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  • Periodic Report Summary 2 - ENTOMATIC (Novel automatic and stand-alone integrated pest management tool for remote count and bioacoustic identification of the Olive Fly (Bactrocera oleae) in the field)

ENTOMATIC Report Summary

Project ID: 605073
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ENTOMATIC (Novel automatic and stand-alone integrated pest management tool for remote count and bioacoustic identification of the Olive Fly (Bactrocera oleae) in the field)

Project Context and Objectives:
ENTOMATIC addresses a major problem faced by EU Associations of Olive growing SMEs: the Olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae). This insect pest causes yearly economical losses estimated to be almost €600/ha. ENTOMATIC aims to develop a novel stand-alone field monitoring system comprising: a fully autonomous trap with integrated insect bioacoustic recognition embedded in a wireless sensor network and supported by a spatial decision support system.
The consortium is composed of SME-AGs, INOLEO AJAP and AEGEAN, of Olive Producers from the EU and Turkey, and lead-user SMEs, PHYTO, MTSYS and BIOSYS, expert in Pest Management solutions. These will lead the specification, validation, protection, and use of the results generated by the selected RTD providers, UPF, TEIC, IMMS and Avia-GIS, expert in Entomology, Decision Support Systems, Bioacoustics, Electronics, Signal Processing, IT solutions, Wireless Communications and Prototyping.
Olive cultivation is widespread throughout the Mediterranean and is vital for the rural economy, local heritage and environment. The area under olive groves in the EU is approximately 4.376.000 hectares, 4 % of the agricultural area. Approximately 2.5 million producers (one third of EU farmers) are involved. Olive production is the main source of employment and economic activity in many regions, and the sector is basically dominated by SMEs united in associations. The average holding size is as low as 1 ha in Italy, though olive holdings in Spain are larger (6 ha on average) and the annual net income per hectare can reach €1.8974.
However this sector is continuously under the threat of an extremely destructive insect pest: Bactrocera oleae, the Olive fruit fly. Each year it accounts for more than 30% destruction of all Mediterranean olive crops, i.e. losses of almost €3.0 billion.
The ENTOMATIC system aims to offer EU Olive SME-AGs an advanced IPM system for Bactrocera oleae, based on an innovative trap capable of automatically counting each insect trapped, identifying the species based on bioacoustic analysis and send the data wirelessly. The proposed system will also be able to function autonomously during the whole fruiting season, have an operative life-time of at least 5 years and be adapted to handle other fruit flies.
The ability to quantify and make a precise control of Olive fly populations in a cost-effective way has been a long desired goal in the Olive sector. The potential offered by ENTOMATIC has SME-AGs and their associated SMEs keen on its development. The expected benefits are the reduction of damage to olive fruit and oil production and to promote the sustainable use of pesticides. Studies in Greece and Spain using extended monitoring programmes with a combination of different state-of-the art traps, more frequent inspections of traps, extensive manual count and species identification of captured insects, and manual processing of collected data shared between regional and national authorities, demonstrated that the fruit losses provoked by the Olive fruit fly could be reduced in more than 50%, with a 60% reduction of insecticides and a 60% increase of extra virgin oil. Via ENTOMATIC, olive producers will be able to track pest population and geographical status and receive advice on precision pesticide application.
Our aim is to develop an easily accessible system, which enables automatic and cost-effective IPM for Bactrocera oleae for all end users. In addition, the proposed system can be a powerful tool in the hands of regional/national authorities to enforce legislative requirements, which need data collection on a regular basis to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides. The ENTOMATIC system will enable the Olive SME- AGs and their members to improve their production, reduce the amount of pesticides used and reduce the labour cost associated with spraying activities and inspection of traps.
Based on published studies, the experience of the consortium SME-AGs and SMEs and interviews with several producers, the participants expect a reduction of the Olive fruit fly damage, a reduction of spraying costs and an increase of productivity, using ENTOMATIC.
Project Results:
During this second period, the major efforts of the project have been focused on the research of technological development and innovative-related activities.
Regarding the bioacustic sensor developed by TEIC, the efforts has been centered in obtaining a new version of the trap, trying to improve the energy consumption of the circuitry designed, hence increasing the expected lifetime of the sensor. The new version of the trap, includes a new light sensor that uses pulse light that reduces the energy consumed by the element. The use of this pulse sensor does not effect the performance of the sensor. The different lab tests performed show that the new sensor is able to maintain the performance of the previous sensor used and is able to detect any insect that enters to the trap. Moreover, the circuitry of the bioacustic sensor has also been modified is a new custom-based circuit has been designed and developed. This new version of the trap will be distributed during this semester to the consortium in order to test it.
The design of the new trap has been also one of the main tasks developed under the main responsibility of IMMS. The design of a new trap that has to contain the different hardware elements under development is based on the McPhail trap. This decision was taken by the SMEs and SME-AGs under their own experience. The McPhail trap is one of the most used traps and has a good performance. It has been designed and extra placement on the top of the trap in order to allocate the bioacustic sensor and the electronic that will be responsible of capture the environmental data (temperature, light and humidity), take the data from the biaocustic sensor and transmit all this data to a central node (gateway). All the sensors should be protected from the harsh environment, in order to prevent any failure on the electronics. The design performed has been shown to the consortium in order to be validated by them. A new design on the trap will be performed during next months, following the recommendations of the SMEs, that will improve the capacity of the tank that contains the attractant. This new improvement will increase the lifetime of the trap in terms of capacity of attract the olive fruit flies. This is due to the nowadays design only permits a low amount of liquid attractant to be placed inside. This liquid, due to high temperatures of the orchard, mostly evaporates in two weeks, hence, increasing the tank capacity will allow to the olive producers to not refill the traps during more time.
