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A solution against tiredness of soil
Italy: First soil-less harvest of Black Magic table grapes

On July 4th, 2011 grower Giannangelo Boccuzzi, who works in Rutigliano (Bari - Italy), harvested the first Black Magic table grape from plants grown without soil, in a land where the grapevine has been cultivated for decades and for several production cycles, resulting in problems of tiredness and presence of nematodes and viruses.

The activities related to this innovation started in 2009 taking the opportunity offered by a Mipaaf announcement for the selection of research projects and experimentation in agriculture, proposed by young farmers in collaboration with public research institutions.

The current work is funded by the project titled 'Hydroponic growing of table grape: potential for the future of the crop'. In this research project, the public institution is represented by the research group of the Department of Agro-Environmental and Territorial Sciences at "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, experienced in soil-free cultivation.

Boccuzzi is more satisfied to be growing the grapevine at costs that can be borne, and no mre on a cultivated area that was usable for table grape growing. He is also satisfied because early Black Magic table grapes have ripened, in advance compared with the grapevines cultivated traditionally in the area.

Black Magic grape cultivated in pot. Photo taken July 4th, 2011.

The company, where tests are in progress, is located in Rutigliano, the center of southern vine-growing, in an area characterized by a micro-climate that enhances the produce of middle and late cycle.

The harvested grape looks good, with colour and shape typical of the cultivar (see photo above). It has a sugar content of about 15 Brix degrees. Yield per plant was in line with the typical produce in the area and has exceeded Boccuzzi's expectations.

For more information:
Dr Pietro Santamaria
Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Vegetali
Università degli Studi di Bari
Via Amendola, 165/A
70126 Bari
Tel: +39 (0)80 5443098/4
Fax: +39 (0)80 5442976

Publication date: 7/6/2011
Author: Maria Luigia Brusco


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