G. R. KOVAČIČ1, M. LEŠNIK2 and S. VRŠIČ2
1 Radgonske Gorice d.d., Jurkovičeva 5, 9250 Gornja Radgona, Slovenia
2 University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Pivola 10, 2311 Hoče, Slovenia
KOVAČIČ, G. R., M. LEŠNIK and S. VRŠIČ, 2013. An overview of the copper situation and usage in viticulture. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 19: 50-59
Viticulture is among those agricultural branches, which, along with the intensification of heavy industry and natural processes such as the weathering of bedrock, contribute to an increased environmental intake of copper compounds, so, in many places, levels of this metal in soil are elevated or maximum soil copper limits are exceeded. Organic fruit and grape production is still the major consumer of copper-based plant protection products per unit area. Long-term use of copper fungicides can elevate copper levels even in the lower soil layers. Copper accumulation in soils along with its ecotoxicological impacts necessitates alternatives in the form of new, low copper content formulations or in the form of other means. The adverse effects of copper have also been observed in winemaking, where excessive copper residues in grapes must adversely affect wine quality. Therefore, restrictions on the use of copper fungicides in relation to soil contamination with copper compounds are necessary.