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Vineyard design supported by GPS application


The innovative technologies of precision agriculture offer nowadays new applications in line with the needs of the wine sector. In hillside viticulture, within the same plot there are areas with different physical and chemical characteristics (lying, pH, active limestone, nutrients, etc.). This variability consequently influences the vigor of the vine which translates into a different production per single plant in terms of both yield and quality of the grapes. The aim of this study was to realize geo-referenced thematic maps by GPS application on a hilly plot covering about 6 hectares to be planted in a hedgerow trained vineyard for the production of quality grapes. The experimental tests were performed in the wine farm Tenute Rapitalà located in Camporeale (province of Palermo, Italy). STONEX S5 GPS was used for geo-referencing, with differential correction and sub-centimeter precision. Six thematic maps were created using GIS programs. The study allowed to obtain geo-referenced thematic maps with different classes of altitude, exposure, slope, pH, electrical conductivity, active limestone, total carbon and total nitrogen. The georeferenced maps have provided the possibility of defining rows orientation and length according to slope and exposure of the plot. This will reduce soil erosion to a minimum and maximize both soil fertility and plants photosynthetic activity.