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24/03/2020 - PRESS RELEASE

THE VINE BULLETIN BY TERRE D’OLTREPÒ: A REFERENCE POINT FOR LOMBARDY. A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Created by agronomist Mr. Parisi, supported by ERSAF and Co.Pro.Vi. Mr. Giorgi: “We’re proud to provide this essential service”

This will serve as the technical reference point for grapevines in Lombardy, with a special focus on the Oltrepò Pavese region. The vine protection bulletin is created by the Terre d’Oltrepò winery and written by its in-house agronomist Nicola Parisi. This extremely important document, produced every week during crucial cultivation periods, is supported by ERSAF Lombardia and the Co.Pro.Vi Cooperative. It is handed out to the shareholders of the latter and of Terre d'Oltrepò, but can also be consulted by all wine-growers on the Region of Lombardy website.

“The first issue of 2020 has recently been released”, explained president of Terre d’Oltrepò Andrea Giorgi, “which will even become a weekly bulletin as the season goes on. We’re proud to provide this service for all wine-growers in Lombardy thanks to an agreement signed with ERSAF and Co.Pro.Vi. It’s written by our agronomist, Mr. Parisi, a vastly experienced specialist who will provide a weekly overview of various agronomic issues relating to growing grapevines. We’ll pay the utmost attention while carrying out this useful service to provide the necessary support to anyone working in the fields”.

Launched in 1985 by the Carlo Gallini Foundation in Voghera, the vine protection bulletin provided advice for consortium crop dusters in order to reduce the number of treatments used, which was between 15 and 20.

“Over time”, explained Terre d’Oltrepò agronomist Nicola Parisi, “it’s been improved with content and explanations, and has become a way of providing information for adopting sensible practices for vine management, crop pest control for conventional and organic companies, and compulsory obligations under current legislation”. Actually writing the bulletin is the final step in a long line of activities that go into preparing this document. “The proposed solutions for crop pest control and vine management are, in fact, based on analysis of the weather data recorded by the Terre d’Oltrepò agrometeorological network”, explained agronomist Mr Parisi. “This includes: a weekly survey of the phenological stages of the crop; an assessment of the presence and floral composition of weeds; analysis of the results from the weekly monitoring at untreated control vineyards, where pesticide treatments are not carried out to study the epidemiology of the main vine diseases (downy mildew or powdery mildew); monitoring activities by surveying the presence of harmful pests (cutworms, bostrichid beetles, leafhoppers, etc); weekly surveys and assessments of the cycle of Scaphoideus titanus, which carries vine flavescence dorée; weekly surveys by using chromatic traps (for leafhoppers and Scaphoideus titanus), food traps (for Drosophila suzukii) and/or pheromone traps (for Lobesia botrana) to assess populations or flight progress of the adults of the main harmful pests for vines, as well as monitoring certain vine diseases together with the Region of Lombardy’s Plant Protection Service”. This newsletter is divided into sections covering the weather conditions of the previous week (or given period); the phenological stage reached by the vine; advice on crop operations; crop pest control strategies and interventions based on observations in the field and the following week’s weather forecasts; and possible notices regarding compulsory protection decrees and/or bureaucratic and administrative deadlines for farms. 5-6 professional agronomists help write this bulletin, exchanging information on observations in the field and sharing proposed strategies. The bulletin has certain important purposes in offering sensible vine management and protection strategies, such as protecting the health of farm workers and consumers, as well as safeguarding the environment. “In other words”, explained Mr. Parisi, “for all intents and purposes, it’s a 'sustainability' tool that supports wine-growers in tackling the challenges of the future. For example, climate change (vine management and protection strategies need to be adapted to ongoing climate change to ensure that high quality standards are achieved); the management of “resistance” (using the pesticides that we have available to prevent the risk of selecting and wrongly using pathogen strains that are resistant to the active substances we use); and monitoring for the potential outbreak of new pathogens and/or harmful pests to vines that could come from other countries”.