of plant disease
of a mix of bio and chemical PPPs
of smart spraying solutions
of proposed IPM system
Prediction of the pathogen infection is a vital part of plant disease management to proceed to the appropriate actions to minimize crop yield and quality reduction (e.g. preventive spraying).
OPTIMA will optimise already existing disease prediction models using agro-climatic and biological algorithms; users’ testimonies; and geostatistical methods, which will be used for the development of a Decision Support System (DSS).
Detection of diseases through field scouting helps greatly in quantifying plant disease levels to apply the proper amounts of PPPs to the infected area.
OPTIMA will develop advanced spectral detection systems for in-field localisation and monitoring of the selected diseases in the use-case crops
Selection of the appropriate PPPs to be applied in the field to control the predicted/detected plant pathogen is of high importance for increasing efficiency in both preventive and curative spraying.
In OPTIMA, a collection of different bio-PPP agents per host of commercial (market-ready) and under development bio-PPPs (from partner’s culture collections) together with selected new generation synthetic fungicides against apple scab, downy mildew in vineyards and Alternaria leaf blight in carrots, will be evaluated to identify the most efficient combinations to efficiently control the diseases.
Employment of innovative “smart” sprayers for PPPs application can increase biological and technical efficacy through site-specific and precise application.
OPTIMA will develop three smart prototype sprayers for carrots, vineyards and apple orchards actuating different nozzle types, sprayer settings and adopting variable rate application control based on optimal selection of spray parameters, canopy and disease characteristics, together with the integration of innovative drift reducing technologies in order to minimize losses to the environment.
Assessment of the developed holistic IPM system is required from the scratch of the project until its end. Primarily, it needs to be designed according to the end-users needs and ideas to be useful in real conditions. In addition, it has to be validated and evaluated technically to identify the direct impact in agricultural inputs and outputs and assessed in terms of direct impact on farm economics, and indirect on environmental and human health protection and social aspects.
OPTIMA IPM system will follow the co-creation process to take advantage of the end-users’ experience in its functions. After the technical validation and evaluation of the proposed IPM system and according to the numeric assessment of the benefits that will be obtained from the system evaluation in terms of farm economics, environmental and human health protection and social aspects, the pragmatic depiction of the impacts of such system will become clear.