DOSAFRUT system, implemented by the Research Group of Agrotics and Precision Agriculture of Agrotecnio in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture of the Government, can reduce up to 50% using pesticide on fruit without losing the efficacy of the treatment. This is what indicates the results at industrial scale in the last five fruit campaigns. The researchers deployed a network of 22 system validation in collaboration with commercial plantations of fruits: Sanui Fruits SL (Lleida) and Nufri SL (Mollerussa).
The main criterion validation was the pest control with high incidence, such as psil·la pear, apple on red mite, thrips and aphids to peach green peach and nectarine. The researchers also measured the UDL chemical residues in harvested fruit. Deeper studies on this last issue “very probably demonstrate that treatment dose adjusted entail a systematic reduction of these remains,” says the professor of the UDL Santiago Planas. In fact, the Department of Agriculture has already incorporated DOSAFRUT waste minimization program in Fruit.Net.
The system provides DOSAFRUT dose depending on the structural characteristics of planting treat, estimating leaf area and taking into account the basic factors of treatment: mode of action of the pesticide, pest control, spray application that performs and weather conditions. The tests demonstrate that entails savings of 14 to 49% of pesticides and, in any case, doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of treatment.
Among future projects, researchers are working to create the 2.0 version of the portal DOSAFRUT, and to launch a mobile application (app) for fructicultors system using in-situ at the plantations. Also look for a method of adjusting the dose suited to intra parcel plantations to approach the solutions posed precision agriculture.
The initial works date back to Air Assisted sprayers European project led by the Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Later counseling and UDL system developed by DOSAFRUT Pulvexact projects, and Optidosa Safrespray; belonging to the State Plan of R & D funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and in some cases Feder funds from the European Commission.
The EU has an area of nearly one million hectares for the production of pear, apple, peach and nectarine. Of these, about 44,000 are in Catalonia and 80% in the province of Lleida (about 39,000). The pesticides are a cost of 500 to 1,000 euros per hectare, equivalent to 40-50% of current costs of production. Adding the cost of the application (machinery, energy, personal), we can estimate that the pesticide treatments involve the Catalan fruit bill of approximately 50 million euros a year.