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Vineyards´ Integrated Smart Climate Application

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VISCA (Vineyards´ Integrated Smart Climate Application)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-12-31

With a view to making South European wine industry resilient to climate change, VISCA has deployed a Decision Support System (DSS) and a Climate Service (CS) tool to provide wine producers with digested information. DSS has been successuffly co-designed with the 3 wine companies (Codorniu, Mastroberardino, Porto) and tested in the field in three different climate conditions (Spain, Italy and Portugal). VISCA DSS includes weather and climate models, agronomical models and farmer feedbacks taken from the field, empowering the farmers to make well-founded decisions for an appropriate crop planning improving quality and yield. During the validation phase, VISCA DSS has been proved to be key for planning smart irrigation, harvesting at the most suitable moment, manage sprays pest-management or anticipation and protection to damages from extreme events (spring frost, heat waves or heavy precipitation).
VISCA project has co-designed, co-developed and validated a Climate Service and a Decision Support System (VISCA CS-DSS) to help wine growers adapt to climate change. It includes the following services:
• Weather forecast with two timescales: short-term (2 days ahead) and mid-term (10 days ahead). These forecast services have been designed to provide specific weather information to plan daily activities as well as to anticipate extreme events like spring frost, heat waves, strong winds or heavy precipitation by using high-resolution downscaling approaches (D2.2).
• Seasonal forecast consists of a multi-model forecast of seasonal climate up to 6 months ahead (D2.1).
• Phenological forecast that includes a bud-break model, a berry model (predicting flowering and veraison) and a leaf model (predicting vegetative growth of the plant including the berries and their ripening) (D2.3).
• Irrigation recommendations, that provide irrigation forecasts considering plan water demands, past weather observations, weather forecasts and water stress strategy (D2.4).

All these services are operational and can be visualized through the VISCA Data Platform, in which the user can consult the output of the services and at the same time provide feedback with actual data from the field (D3.4).

All services developed have been validated in the field at three pilot sites in Portugal, Spain and Italy. In addition, two innovative crop management techniques have been tested: crop forcing and shoot trimming to observe their added value in fight against climate change (D4.8).

VISCA project has also developed regional climate projections European-wide and for specific validation sites, extracting interesting conclusions about vine suitability in the coming decades (D2.5).

METEOSIM will take the lead in bringing VISCA outcomes to the market, acting as reseller of the whole solution. All the developed services and VISCA Data Platform can be used independently..
VISCA consortium has disseminated VISCA results through project website, social media presence, organisation of workshops, promotional materials (VISCA booklet of results, brochures, roll-ups, presentations), scientific publications, press releases, e-newsletters, presence in dedicated events, among others.

Future work comprises adding other complementing services like disease management and the replicability of VISCA for other grape varieties and agricultural crops such as olives, rice, cereals, facing similar challenges.
SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS: VISCA has proven that Climate Data can be properly digested for an improvement of vine management having a positive impact in crop planning in the following:
(1) VISCA has promoted a more efficient crop management by anticipating to extreme events, prediction of phenology, pest management, sugar accumulation forecast
(2) VISCA has proved that innovative management practices like crop forcing and shoot trimming have a huge potential for crop management and a positive impact to manage climate variability.
(3) VISCA has promoted an appropriate use of water resources, improving wine quality, and diminishing water consumption, when necessary, in line with a more resource-efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
(4) VISCA has promoted the use of climate data from the different initiatives of the European Commission like Copernicus, making this data useful information for viticulture and making it more climate resilient.
(5) VISCA experiences and results have motivated climate policy making in order to catalyse the exploitation of the VISCA added-value.
(6) Information exchange across the multidisciplinary VISCA team and with external stakeholders bringing science to farmers and, at the same time, brining user needs to scientists, has facilitated the understanding of problems and possible solutions.
(7) Understanding of potential of climate information has empowered farmers to make well-founded decisions including.

PROGRESS BEYOND THE STATE OF THE ART: VISCA has set the grounds to a revolutionary approach by using phenological models, irrigation models, sugar accumulation models and climate models as well as testing innovative management techniques (such as crop forcing and shoot trimming) to make climate-resilient decisions taking into consideration short, mid and seasonal variability and their agronomical impact. The farmer and other users can opt for applying decisions on reducing costs, increasing yield, or improving wine quality as well as improving the use of resources such as water resources in irrigation or human and material resources when planning activities in the field. In this way, VISCA has promoted sustainable practices that have a positive impact on productivity and on the income of the farmer/users.

MOST SIGNIFICANT RESULTS:
(1) A ready-to-use VISCA interoperable services including weather forecast (D2.1) seasonal forecast (D2.1) phenology forecast (D2.3) irrigation forecast (D2.4).
(2) European climate change scenarios for viticulture suitability (D2.5)
(3) A ready-to-use VISCA CS-DSS platform (D3.3 and D3.4) that supplies climate-informed decisions to the wine industry.
(4) Real demonstration of strategic adaptation decisions supplied by this tool in 3 areas where wine business is most sensitive to climate change (Spain, Italy, and Portugal). (D4.8)
(5) Action plan to tackle barriers and opportunities derived using VISCA CS-DSS at 3 pilot sites (D4.9)
(6) Thorough assessment of the replicability potential in other relevant sectors (forestry, food security, etc.) at international level (D5.4)
VISCA poster showing some results for phenology forecast and soil water deficit evolution
VISCA DSS architecture
Different crop forcing dates picture taken from the filed
Picture of shoot trimming
VISCA DSS screenshot