The innovation project developed by the FRUITCARE operating group, of which IDEAGRO is a part, has carried out the necessary tests provided for in the project. As we advanced a few months ago, the project has been divided into different phases.
First, they carried out two previous phases where it was sought to measure the impact of the suppression of various active materials both in pre-harvest and post-harvest and the different strategies for the substitution of the selected active materials were defined according to the suggestions of the technical staff and the project partner producers themselves. .
The task force consists of eight members: ASAJA Region of Murcia, ZERYA Productions without Waste SL., IDEAGRO, ACOPAEX, ESNEPI, TARAY, Zaragoza's University and AulaDei PCTAD Foundation, have been distributed throughout the Spanish geography analyzing replacement strategies and evaluating the development of the project.
Finally we have been able to reach some conclusions in each type of crop.
The main objective of these trials was to design more appropriate replacement strategies in the field of pre-harvest taking into account its environmental impact, its method of application and its versatility.
To this end, different alternative strategies have been evaluated for 2 active materials that are candidates for substitution: tebuconazole (with registration expiration date 08/31/2020) and difenoconazole (with registration expiration date 12/31/2020). Both treatments are frequently used in the field against Monilinia and Oidio.
The trials have been carried out on peach (variety Summer Lady) and plum (variety C 1-5-1 and grafts) in experimental farms belonging to the project and located in Mérida (Extremadura). They have been coordinated and executed by Zerya and Ideagro in close collaboration with acopaex. Two different substitution programs based on the application of substances of natural origin have been tested, according to the following distribution:
During the trial, different parameters were evaluated, such as the incidence of diseases, production, monitoring of the farm's biodiversity, etc. All of them will indicate the effectiveness of the proposed strategies, as well as their suitability for the crop. Besides, once the fruit is harvested, its postharvest quality is evaluated, as well as its aptitude for conservation. This last task is carried out by the PCTAD and the University of Zaragoza.
On the other hand, and in parallel, another trial was also being carried out on stone fruit with the main objective of designing postharvest strategies to replace fludioxonil, the main active ingredient used in plant treatments against the development of Monilinia in stone fruit.
In this first campaign, tests have been carried out in different fruit and vegetable plants belonging to the partner ACOPAEX, by means of the application of different products of natural origin with proven efficacy against the development of Monilinia. The tests have been carried out on nectarines, peach and plum, coordinated by the PCTAD and UNIZAR, in close collaboration with ACOPAEX.
Two alternative treatments of natural origin have been tested, evaluating their efficacy against the development of diseases in different shelf-life studies, in which the conditions of national transport and maritime transport (export) have been simulated. Besides, Different types of modified atmosphere bags have been used in order to select the most suitable for each destination and conservation needs.
In addition to the tests carried out in Extremadura, the tests carried out in Aragón were added, in which these strategies of natural origin on cherry were evaluated in the same way. simulating the application of drencher treatments carried out in the power plants. In this first year, with the aim of selecting the most appropriate application conditions, they have been carried out at the pilot plant level (UNITE).
The tests were carried out by the partner SAT THE ROUND and coordinated by IDEAGRO and ZERYA, in which the efficacy of 2 alternatives of organic origin has been evaluated against the use of difenoconazole. The strawberry test was carried out on three tunnels on the farm, which occupy 7000 m2, in which conventional treatment is applied and in the rest, alternative strategies. In the case of raspberries, the trial is carried out in Isla Cristina in one of the experimental farms assigned to the project with a density of 3,120 plants, using 6 tunnels. 3 of those 6 tunnels are where alternative foliar treatments based on natural and stimulant compounds are applied.
As in stone fruit, during cultivation Different parameters are analyzed that help us to verify the suitability of the proposed alternatives, such as production, the number of total fruits, weight of total fruits, weight of first and second fruits, incidence and severity of powdery mildew and Botrytis. , etc. Once all the rows in the trial have been harvested, the quality analysis is carried out, both for the raspberry and the strawberry, evaluating aspects such as ºBrix, brightness, firmness, resistance to bruising, etc. In this case, the evaluation of commercial quality, as well as the selection of the most appropriate post-harvest technologies, are carried out by PCTAD, In collaboration with UNITE. In this sense, in the next raspberry campaign, the aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of different oxidizing technologies used during transport to maintain the commercial quality of the red fruit until its destination.
The pre-harvest strategies proposed in the case of table grapes have been carried out on two different varieties: Napoleon and Aledo, in experimental farms belonging to the project and those that have evaluated alternatives to tebuconazole, compared to the control of Oidium.
3-4 rows (Control) are left untreated and the rest of the plot is divided into two sectors for T1 (conventional treatment) and T2 (alternative).
For the evaluations, 30 representative vines are selected within each plot. 10 plants per repetition, on which analysis of incidence and severity of powdery mildew and Botrytis is carried out, production (harvest date, number of bunches, bunch weight). The trial is currently underway and is coordinated by IDEAGRO. At harvest time, samples will be sent to members PCTAD and UNIZAR, for the evaluation of the commercial quality of the bunches and the study of the possible influence of the alternative treatments on the useful life of the grape.
Additionally, in the case of grapes this campaign The application of other cultural techniques that help improve the quality of the grapes and have a lower environmental impact has begun. Thus, in July, biodegradable bags were placed as an alternative strategy to the paper bags used up to now. have been rehearsed bags of 2 different colors in order to verify their influence on the golden color of the grapes at harvest time, at the end of September (Napoleón variety) and mid-October (Aledo variety). This trial has been coordinated by PCTAD, with the collaboration and execution of IDEAGRO, responsible for monitoring the trials in the experimental table grape farms.
The project has received a grant of €599,636.03, of which €479,708.82 comes from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (FEADER) within the National Rural Development Program 2014-2020.