Organic farming has been regulated in Spain since 1989 , when the approval of the Regulation of the Generic Denomination “Organic Agriculture” took place. Currently, organic production is regulated by Regulation (EC) 834/2007 d the Council on production and labeling of organic products.
In Spain, the organic vineyard is already an important part of the sector.
In Spain, the organic vineyard is already an important part of the sector, with more than 84,000 certified organic ha in 2014. Among the autonomous communities, it is worth highlighting the extension of the organic vineyard in Castilla la Mancha (more than 47,000 organic ha), Murcia ( more than 10,000 ha) and Catalonia (more than 9,000 ha) (MAGRAMA, 2015).
One of the main characteristics of the organic farming system is the prohibition of the use of pesticides and fertilizers of chemical origin.
Thus, to be able to cultivate without these chemical compounds, the organic viticulturist has to use a set of alternative management strategies that comply with the organic production regulations.
These strategies are based on:
1- the use of organic fertilizers.
2- the natural control of pests and diseases of the vineyard (through the use of traps, permitted substances such as sulfur or the use of natural enemies).
3- the increase of diversity in and around the vineyard (using plants that stimulate the general diversity in the vineyard and, particularly, of beneficial organisms).
4- the use of plant material resistant to diseases, control of vineyard performance.
5- the use of careful viticultural techniques during grape production (clusters thinning, leaf removal, etc.) and winemaking (MAGRAMA, 2008).
One of the strategies that has been most successful in recent years in organic vineyards is the use of various practices that enhance the presence of natural enemies of those organisms considered pests in the vineyard, so that these beneficial organisms ( which can be insects, fungi or bacteria) naturally regulate and control the levels of organisms harmful to the vineyard.
Biological Control: presence of natural enemies of those organisms considered pests in the vineyard.
This practice is commonly known as Biological Conservation Control (CBC) . In addition to helping to control the pest, the CBC will contribute to the conservation of the natural biodiversity of the vineyard and its surroundings, to the improvement of the quality of the natural space and to the promotion of the vineyard landscape as an intrinsic value of the wine-growing environment.
There are numerous successful examples in the literature for the control of important pests of the organic vineyard through the use of natural enemies. This is the case of the use of various strains of wasp of the genus Trichogramma and of the insect Campoplex capitator as natural elements for the control of the cluster moth ( Lobesia botrana ), which can significantly reduce the yield of the vineyard.
These beneficial insects parasitize the eggs of L. botrana , thus preventing their development (Figure 2) (Hommay et al ., 2002; Thiéry et al ., 2011). To control this pest, the use of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis on young larvae of L. botrana has also been tested(Figure 3). Its use is based on the ability of B. thuringiensis to naturally synthesize a protein inclusion that is toxic to the cluster moth after ingestion, which causes the death of the moth (Ruiz de Escudero et al ., 2007 ).
On the other hand, the use of predatory phytoseid mites (such as Typhlodromus pyri , T. phialatus and Kampinodromus aberrans ) has also been proposed as an effective measure against the causative agent of grapevine acariosis ( Calepitrimerus vitis Nal.), Which can lead to cause important economic losses by producing abortion of flowers and small clusters (Pérez-Otero et al., 1999).