Another important improvement achieve is the good performance of the tests done of the protocol of the WSN, called HARE. These network will be the responsible of connecting the different traps, collect the data sensed and sending it to the central node. During this second year, UPF has improved the first version of the communication protocol in order to reduce the energy consumption. One of the main goals is to achieve the lowest consumption of the nodes without affecting their performance. This is essentially done in order to extend the lifetime of the traps. More concretely, HARE could be considered as a new proposed LPWAN technology flexible enough to adopt an uplink multi-hop communication when proving energetically more efficient. A full set of advanced techniques belonging to different communication layers have been designed for this purpose, while ensuring data transmission reliability. The HARE protocol stack conceives end devices as elements controlled by the GW by means of beacons. This centralized approach allows STAs to remain asleep the majority of the time and their single concern is to be awake enough in advance for listening to the next beacon. Network synchronization is thus easily achieved, and the GW can ask for specific requests and distribute/deliver configuration changes in just one hop. HARE has been tested at different orchards in Falset (Catalonia) last March.
The new platform has also been presented. During the last consortium meeting the improvements on the management web were presented. The ENTOMATIC web application gives users access to a variety of tools that are grouped in five different web pages: (i) administration, (ii) pest management, (iii) analysis, (iv) network performance and (v) configuration (Figure 1). Depending on the user type, a different set of functionalities is enabled. There are four different user types: Farmer: has access to data from the sensors that are assigned to him/her; Administrator: can assign sensors to users and perform user administration, when an administrator is assigned to an SME, he/she can view all data from sensors that are assigned to farmers within the SME;
Supervisor: can view the same data as an administrator but has no rights to edit data;
Super user: can view all data on the server and has the right to change the behaviour
and appearance of the web app through the configuration page.
Through this web application any of the different users will be able to manage and visualize all the data collected by the traps. All these data is processed.
Potential Impact:
The ENTOMATIC system will be developed an advanced IPM system for Bactrocera oleae, based on an innovative trap capable of automatically counting each insect trapped, identifying the species based on bioacoustic analysis and send the data wirelessly.
These system is mainly compose of: a more effective trap design for olive flies, using multiple bait/luring combinations to simultaneously attract males (using pheromones) and females (using liquid protein bait); an automatic count of flies entering the trap with an automatic detection of species through bioacoustic analysis that will overcome the problem of non-target insects entering the trap which producers have to distinguish during manual insect counts; a low-power wireless transmission of field data for daily follow-up of pest activity and pesticide application effect on olive fly population with the possibility of on-line monitoring of traps via SMS, Internet, GIS maps, etc. and possibility of viewing results via mobile phone, tablet PC, PC, etc. , and, a database related to olive fly population, field and owner information, etc. and a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) specific for the Olive fly, capable of issuing automated warnings for on-time and precise pesticide application, supported by advanced algorithms, and historical records of insect population, pesticide usage and spraying activities.
ENTOMATIC have to consider different potential impacts depending on the beneficiary of the expected impact.
Impact for the participating SME associations and their members: the SME-AG and SME participants of ENTOMATIC will enjoy the unique advantage of being ahead of competitors, since no similar solution currently exists. ENTOMATIC has clear impacts in terms of economic growth, contribution to employment, implementation of novel market strategies, creation of new distribution channels, etc. Also, it will enable the participants to expand their markets through transnational technological cooperation. In the EU more than €5billion is spent every year in pesticides (30% of pesticide sold worldwide) while 100’s of million Euros of counterfeit pesticides are imported across Europe. Despite tighter regulatory controls compared to other parts of the world, pesticides consumption in Europe is increasing. ENTOMATIC will increase the farmers' yearly income by 1) reporting insect activity daily preventing fruit damage with 2) timely and sustainable interventions using precise amounts of pesticides, leading to 3) a better and cost-effective control of insects and an increased opportunity to produce more extra virgin olive oil. The expected increase of income is by 505€/ha.
Impact on Standards and Policies: EU regulations for the Olive sector introduced in 2004, and later years are designed to improve oil quality, decrease environmental impacts and implementation of more effective monitoring methodologies. ENTOMATIC is an advanced solution to help SMEs comply with such regulations, and contains elements that could advance existing regulations. The EU Olive standards of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) can also benefit from ENTOMATIC. Community and Social Impacts: ENTOMATIC will aid supporting a traditional EU activity that shapes regional communities. The European Olive Associations and their SME members have been severely hit by job and revenue losses for the past six years. ENTOMATIC will help preserving and promoting employment. The technology can help to preserve and expand Olive growers businesses, thereby supporting employment in EU rural areas, which face particular challenges related to growth, jobs, lower income and technological gaps. ENTOMATIC will contribute to environmental protection and sustainable production. ENTOMATIC will reduce the environmental impact of pesticides, complying with CAP standards and PPP regulations. ENTOMATIC will promote health and safety to consumers and EU citizens in general will benefit from reduced need to use pesticides. The proposed ENTOMATIC technology will also reduce the exposure of workers to extreme conditions while collecting data in standard traps. ENTOMATIC will support rural development that represent more than 90% of EU territory and containing more than half of the EU population. ENTOMATIC will enhance knowledge, quality of work and producers satisfaction, providing them with new knowledge and technology that will benefit them by improving the management of their olive orchards.
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