Forecast models

Forecast models in agriculture are essential to optimize the analysis, study, identification and fight against the onset of pests.

The emerging of a stronger environmental awareness, the attention to human health both by consumers and producers, the awareness of treatment economic costs by farmers have led to the spread of integrated and organic farming.

They are regulated by regional Disciplinary of Integrated Production and by several European, national, and regional regulations.

This change has led to the reduction of environmental impact in conventional agriculture as well. It means prudent use of the main crop input: water, fertilizers, and plant protection products.

Implementing effective strategies

Plant diseases can be prevented or limited thanks to:

  • Agronomic operations: deep plowing, pruning, crop rotations, fertilization;
  • Mechanical systems: removing parts of the plant affected by the disease or eliminating phytophagous;
  • Physical systems: chromotropic, light or pheromone traps for the mass capture of insects;
  • Biological systems: releasing or promoting the presence of other living organisms in the environment that predate phytophagous;
  • Chemical operations: use of phytopharmaceuticals.

Plant diseases can be prevented or limited thanks to:

  • Agronomic operations: deep plowing, pruning, crop rotations, fertilization;
  • Mechanical systems: removing parts of the plant affected by the disease or eliminating phytophagous;
  • Physical systems: chromotropic, light or pheromone traps for the mass capture of insects;
  • Biological systems: releasing or promoting the presence of other living organisms in the environment that predate phytophagous;
  • Chemical operations: use of phytopharmaceuticals.

Forecast models – What are they

Forecast models provide farm entrepreneur with tools able to read and process environmental data (weather conditions, crop characteristics). It is possible to obtain early quantitative information on crop conditions in order to plan effective, efficient and targeted actions in a simple way and without field intervention.

In addition to the weather forecasts, forecasts models specifically developed for the agricultural sector provide useful information for decisions support such as:

  • Phenology of the crop (stage of crops development or stage of fruits ripening)
  • Risk of infestation caused by specific pathogens or phytophagous at each stage of the crop cycle
  • Crop nutritional requirements
  • Crop water requirements

This information is highly accurate, as well as being easily readable by operators, and allows remote control of data, which are difficult to find, but essential to make decisions.

Forecast models – How they can be used

Forecast models are an efficient support for farmers. They are a very important element of the whole DSS (Decision Support System), they simplify work and increase the effectiveness of decisions in the phytosanitary protectionirrigation management, and fertilization.

A valuable tool for the competent technician, who will be able to assess the most appropriate defense strategy depending on technical, social and economic characteristics of the company.

Forecast models in Agricolus

Agricolus, with the support of its subsidiary Aedit (a spin-off of the University of Pisa Sant’Anna), has been committed for ten years in research and development of predictive models and DSS for agriculture. The team of expert agronomists constantly studies the needs of crops and validates these models with field observations and customer support.

Currently available within the Agricolus platform are predictive models for irrigation and phenology for 130 crops and specific defense models for the following crops:

Grapevine: ripening, frost, downy mildew, botrytis, codling moth
Olive: development and mortality of olive fly
Corn: yellow nottua, corn rootworm, corn borer
Tobacco: downy mildew, yellow moth
All models are based on meteorological information from field stations and can be adapted to situations through the inclusion of particular crop operations or phenological observations.

Do you want to find out how we use these technologies in the Agricolus platform?

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