The ApeX Vigne application facilitates vine growth monitoring

ApeX Vigne is a mobile application that facilitates vine growth monitoring and provides keys to understanding water stress at the plot and territorial levels. This simple, free digital tool responds to strong demand from the profession. Based on observations of shoot tips, it provides winegrowers and farm advisors with an instant, secure interpretation at the plot level. The project led by Léo Pichon (Montpellier SupAgro UMR ITAP) and the Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (French Wine and Vine Institute, Jean-Christophe Payan) is supported by the Occitanie Region and #DigitAg. Developed by Guilhem Brunel (Montpellier SupAgro UMR ITAP), ApeX Vigne has been available for free download on Android since June.

 

Digitising the apex method to meet demand from the profession

The application responds to strong demand from the profession. The apex method consists in observing shoot tips, the apices. It has been used in vineyards for several years, particularly in the Mediterranean region, to link early cessation of vine growth to high levels of water stress. Until now, the dissemination of the method was hampered by difficulties winegrowers encountered in accurately calculating the plant growth index directly at the plot level.

 

Apices in full growth        Apices with slower growth   Apices with growth stopped

 

 

How does it work?

ApeX Vigne provides a simple system to count the number of apices and to calculate a synthetic plant growth index. Around 50 apices are observed and classified into three categories: full growth, slower growth or growth stopped. Calculating the growth index makes it possible to characterise plant growth in the zone observed. The vine growth dynamics are deduced from these weekly observations.

The application proposes a synthesis and monitoring of apex growth changes for each plot. The interpretation of the level of water stress based on observations made is possible thanks to a specific IFV module. The information is then stored securely. The user can access this information at any time for complimentary analyses, or to share it with other people.

 

Understanding water stress

Shoot apex growth is the first physiological function to be affected by water stress. The application also provides keys to understanding the phenomenon of water stress at the plot and territorial levels.

The IFV has developed rules to interpret a level of water stress according to apex observations made. A database links apex observations with reference measurements of water stress (base leaf water potential). The rules of interpretation distinguish four levels of water stress: 0/no water stress; 1/moderate water stress; 2/high water stress; 3/severe water stress.

 

Download Apex Vigne : the application is available for free on Android (only for the moment)

Contact : Léo Pichon : leo.pichon [AT] supagro.fr & Jean-Christophe Payan : jean-christophe.payan [AT] vignevin.com