Action B1 Probe and sensor development
This action aims at the development and production of mechanical design of the traps, including flying, soil surface moving and crawling insects, as well. For different types of insects different types of sensors will be developed. Testing of the electronic operational stability of the developed devices will be evaluated; 200 pcs of probe traps equipped with various different types of sensors will be produced.
The action consists of the following tasks:
- probe development,
- sensor development,
- sensor sensitivity analyses,
- integration of thermometers and soil moisture sensors in the system, respectively.
During the development EDAPHOLOG sensors and data transmission system will be integrated into the family of CSALOMON® pheromone traps. Since CSALOMON® pheromone traps are used to collect most of the pest species due to their species-specific pheromones, the development of sensoring system and mechanical construction will also be multifarious. Basically, we will develop five types of traps: for flying insects, VARL type CSALOMON® pheromone will be used as a base construction, while YF, EPEDAPH EUEDAPH traps will be developed to catch moving insects on the surface of the ground. Furthermore, for crawling insects on plants, KLP type will be improved.
Action B2 Probe and sensor testing
Versions of the prototypes at certain stages of the development will be tested in field conditions. We will measure the accuracy and relative effectiveness compared to traditional traps using it on many insect pests.
B2-1 Sensor Testing
From a practical point of view, it is important for growers as well to ascertain whether the developed trap can really count each individual insects entering the trap and that there is no multiple counting. We plan to examine the issue in a number of species living in economically important crops to get a complete and comprehensive picture on the scope of applicability of the new traps.
Three types of tests can be defined:
– Sensitivity analysis and accuracy tests on model subjects (electrical engineering studies).
– Sensitivity analysis and accuracy tests on model animals (lab tests).
– Sensitivity analysis and accuracy tests on pests (outdoor tests).
We will compare the number of individuals caught to the figure given by the sensor and examine the average differences of these and their standard deviation. According to test results we will optimize the sensor’s sensitivity in its microcontroller. Since the development concerns many insects, several types of sensors will be used, each of which will be tested separately in the different development phases.
B2-1/1 Accuracy tests with CSALOMON ® VARL funnel trap type
Targeted pest species to be studied:
– Pests in apple culture:Codling moth (Cydia pomonella).
– Spotted tentiform leaf miner (Lithocolletis blancardella).
– Pear leaf blister moth (Leucoptera scitella).
– Pests in stone fruit cultures: Cherry Bark Tortix (Enarmonia formosana).
– Oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta).
– Plum fruit moth (G. funebrana).
– Pests in different orchards:Lesser Bud Moth (Recurvaria nanella).
– Pests in arable land and vegetable cultures:Turnip moth (Agrotis segetum).
– Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera).
– Pests of stored crops: Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella).
– Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella).
B2-1/2 Accuracy tests with CSALOMON ® YF funnel trap type
– Pests in arable land and vegetable cultures:Common click beetle (Agriotes sputator).
– Common cutworm (A. ustulatus).
B2-1/3 Accuracy tests are grouped according to the trap types (and species) CSALOMON KLP ® funnel trap type
– Pests in arable land and vegetable cultures:Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica v. virgifera).
B2-2 Probe Testing
Although insect species are lured in the traps basically by pheromone baits, the physical design of the trap itself is crucial for proper trap efficiency. From a human perspective, seemingly relatively small modifications might quite often cause drastic reduction in catching efficiency (e.g. small color change in one component of the trap, or in the physical design of entering route, etc.), which, however become obvious in the light of the actual insect’s behavioral characteristics (eg. good flying / no good flying, surface predilection climbing up / down more fleeing, some bright colors sensitive / insensitive, etc).
Since the current and proven fund-trap forms will be modified by the installation of sensors, this action is to verify that the new counter-mounted trap form does not lose catching efficiency compared to the parent trap molds.
During the probe testing catching efficiency and reliability of the probes equipped with sensors will be investigated in case of each probe type. These tests are grouped as follows:
– Testing of the physical construction of the traps: Catching efficiencies of the traps developed in the project will be compared to the classic CSALOMON® traps. Differences in number of insects caught will be evaluated.
– Testing of the sensor-equipped traps (probe): Here continuous function of each type of probes will be tested. Parallel, classic CSALOMON® traps will be established and counted in weekly replications; data provided by the sensors and counts will be compared in time.
The following trap types will be tested:
B3 Data Communications
In this action will deal with what happens to the data the generated in sensors’ microcontrollers later on. The data-transmission system hardware and software developments will be carried out in this action, as part of the prototype.
