Forecasting Models for Integrated Crop Protection

Precision agriculture or precision farming is a farming management concept using digital techniques for monitoring and optimising agricultural production processes. An important tool, for example, are weather-based forecasting models based on the complex interaction between a host, a pathogen, and their environment.

Forecasting models can be used to:

  • Predict the first appearance of an agricultural or horticultural disease or pest
  • Stimulate population dynamics of insects, to calculate infection pressure for diseases
  • Simulate the ontogenesis of the crop and
  • Calculate crop-loss relation.

Decision Support Systems (DSS)

Forecasting models can be integrated in Decision Support Systems (DSS), combining disease monitoring data, use of decision thresholds and predictive models. The DSS is an important tool for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helping to estimate or forecast:

  • The disease/pest risk
  • The necessity for pesticide treatments
  • The optimal timing as well as
  • The recommendation of the appropriate pesticide.

To provide guidance on pest management, results of DSS are distributed to the farmers via warning services and internet. Necessary input for simulation models is provided by meteorological data (current and forecast weather data, such as relative humidity, air temperature, leaf wetness duration and rainfall) and assessed field-site specific data (such as susceptibility of the crop, planting date, and ontogenesis).

The accuracy of simulation models can be improved by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) relying on interpolated meteorological data. Combined with radar measured precipitation data, spatial risk maps can display areas of maximum risk of the disease outbreak, infection pressure or pest appearances.

Integrated model-based decision support systems have the potential to improve the effectiveness for controlling crop diseases, while minimizing economic costs, environmental impacts, and yield losses. They also play a key role in the successful implementation of long-term Integrated Pest Management (IPM strategies) as required by Directive 2009/128/EC concerning the sustainable use of pesticides and the National Action Plans.

Our Services for Precision Farming

As a privately owned, independent and neutral organisation, without any ties to contract research institutes, but with vast experience in R&D and registration of biostimulants and fertilisers, SCC can provide independent support and advice you need, regardless whether you are a small, medium-sized, or large multinational business.

Our services include:

  • Survey of products and portfolios
  • Data analysis
  • Development of suitable registration strategies
  • Comprehensive dossier support
  • Notification and registration support