UV boosting technology was showcased to leading vineyard managers and advisors in early February by Vitifruit Equipment with a very able presentation and discussion led by the French manufacturers international sales manager Martin Mazet.
The two row machine on display has been imported by Vitifruit Equipment and was available to be viewed as part of the discussions. For many years David Sayell has been the missionary to the UK with the introduction of specialised equipment for vineyards and this product stands out as being potentially one of the most important.
Thanks to the generosity of Godstone and Exton Park vineyards who hosted the events, many growers are now conversant with the equipment and technology.
The UV wavelength for treatment of vines is of a specific type which stimulates and enhances plant health through the plants own defence mechanism. The benefits in terms of disease control, general health, reduced chemical and sprayer use is well documented by over 100 independent trials having been done over the last ten years by regional Chambres d’Agriculture in collaboration with renowned research organisations and technical institutions. The research documentation from these institutes is freely available from UV Boosting via requests by email to email@example.com. As an additional benefit with one pass two days before spring frost the freezing temperature of the buds is lowered so fewer buds are frozen. With the prototype built in 2017 there are now over 50 machines in operation.
- The two row trailed machine uses simple UV lamps mounted on a frame attached to the tractor and powered by pto and a generator.
- UV boosting technology can be cost effective from the first year of use thanks to higher yields due to the vine being more able to reach its maximum yield potential.
- Tractor forward speed is between 2km/h and 4 km/h with three to seven passes a year.
- There is no negative impact to the surrounding fauna and flora or the vines.
- The vines are stimulated by the UV and become more resistant to diseases such as powdery & downy mildew.
- The treatment is complementary to organic or conventional phytosanitary protection and allows a reduction in dependence on fungicide products, saving potentially up to 50% on chemical inputs.
- A pass two days before a frost event reduces the amount of frozen buds.
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