In 2015, the Center for Research and Innovation’s (CRI) team initiated the development of a management tool to support defoliation in vineyards. Following a year of work, the result is Grappe, a mobile application that aims to optimize the entire defoliation process in terms of time and resources; strengthen the monitoring and control of defoliation by supervisors; complement the decision-making process with computational tools; and generate a historical record of defoliation activities in each vineyard that is available to the entire company.
José Cuevas, the researcher in charge of the project, led the on-site presentation of the Grappe beta version for agricultural managers and supervisors in the Villa Alegre and San Clemente vineyards (located in Chile’s Maule Region), Peumo and Agua Santa (located in Chile’s O’Higgins Region), and El Mariscal (located in Chile’s Santiago Metropolitan Region). The main objective, together with providing information about the initiative, was to receive comments on its functioning and verify whether the application responds to the needs of the Agricultural Area with regard to defoliation, and whether the information delivered by the application is correlated with the defoliation process.
“The reception was very good, and the group that participated in the validation of the app was highly involved and willing to learn. Not only did they want to understand how it worked, but they also provided ideas for improvement, which is exactly what we were looking for. In fact, we have taken many of their ideas into account in the development of the final product,” says Cuevas.
Eduardo Alcayaga, agricultural manager of the Maipo Valley, received the researcher in El Mariscal vineyard to participate in the pilot test together with his team. They conducted tests for two hours, during which time doubts were clarified and insights were shared about the app. One of the most valued aspects was that they were taken into consideration in the improvement process for Grappe. “It’s fantastic that the Winery, through the CRI, is supporting agricultural tasks and that there are synergies between the teams, working together to provide solutions to our challenges,” says Alcayaga, who also highlighted the importance of focusing projects on the real needs of his area.
Having received comments and contributions, the team will initiate the optimization stage to develop the final version of the Grappe application.