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Effect of conversion to organic farming on pest and disease control in French vineyards

  • Merot, Anne
  • FERMAUD, Marc
  • Gosme, Marie
  • Smits, Nathalie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.3390/agronomy10071047
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-02908445v1
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Since 2006, an increasing number of French vineyards have chosen to convert to organic farming. One major change in vineyard practices includes replacing chemical pesticides with copper and sulfur-based products in line with Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007. This change can make overall management and pest and disease control more difficult and potentially lead to yield losses. From 2013 to 2016, a network of 48 vineyard plots, in southern France, under conventional management and in conversion to organic farming were monitored throughout the three-year conversion phase to investigate the grapevine phytosanitary management of four major pests and diseases and variations in control efficiency. The severity of downy and powdery mildew, grape berry moths, and Botrytis bunch rot were assessed and linked to the protection strategy. The findings showed that pests and diseases were controlled in the third year of conversion at similar efficiency levels as in conventional farming. However, the first two years of conversion were a transitional and less successful period during which higher incidences of cryptogamic diseases were observed. This demonstrates a need for winegrowers to receive more in-depth technical advice and support, especially on pest and disease control, during this critical transition period.

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