The Optima project (September 2018 to December 2021) has already made great progress. This contributes to the reduction of the dependence on chemical crop protection agents in European agriculture, resulting in their decreased use, lower residues and reduced impact on human health.
This progress can be seen in various areas, such as defining optimum spray configurations and settings for the different crop-disease combinations, identifying the most efficient biological and chemical crop protection agents for selected diseases, the development of drift-reducing techniques in the 3 smart sprayers, and the development of a portable, advanced detection system for the localisation and monitoring of selected diseases in the field.
More information on the progress, as well as general information about the project, can be found at http://optima-h2020.eu. Also found on this website is the User Group Community, a forum where stakeholders can participate in technical discussions on the development of the IPM system over the course of the project.
The European project OPTIMA (Optimised Pest Integrated Management to precisely detect and control plant diseases in perennial crops and open-field vegetables) received €3.5 million in funding from the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 for the implementation of innovative solutions to reduce the negative effects of the use of crop protection agents in the cultivation of fruit (apples and grapes) and vegetables (carrots).
The 15-partner consortium (consisting of research institutions, agricultural organisations, consultation services and industry across Europe), led by the Agricultural University of Athens, is developing a holistic, integrated approach that includes all critical aspects related to integrated disease management, such as the use of new, biological crop protection agents, disease prediction models, spectral early disease detection systems, and precision spraying techniques.