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MODEM_IVM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 262059
Funded under: FP7-SME

Guidance for grape growers

A new decision support system (DSS) for vineyard managers is helping with decision making, leading to improved production and a cleaner environment.
Guidance for grape growers
Modern agriculture is increasingly competitive and technical; furthermore, in Europe, the use of chemicals is highly regulated. For viniculturists, making decisions has never been more difficult. DSSs would help, although in practice, they have typically had low acceptance in agriculture.

A new DSS for vineyard management developed by the EU-funded project 'A web-based system for real-time monitoring and decision making for integrated vineyard management' (MODEM_IVM) offers solutions. The project involved eight partners from four EU countries, including research organisations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It ran from January 2011 to December 2012.

MODEM_IVM developed a prototype DSS for vineyard management, aimed at helping managers reach the best decisions and to plan actions. This DSS addresses classic failings of other such systems. It provides a holistic vision, collecting data and advising about all aspects of vineyard management. It would be set up specifically for one vineyard or group of vineyards, interactively using location-specific information.

The system depends on key components, each developed as part of project goals. The most important is a wireless sensor network (WSN) for monitoring the vineyard's climatic and environmental conditions, and optional hand-held devices facilitate the assessment of individual plants. Other components include web-based software tools that collate and analyse the data according to mathematical models developed by the project. These provide the ultimate output: decision recommendations, alerts and estimates of pending yield. This is delivered via a user-friendly web portal.

Project partners tested the WSN at three European locations. The collected weather data successfully fed into the mathematical models and led to their refinement. The project also developed and tested software for the hand-held devices, data from which were integrated into the DSS.

MODEM_IVM's DSS will benefit the profitable market of European grape growers. Not only will the project result in increased competitiveness for European SMEs, it will also have significant environmental benefits. Using the system, growers will be better able to manage resources, to use less pesticide overall and to justify their use when necessary, and generally minimise environmental impacts. The DSS may also help improve the quality of the grape products.

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