Campos, J.; Gallart, M.; Llop, J.; Ortega, P.; Salcedo, R.; Gil, E. On-Farm Evaluation of Prescription Map-Based Variable Rate Application of Pesticides in Vineyards. Agronomy2020, 10, 102.
Campos, J.; Gallart, M.; Llop, J.; Ortega, P.; Salcedo, R.; Gil, E. On-Farm Evaluation of Prescription Map-Based Variable Rate Application of Pesticides in Vineyards. Agronomy 2020, 10, 102.
Canopy characteristics are crucial for accurately and safely determining the pesticide quantity and volume of water used for spray applications in vineyards. The inevitably high degree of intra-plot variability makes it difficult to develop a global solution for the optimal volume application rate. Here, the design procedure of, and the results obtained from, a variable rate application (VRA) sprayer are presented. Prescription maps were generated after detailed canopy characterization, using a multispectral camera embedded on an unmanned aerial vehicle, throughout the entire growing season in Torrelavit (Barcelona) in four vineyard plots of Chardonnay (2.35 ha), Merlot (2.97 ha), and Cabernet Sauvignonn (4.67 ha). The maps were obtained by merging multispectral images with information provided by DOSAVIÑA®, a decision support system, to determine the optimal volume rate. They were then uploaded to the VRA prototype, obtaining actual variable application maps after the application processes were complete. The prototype had an adequate spray distribution quality and exhibited similar results in terms of biological efficacy on powdery mildew compared to conventional (and constant) application volumes. The VRA results demonstrated an accurate and reasonable pesticide distribution, with potential for reduced disease damage even in cases with reduced amounts of plant protection products and water.
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