Aims: DOSAVIÑA® was developed with the aim of helping farmers to determine optimal volume rates for spray applications in vineyards. The final developed tool is a good example of bringing research to end users.
Methods and Results: DOSAVIÑA® is based on a modified method of Leaf Wall Area (LWA) and includes a tool for sprayer calibration support. Calibration process is highlighted in the APP, as one of the conditions for a good success of the entire process. DOSAVIÑA® also calculates the optimal parameters for working pressure, forward speed, and number and type of nozzles. DOSAVIÑA® was developed by the Unit of Agricultural Machinery at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and is available for iOS and Android, and also web (https://dosavina.upc.edu). The system, based on a modified version of the leaf wall area (LWA) method, calculates the optimal volume rate for vineyards considering leaf density, canopy width, and sprayer type. Results indicated that water and pesticide use could be reduced by more than 20% while still meeting economic, environmental, and food quality requirements. The design of the tool is aligned with European requirements concerning pesticide use, as established in the European Directive for the sustainable use of pesticides. In the majority of cases, the recommended volumes obtained after using DOSAVIÑA® are lower than those commonly selected by the farmers. This fact, coupled with a dose expression method based on concentration, leads to a consequent reduction in pesticide amounts, in line with the main objective established in Europe after the official publication of the Sustainable Use Directive (EU, 2009). The sprayer adjustment tool included in DOSAVIÑA® represents a convenient complement to the establishment of the optimal volume rate. The automated calculation process allows selection of the most suitable values for the most important parameters, particularly working pressure. Results of field trials demonstrated that an accurate calibration process allows similar levels of coverage to be obtained, even with low spray volumes.
Conclusion: The APP, has been shown to reduce fungicide use by up to 20%. This fact translates not only into significant time savings and higher working capacity, aspects highly valued by the producer, but also an economic benefit and a reduction in the risk of environmental contamination, not only due to the reduction in fungicide used, but also due to the use of the equipment in optimal conditions.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The social impact generated by the application, especially in the productive sector has been demonstrated. DOSAVIÑA® is also a tool included in the training programs that is especially for the European Commission through CHAFEA, in the BTSF – Best Training for Safer Food.
Authors: Emilio Gil*, Javier Campos, Jordi Llop
Department of Agri-Food Engineering and Biotechnology
Esteve Terradas, 8 – 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya
Keywords: DOSAVIÑA®, optimal vineyard spray rates, plant protection products