Since weeds in winter wheat and especially in maize are of major concern, herbicide input for these crops has large impacts to the environment, but also significantly effects cost efficiency of farmers. Experiences from Denmark, Germany and other countries have shown that farmers are willing to invest in decision support systems in order to increase cost efficiency. Therefore, the project DSS-IWM will develop a tool for Integrated Weed Management which combines economic and environmental benefits.
The DSS concept recently supported by IPMC as a ‘proof-of-concept’ has been designed on the basis of analyses of existing DSS for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Recent investigations on decision supporting systems have shown, that the herbicide dosage can very often been reduced without losing efficacy or even yield. Since the project will deal with maize and winter wheat growing in the partner’s countries Denmark, Germany and Spain, DSS-IWM potentially covers a wide range of arable land in different climatic situations within Europe. Based on the planned structure and implementation, the DSS-IWM can easily be extrapolated to other European countries at a later stage.
The main results of the new scheduled project will be the following: DSS-IWM
a) is ready to online use for weed control in maize and winter wheat
b) provides reliable decisions and considers national conditions
c) enables to consider thresholds for weed densities
d) includes economic calculation on treatment costs
e) offers mechanical options wherever possible
f) facilitates herbicide resistance management
g) is the basic platform for uses in other crops and countries
All in all, the project DSS-IWM will create nationally adapted tool-boxes for more efficient integrated weed control in maize and winter wheat. Therefore, it covers two major crops in Europe. There is also a high potential for using DSS-IWM outside of the three participating countries. However, before a commercial use can start, the system has to be significantly improved and finalised during the project period. We are aiming to improve the functionality and application of the DSS-IWM by the consortium of JKI, ISIP, IPMC and UdL.
In terms of the technical structure, DSS-IWM will address potential users by linking a basic DSS database to other IPM portals already used by these target groups. For example, as far as DSS-IWM is adapted for Germany, it will be part of the well-known ISIP web portal. This approach will be the basis for a successful use of DSS-IWM also in other countries.
Because of the known large interest in using different decision supports systems and because of the scheduled professional release of DSS-IWM, a long-term viable product can be expected in Europe. The new scheduled decision support system will not only help farmers. It will also relieve advisors in giving safe and efficient recommendations which may fully covers IPM principles.