This website no longer supports Internet Explorer 11. Please use a more up-to-date browser such as Firefox, Chrome for better viewing and usability.

Sheep in vineyards: toxicity risk evaluation of vineyard copper treatment on sheep

Title OriginalDes brebis dans les vignes : évaluation du risque toxique des traitements au cuivre pour les animaux

The project "Sheep in Vineyards" aims to create links between sheep breeders and vine growers so as to develop sheep pasturing in vineyards.

Pasturing of vineyards may impact on the environment as follows:

  • It allows a reduced use of herbicides and improves the quality of surface waters
  • It improves the grass cover in vineyards, which in turn decreases erosion

It is, however, unclear whether phytosanitary treatments of the grapevine plants will negatively influence sheep health. In this context, toxicity effects of copper are of particular importance as sheep are very sensitive to copper intoxications.

Copper is sprayed on grapevines by growers to mainly treat against mildew. Part of the copper washes off and can seep into the pasture, but also into the soil, where it can be absorbed by close to ground vegetation. In both cases, copper may be ingested by sheep while grazing.

In on-farm trials, samples of ground vegetation in vineyards and sheep blood will be analysed for copper in order to identify possible toxicity problems.

Financing/ Donor
  • Agence de l’Eau (financement publics)
Project partners
  • Fédération Départementale Ovine de la Drôme
  • Syndicat de la Clairette de Die
  • Communauté de Communes du Val de Drôme
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Research area
  • FiBL France (France)
FiBL project number 55288
Date modified 12.11.2019