Review. Precision viticulture. Research topics, challenges and opportunities in site-specific vineyard management
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Precision Viticulture (PV) is a concept that is beginning to have an impact on the wine-growing sector. Its practical implementation is dependant on various technological developments: crop sensors and yield monitors, local and remote sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), VRA (Variable-Rate Application)
equipment and machinery, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and systems for data analysis and interpretation. This paper reviews a number of research lines related to PV. These areas of research have focused on four very specific fields: 1) quantification and evaluation of within-field variability, 2) delineation of zones of differential treatment at parcel level, based on the analysis and interpretation of this variability, 3) development of Variable-Rate Technologies (VRT) and, finally, 4) evaluation of the opportunities for site-specific vineyard management. Research in these fields should allow winegrowers and enologists to know and understand why yield variability exists within the same parcel, what the causes of this variability are, how the yield and its quality are interrelated and, if spatial variability exists, whether site-specific vineyard management is justifiable on a technical and economic basis.