Implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to tackle pests, weeds and diseases can be a real challenge for farmers and advisors. Decision Support Systems (DSS) can assist on-farm decisions to implement IPM.
The IPM Decisions project will create an online platform that is easy to use for the monitoring and management of pests. The platform will be available across the EU with DSS, data, tools and resources tailored to individual regions.
A pan-European collective of farmers, advisors, DSS providers and researchers will design and develop the platform so it meets the needs of different types of user. This community will be called the IPM Decisions Network.
IPM Decisions is a 5-year project that began in June 2019. It is co-ordinated by Dr Neil Paveley, Crop protection, ADAS (part of RSK Environment Ltd.), UK.
The project has been granted €5million and consists of 27 partners from 12 different European countries and two pan-European companies.
What will IPM Decisions deliver?
The project will give farmers and advisers the possibility to access a large number of IPM DSS through a pan-European online Platform and an IPM Decisions Network. The latter forming a community of users and stakeholders.
Each type of user will access the Platform via a tailored ‘dashboard’, specific to their requirements. The dashboard will act as the user’s control panel to collate information and manage DSS applications.
For farmers and advisers
End users of DSS will benefit from a simple ‘click and go’ platform to find and run decision systems which have been evaluated for use under their regional conditions. Access to relevant weather data will also be provided though the platform. The extent of validation of each DSS will be transparent to enable informed choices.
For applied research or advisory organisations
Organisations wishing to adopt DSS developed in other countries and test/compare them for their regional conditions, will benefit from access to decision systems, weather data, a data set of field pest observations from large numbers of sites and seasons, and a library of methods for evaluation and comparison of benefits.
Researchers will be enabled to adapt decision models to their regional conditions (either by changing parameter values via a dashboard or making structural changes by having access to the code of open-source decision models) and rapidly evaluate the effect of the changes using the library of methods for evaluation and comparison of benefits described above.
For developers of farm DSS
Developers will benefit by a ‘shop window’ to access more end users, and tools and resources to accelerate DSS innovation.
The IPM Decisions project will not develop new DSS, the focus will be on delivering existing and future DSS for key pests, weeds and diseases of major outdoor crops. The Platform will support a wide range of DSS which are either free to use or commercial pay to use.