If an animal falls into the probe, the event will be recorded then the logger will send the data to the central database. The data logger maintains a permanent and real-time wireless connection with probes linked and with the central server via the GSM / GPRS connection. The data collector is set up inside a waterproof electrical enclosure, supplied by 7 Ah Li-ion battery and a solar panel. GPRS data transmission frequency can be set by users.
We plan to develop several different solutions for data transmission to offer options for the user according to the sizes and locations of their farms:
- Data communication system through central database: data will be transmitted to a central database, which can be seen through an Internet browser. It would be appropriate if the user wanted to see data together in space and time. If data are already stored on a central server, various diagrams can be generated immediately and the grower can easily use them for decision making. This application solution would be the most useful for bigger farmers and growers.
- SMS communication system: here only an sms will be generated by the LOGGER. Since signal coverage is bigger and more evenly distributed over the country, this solution is more stable. However, practically it is to be used only for a few (1-5) traps’ data, otherwise unmanagable, so it can be appropriate only for small plantations.
- direct query from the probes via the radio connection. It might become an important solution, when phone or internet signal strength suddenly decreases to such a level where communication stops.
The control software is composed of three subunits: (1) relational database backup storage, (2) a control unit and sensors to monitor data acquisition units and (3) web-based application for analysis and visualization. Each unit of the system (sensors, data acquisition units) is Java ®-based control software to scan, which will be developed specifically for this system. The database runs on Oracle ®. Display of the data will be done via the control software. The control software allows real-time track of the data and moreover it allows setting the probes: for example altering time frequency of data delivery.
B4 Modelling, Forecasting
In this action data processing, statistical analysis and modelling for plant conservation assessments will be carried out. We plan the following tasks:
B4-1 Design of Data Presentation
The measured data is automatically stored in the central database, from which data can be queried back for each sampling point. The users will only see graphs and data on their screen from this process, since data will be automatically displayed graphically. If the users enter GPS coordinates for the probes set in their plantations, they will be able to see their data in space using GIS and google-maps environment. The IT system allows us to look up the actual data with previous measurements, or to see the whole process together in time, or compare them with other monitoring areas. In this task, we plan to design the display of the data; determine how the graphs and tables should be constructed to be able to easily use and interpret them. Different filters are to be used to eliminate difficultly interpretable data then basic statistics calculation will be performed and showed.
B4-2 Data Evaluation
In traditional trapping of pests the number of individual insects cought is used as an index to calculate the beginning of the pest emergence, mass swarming period, the flight peak and the prolonged endings. These characteristics will be automatically calculated in the central database. The evaluated data will be presented graphically when giving back sensored data to the users. To do this, we will use different algorithms that are now commonly used in crop protection for certain pest species.
In the field of pest forecasting, the novel system holds out new potential benefits, since the system will provide more accurate measurements. We will get data earlier in time, with a magnitude higher temporal resolution, respectively. Virtually, any time resolution is possible, since there is a most punctual time (by the second) belonging to each observed individual that can be assigned to it, thus we expect that population size estimates will be much more accurate.
From the modelling point of view, we will get a new position, we will obtain a new data structure, compared to conventional traps where the number of individuals is given for a given time interval (usually for 1-2 weeks), but now we conversely have a precise date for each individual. In this opposite situation we might have to use an entirely different computational model providing ultimately a better estimation opportunity.
In the first phase of model building we will use models common in crop protection business.
The only difference it will make will be the shorter time interval available by the new technology, which will result in a higher predictive value in forecasting. Subsequently, we will develop a new operating model. In such a way we can provide forecasting options for the users, but do not have to renounce the technological development.
Meteorological data and additional data (soil moisture, soil temperature) required for forecasting will be provided by the sensors and will be stored in the central database. This allows directly measured abiotic data to be available on site at each measurement that is also a huge step forward for the modelling. Weather data will be used in predictive models to forecast pest population sizes and emergences.
The results of the predictive modelling will be shown in separate sheets, in graphical form with calculated model uncertainty values. Only those generated forecasts will appear graphically that are precise enough for growers in an IPM process. We will draw attention to the extent to which this result can be used directly in practice.
B4-4 Examination of Climate Change effects
The new device is capable of giving information on the number of individuals in a very fine time resolution. When it is directly linked with abiotic data from the actual site, it enables us to better examine issues related to climate change effects as well.
Although this issue should be compared with the information of a number of locations, which is not designed for this project, but based on the methodology of our novel devices, we will have the possibility to show their unique and tremendous potential. Here we would show the seasonal variation in population sizes of a given pest and at the same time, impacts of parallel seasonal changes of temperature and moisture. Most climate change models predict much higher fluctuations within seasons, which can be sensored by our device more accurately. Nowadays this is a hot topic in climate research, however, we would use our data only to raise awareness and do not plan to conduct experiments aiming at basic or applied research. To draw attention, we intend to use data that are already measured in previous actions, mostly in pilot studies.
