Combining novel monitoring tools and precision application technologies for integrated high-tech crop protection in the future (a discussion document)

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Abstract

The possibility of combining novel monitoring techniques and precision spraying for crop protection in the future is discussed. A generic model for an innovative crop protection system has been used as a framework. This system will be able to monitor the entire cropping system and identify the presence of relevant pests, diseases and weeds online, and will be location specific. The system will offer prevention, monitoring, interpretation and action which will be performed in a continuous way. The monitoring is divided into several parts. Planting material, seeds and soil should be monitored for prevention purposes before the growing period to avoid, for example, the introduction of disease into the field and to ensure optimal growth conditions. Data from previous growing seasons, such as the location of weeds and previous diseases, should also be included. During the growing season, the crop will be monitored at a macroscale level until a location that needs special attention is identified. If relevant, this area will be monitored more intensively at a microscale level. A decision engine will analyse the data and offer advice on how to control the detected diseases, pests and weeds, using precision spray techniques or alternative measures. The goal is to provide tools that are able to produce high-quality products with the minimal use of conventional plant protection products. This review describes the technologies that can be used or that need further development in order to achieve this goal. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry

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