Production through drones

When it comes to high-quality products, one of the main purposes is the monitoring of every raw material processing step. Thus the knowledge of the expected quantity of grape influences the management decisions aimed at preserving the vegetative-productive balance and optimizing the production. In fact, production data largely contribute to the management of the harvest logistics, in terms of both harvesting the grapes in the field and processing them in the cellar. Traditional methods rely on the sampling of representative bunches in the field by one or more operators who control the number of bunches and average weight per vine supported by forecasting models.

However, the choice of the vines to be monitored is subjectively made by each operator, thus providing poorly representative data on the variability in the whole vineyard. Last year, thanks to the cooperation with the Biometeorology Institute, the Marchesi Mazzei company introduced an advanced technological system which includes the use of drones to obtain an objective early estimate of the production in the vineyard. Drone surveys were carried out on representative high-, medium- and low- vigour areas to collect images of the grapes under conditions of partial stripping (northern side.) Then, the images thus obtained were processed and the bunches are examined in terms of size according to the spatial resolution of the chamber. This provided an indication of the dimensional production index for each vine in the monitored areas. The knowledge of the spatial variability in terms of vigour and the quantitative estimate of the production per vine helped draw a production map for each vineyard.