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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Sustainable management of an intercropped Mediterranean vineyard

Published source details

Mercenaro L., Nieddu G., Pulina P. & Porqueddu C. (2014) Sustainable management of an intercropped Mediterranean vineyard. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 192, 95-104


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Crop production: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2005–2010 in an irrigated vineyard in Sardinia, Italy, found similar grape yields and similarly-sized grapes, of similar quality, in plots with ground cover (without tillage), compared to conventional tillage (without ground cover), between the vine rows. Crop yield: Similar crop yields were found in all plots (3.5–5.6 kg, 8.5–13.5 grape clusters/vine, 351–537 g/cluster). Crop quality: Similarly-sized grapes (1.8–3 g/grape), with similar compositions (sugar content: 19–22.5 oBrix; titratable acidity: 3.9–5.9 g/L; see publication for other measurements), were found in all plots. Methods: There were four plots (3 vine rows/plot) for each of four ground-cover treatments (all without tillage, with vegetation in the interrows: resident vegetation, complex grass-legume cover crop, simple grass-legume cover crop, or summer-dormant-grass cover crop), and there were four control plots (conventionally tilled interrow: 2–3 passes/year, 15 cm depth). Cover crops were sown in the interrows in October 2005. In the vine rows, weeds were controlled with herbicide. All vine rows were drip irrigated and fertilized. Grape yield and quality were measured in 2006–2010 (yield and size: 10 clusters/plot, 10 grapes/cluster; quality: 400 grapes every two weeks, from the beginning of ripening to harvest in 2007–2010; at harvest in 2006). It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of ground cover or tillage.