The Sival trade fair was held in Angers, France on 14-16 January and brought together equipment manufacturers and suppliers of winegrowers, market gardeners and arboriculturalists. It provided an excellent barometer to measure the dynamism of these specialised productions.
A host of innovations were showcased in varietal selection, crop protection and robotics. The Sival d’Or Award was presented to a new variety of pear, the CH201, which can be found in stores under the name ‘Fred’. In addition to its taste qualities, this Swiss pear has six months shelf life and is tolerant to fire blight.
Also presented was a biofungicide technique deriving from a very common yeast strain in the Saccharomyces family which can hinder the spread of pathogens. Researchers speak of spatial and nutritional competition. The good yeasts sprayed on a plant create a shield by occupying the ecological niche of botrytis, which destroys grapes, and moniliosis, which causes fruit to rot.
In terms of the robotics and machinery on display, Trektor is the first hybrid agricultural robot capable of weeding a vine including between vines, for eight hours without breaking the crust. This will allow farmers to raise productivity and cut costs at times when hiring agricultural staff has become a challenge.