Case Study 5

Case Study 5. Implementation of the Decision Support Systems (pest alert system) to reduces the use of fungicides in potato and wheat crops and their impact in biodiversity. Lusitanean (Spain).

Which problem will be solved: The environmental conditions of this region favors the attack of fungi to potatoes and cereal crops. The control of these plant diseases is based mainly on the application of high amounts preventive fungicide treatments. The high amounts of fungicide treatments require an important number of machinery passes on field contributing to soil compaction and together with fungicides to decreases in soil biodiversity.

State of the art: The use of fungicides is often with a schedule calendar, which marks the onset of the first application and the frequency of the consecutive ones, applied independently of the risk of infection. This system allows farmers an inadequate control of the disease with great weaknesses. Mainly the economic cost of acquiring and applying these treatments and the negative and costly environmental footprint in water, soil, and air and as a consequence in biodiversity.

Objective: The objective of this case study is the reduction of the use of these fungicide treatments, improving the forecast of the risk of the disease

Proposed management practices: The proposal will consider phenology, aerobiological data and meteorology to obtain the best decision support systems to the management of some potato and cereal fungal diseases.

Progress with the case study in relation with the state of the art: An efficient forecast of the risk of infection by a pathogen in a crop is indispensable for a sustainable use of the agricultural systems. This help farms to save production costs, decrease fungicides and fuel consumption, reduce soil and surrounding water pollution and increase soil biodiversity.

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