Main visual representing the new EU project CrackSense that will address the fruit cracking challenge.

Paving the Way: First Analyses on Greek Orchards and Vineyards

Pegasus Agrifood Coop and the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) recently embarked on a visit to experimental fields in Greece, where they engaged with local farmers and collected soil samples for subsequent laboratory analysis. These experimental plots, located in Kiato and Argos, are the testing plots for CrackSense, involving table grapes and pomegranates, respectively.

The primary objective of these experiments is to employ non-invasive techniques using remote and proximal sensing technologies to assess the occurrence of fruit cracking. Depending on the specific plot and fruit crop, a variety of sensing and treatment methods will be utilised. These methods encompass thermal imaging, fruit wetness assessment, analysis of soil texture, moisture content, and mineral composition, remote sensing via satellite, as well as the utilization of environmental sensors such as meteorological stations. Additionally, the results will be further enhanced by cutting-edge technologies such as edge computing and AI modeling. The experimental treatments will involve irrigation and the application of Plant Growth Regulator regimens in the case of table grapes, while pomegranates will be subjected to various irrigation rates. The aim of these tests is to assess the effects of these treatments on fruit cracking.