SmartVineyard™ solution was developed to help vineyard farmers fight grape-diseases more efficiently in a highly targeted way based on latest cutting edge communication technology. The patented radar sensor network technology also helps to produce healthier grapes and wines consisting less chemicals.
SmartVineyard is a spin-off company of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After three years of technology development, the current system has been in use for about two years in Hungary and now the company is expanding internationally to regions with rich wine culture within Europe as well as overseas.
The concept is straight-forward: a network of sensor stations that are deployed in the vineyard are interconnected with the patented radar sensor network technology, and information is sent via cloud to the farmer’s home. Endusers (farmers) receive transmitted information on a touchscreen device (like a tablet PC) where they can evaluate the analysis provided.
This new system minimizes the risk of grapevine diseases that are difficult to predict such as powdery mildews, downy mildews, botrytis or black rot. SmartVineyard solution measures and records several environmental and meteorological factors including rain, leaf wetness, temperature, humidity and soil moisture that are linked to mathematical models. Based on complicated algorithms the spread of certain diseases can be predicted and farmers can act accordingly. These models have been created in cooperation with partners, meaning that other diseases, crops and functions can be developed in the future.
This way farmers use chemicals only when it is really needed thus production costs can be reduced and quality of the grapevines increased. Beyond economical benefits vineyards that take advantage of SmartVineyard technology are allowed to use the ‘SmartVineyard trademark’ enabling a product trace-back function to their original winery via QR codes as well as to assure customers that they use 30% less chemicals than average.
At some places risk of theft can be an issue, however SmartVineyard offers a GPS tracking system for theft-protection.
I love seeing how cutting edge technology is deployed in new areas and provides a win-win solution for longtime problems to all parties.
Source of images: courtesy of SmartVineyards.