigation solution’s implementation and understand if corrective or maintenance actions are required. The tool was evaluated by a European panel of viticultural stakeholders that confirmed the usefulness and user-friendliness of such a decision tool.

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