DOMINO – new strategy for sustainable fruit orchards and vineyards

By dynamic sod mulching and use of recycled amendments to increase biodiversity, the DOMINO project will improve resilience and sustainability of intensive organic fruit orchards and vineyards.

Weed control and crop protection and nutrition require high input supply in intensive organic fruit and grapevine cropping systems, causing undesired costs and ecological impacts including nutrient imbalances. Nonetheless, to reduce inputs might threaten crop yield and quality. The CORE Organic Cofund project DOMINO aims to improve long-term sustainability of intensive organic orchard and vineyard by innovative strategies expected to increase biodiversity as a source of resilience for the agroecosystems, and to reduce the dependency on external inputs. 

Intercropping, composted waste and microbial based plant nutrition and protection

The strategy includes the introduction of new cash intercropping species, expected to contribute to plant nutrition and protection while increasing biodiversity. It also includes the use of recycled organic amendments from composted waste and digestate to improve soil fertility and suppressiveness, as well as carbon balance of the system and the introduction of microbial-based products for plant nutrition and protection to promote soil biodiversity and enhance inputs’ efficiency. Overhead netting for crop protection will be introduced and principles for the overall designing of orchard management to promote ecosystem services will be presented. 

Multi-stakeholder approach

Nutrient budgets, soil parameters, root growth and plant physiology, occurrence of pests and diseases, yield and quality will be evaluated. Based on the outcomes new strategies for soil management, crop protection and fertilization will be developed in a regionally adapted multi-stakeholder approach with organic fruit and vine growers. 

Coordinator: Davide Neri (e-mail:

Partner list: Hristina Kutinkova, Markus Kelderer, Eligio Malusa, Marie Lisa Brachet, Michael Friedli, Sabine Zikeli, Werner Castiglione, Christian Gamper, Reinhard Verdorfer

Ulrich Kiem, Vincenzo Vizioli, Christoph Hofflin 

Partner countries: BG, IT, PL, FR, CH & DE

CORE Organic Cofund is an ERA-NET funded by the European Commission´s
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Contract No. 727495.