Grapevine response to variable rate nitrogen fertilization

Stefano Poni invited speaker enoforum 2020

In his keynote speech during Enoforum web, Stefano Poni, from the Univ. Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, will present the results obtained in a medium-term study aimed at verifying the effectiveness of variable rate nitrogen fertilization. The studies were conducted on small cv Barbera vineyards grown in the Colli Piacentini which were first assesses for intra-vineyard variability and the resulting vigor map was used as prescription to set up variable rate N applications (VRA) using urea as a N fertilizer in experiment 1 and the slow-release form Multicote Agri in the second experiment. The VRA strategy was compared with standard management, proving a fixed amount of fertilizer regardless vigor level and a control treatment, providing no N.

Results have shown that in both studies, despite the small surface, large variability in vine vigor did exist with consequent differences in canopy development, yield and grape composition. In term of VRT effectiveness, it was ascertained that while urea had, on a 4 year basis, a quite mild effectiveness at increasing vigor in the weak plots, Multicote Agri was much more effective since a close linear relationship was established between the amount of delivered Multicote Agri and leaf area and yield per vine.

The obtained results point out that effectiveness of a variable rate approach is also bound to the form of N used for fertilization.


Prof. Stefano Poni

Full professor of Viticulture and Chair of the Department of  Sustainable Crop Production of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Piacenza (Italy) since 1 November 2014.
He has authored or co-authored 245 papers, 125 of which published in international, refereed journals and 43 edited in international refereed proceedings.
Invited speaker at 37 conferences worldwide, he has been awarded of the “Perdisa” prize in 1994, the “Enotecnici” Prize in 2004, the Rudolph Hermanns Foundation Prize in 2011. Winner of the “2013 Best Paper Award” from the American Society of Enology and Viticulture.
Peer reviewer for 21 scientific journals, Associate editor for the Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. since 1 January 2006 and Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research since 1 July 2014. He has been member of the national evaluation panel for assessment of the quality of research in Italy for the 2011-2014 time span. He is also Chair of the Committee supervising the teaching activities at the Agricultural Faculty in Piacenza. Work package leader in the  MODEM_IVM and INNOVINE projects funded within the FP7 European framework.