A generic Decision Support System for integrated weed management

Per Rydahl1, Ole M Bojer1, Nicolas Munier-Jolain2, Robert Leskovcek3, Roberta Masin4, Maurizio Sattin5, Arnd Verschwele6

1 Aarhus University / IPM Consult Ltd, Hovedgaden 32, 4295 Stenlille, Denmark

2 INRA, Rue Sully 17, 21000 Dijon, France

3 Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Hacquetova ulica 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

4 DAFNAE, University of Padova, Via 8 Febbraio, 2 – 35122 Padova, Italy

5 National Research Council, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy

6 JKI, Germany

In the EU project ‘ENDURE’, 9 European Decision Support Systems (DSS) on integrated weed management (IWM) were analyzed. In the context of Directive 2009/128/EC, ‘best parts’ were identified, and a ‘proof of concept’ was designed. This DSS design specifically addresses 7 of the 8 general principles in the directive.

The DSS design includes best parts originating from 3 DSS, designed in Italy, France and Denmark, respectively. The DSS IT system architecture was designed as a generic frame suitable for customization for different countries, crops, climatic zones, etc. Using maize as a model crop, operational, online DSS prototypes were customized and made operational online for weed control in Slovenia, Italy and Germany.

These DSS prototypes include two different principles for quantification of needs for weed control, and integration of chemical and non-chemical (mechanical) control was enabled, too, however as proof of concept only. Field experimentation in 2011 and 2012 in the 3 countries showed that the efficacy of pre-emergence applications of herbicides (existing practice) did not differ significantly from early post-emergence applications. This time-shift enables the DSS to evaluate needs for control and to target the use of control measures, including inherent characteristics of weed species, which is a basic principle in context of IPM.

In 2013 and 2014, field validation trials were conducted in the 3 countries, where DSS prototypes were tested against local ‘best practice’ recommendations. For practical reasons, mechanical control was not included in these trials. Results on yield and residual weed infestations indicate that some DSS prototypes controlled the weeds on level with local best practice treatments, and in some cases with a relatively low input of herbicides, too. These results indicate that the DSS design possess generic qualities, which may be suitable and potent for upscaling.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under the grant agreement n°265865- PURE