Innovative approaches for reducing fungicide applications: a web-based decision support system for integrated vineyard management

Tito Caffi, Vittorio Rossi, Francesca Salinari, Sara Elisabetta Legler, Nicola Ciliberti, Nicola Ciliberti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

MoDeM_IVM (A web-based system for real-time Monitoring and Decision Making for Integrated Vineyard Management) is a project funded under the EU-FP7 Capacities programme and aims to develop an interactive, web-based decision support system (DSS) for integrated vineyard management. The prototype DSS, which will be delivered as the final product of the project within 2012, integrates: (i) a wireless sensor network (WSN) for the measurement of micrometeorologicial data and soil conditions; (ii) hand-held devices, such as a digital camera (for assessing the canopy status and berry maturation) and a tablet (for guiding the user in scouting activities on the plant status and the presence of diseases and insect pests), and (iii) a web-based portal that hosts the technological infrastructure of the DSS. The DSS provides decision supports and alerts on the basis of mathematical models and of the best options for managing the vineyard according to integrated pest management (IPM) principles. The following functionalities are embedded in the DSS: decision supports for canopy management and for disease and pest control, alert systems on potential abiotic stresses (such as low temperature injury and water stress), and estimate of the yield. Concerning disease control, the DSS includes mechanistic models that simulate downy and powdery mildew epidemics (both primary and secondary infections) which have been previously developed and validated (Rossi et al., 2008; Caffi et al., 2010, 2011, 2012). Models for grey mould and black rot were also developed within the project. All these models use weather data, received in real-time from the WSN installed in the vineyard, for calculating at hourly intervals disease risk indexes, such as the available inoclum dose, the different stages of infection, and incubation and latency periods. In respect to insect pests, managemant suggestions are given for grape berry mouth, Mediterranean vine mealybug, and American grapevine leafhopper. The vineyard manager, to whom the DSS is addressed, can consult the DSS and access information via the Internet with a user-friendly interface at two levels of detail: (i) a synthetic overview of the diseases and pests risks, provided in the form of a dashboard; and (ii) detailed outputs on all key infection processes, provided in the form of graphs. To prove the viability of the DSS, demonstration trials were set in 2012 in Italy and Spain. The trials were designed in such a way to compare the farmer’s usual vineyard management to the DSS-based management. A small plot was always maintained untreated against fungal diseases and pests, so as to monitor the natural dynamic of epidemics and infestations. Results of this first year of comparison are very promising since they showed that the DSS allowed to reduce fungicide applications by correctly scheduling the treatments and targeting them to the actual need of control. The same level of protection was obtained in the plots managed following the grower’s practice or according to the DSS, but a lower number of treatments was performed in the latter
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-75
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Plant Pathology
Volume95
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventImpact of Plant Pathogens on the Quality of Crops and Wine (Patholux - Grapelux) - Plant Pathology in Relation to Food Safety and Food Quality - Mondorf-les-Bains
Duration: 22 Oct 201223 Oct 2012

Keywords

  • DSS
  • IPM

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