Plant protection

Decision-support systems in plant protection

Decision-support systems help the farmer to better organise his work, forecast risks, reduce costs, improve product quality and thus his or her competitiveness and thus implement the principles of sustainable agriculture.

Decision-support systems used in crop production, which are part of precision agriculture, are based on statistical and functional analysis of factors affecting crops or agrophages. As a rule, they are interactive, combining historical data with current, field-based data. The role of the decision-support system is to inform the user of the predicted crop scenario, the risks from agrophages and the expected outcome of proposed actions. A farm can use several decision-support systems for specific tasks at the same time, also in an integrated form. There are four groups of decision-support systems for agriculture:

  1. advisory programmes, provide information to help the farmer decide whether to carry out a specific crop treatment according to current field conditions.
  2. plant growth and development models, based on current weather information and field conditions, make it possible to determine the approximate yield possible under current conditions.
  3. decision-support systems for selected crop treatments, they use current meteorological data and information about the condition of the field and the crop in question. On the basis of the collected data, the system provides information on the implementation of protective treatments, fertilisation application. Using knowledge of the biology of the pest, its climatic requirements (temperature, humidity), characteristics of the protected crop and current conditions, the system provides information on the possible need to carry out treatment, as well as determining the doses to be applied to the current field conditions.
  4. integrated systems, one of the more sophisticated advisory systems, giving detailed information not only on the execution of a particular crop treatment, but also taking into account alternative options that can be applied.

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