B5 Demonstration field trials
In this action field measurements and farming data collection including plant protection actions will be carried out that will show the feasibility and usefulness of the Prototype developed in the project. The automatic counting pheromone traps will be used throughout vegetation periods during commercial farm production with high level growing technologies. Here we investigate a variety of cropping systems such as arable lands, grasslands and orchards. The goal of the study is to show the usability of the developed prototype and to produce measured data on sites that will prove its environmentally-friendly features.
Comparisons of the new pest monitoring system to the conventional trapping in terms of:
- time expenditure, human efforts and monetary investments of the growers
- the value of the information obtained
- effectiveness of the treatments in terms of crop protection
- the production.
The effects on the environmental improvement (e.g. decrease of pesticides loads) will be examined in Action C1.
We will investigate on the following experimental sites:
- CAR HAS Nagyhörcsök long-term experimental station and CAR HAS Julianna major Experimental station, Budapest
Nagyhörcsök long-term experimental site belongs to The National Long-Term Fertilization Trial Network that was set up in 1968. The effects of fertilizer treatments are studied from different aspects (impact on yield quality, nutrient content of plants, nitrogen regime of soil etc.). Over the past decades agro-chemistry of every major crop was addressed and explored the nutritional status and growth, yield components, mineral composition, weed, disease resistance to learn about optimal conditions of the different plants in the soil and to guide professional agricultural advice.
Beside experiments on sustainable fertilization in croplands, IPM methods were applied in several experiments.
The field experimental site is situated on the outskirts of Budapest, and has 44 ha area. On this territory, mainly field crops are cultivated (maize, alfalfa, rape, etc.), but there is also a circa 1 ha mixed orchard which is left untreated to let insect pests to propagate. Some parts are covered by forest.
This field site would be suitable for performing experiments on field crop pests and on forestry pests like noctuids, and to a lesser extent, on some selected orchard tortricid pests.
- University of Debrecen (codling moth and other fruit moth Dr. Imre Holb)
The field experimental site is situated at Eperjeske, and has a 55 ha area, respectively. At Eperjeske the main fruit crop is apple and sour cherry (25 ha) but cultivated both in integrated and organic production ways. In addition, a 30 ha forest is also available for research purposes.
- Érd-Elvira Exptl. Stn. of Research Institute for Fruitgrowing and Ornamentals (Dr. Elizabeth Voigt)
This site has a total area of 600 ha, it is not far from the settlements Tárnok and Érd (Pest county) (pls refer to photo). A 30% portion of the surface is orchards (cherry, sour cherry, apricots, apple, peaches), the rest is field crops (mainly maize). These include the largest germ plasm (gene bank) of stone fruits in Central Europe.
The site is superb for experiments on orchard pests like the codling moth (Cydia pomonella), plum fruit moth (Grapholita funebrana), the oriental fruit moth (G. moleta) and other pest microlepidoptera.
- Department of Agricultural Zoology, University Zabreb (Dr. Bozena Baric)
The apple orchard of Obreška near Kloštar Ivanić is situated 50 kms from Zagreb. High technology which includes modern apple varieties, IPM, hail net on one third of the orchard and irrigation system are the main characteristics of this site. The size of the orchard is 250 hectares. In the neighborhood smaller private apple orchards are situated. The farmers in the neighborhood use the results of the monitoring of pests and other data from the Obreška orchard. Monitoring apple key pests in the new way will be useful for all. The experiment will be carried out on two sites in the orchard (with and without a hail net) on two pests. The trap checking will be done twice a week. Two individuals will be involved in this project, Dr. Bozena Baric, as the main researcher and Dr. Ivana Pajac Zivkovic, as a young researcher. Both of them are experienced in integrated plant protection in apple production. The young researcher, Dr. Ivana Pajac Zivkovic, did her PhD thesis in Biology, Ecology and Genetics of codling moth (Cydia pomonella L.) populations in North-West Croatia, and Dr. Bozena Baric was one of her supervisors.
Csalomone pheromone traps were used to carry out the monitoring of the key pests, such as Codling moth and Pear leaf blister moth. The number of moths cought and climate condition form the basis of insecticides application. The catches of Codling moth under a hail net were found to be in a smaller number than on the other sites. The test will be conducted on two sites in the orchard, with and without a hail net. The catch in traps will be counted twice a week. Codling moths fly from the middle of April to the end of September miners also fly for a long time. Researches from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb are involved in plant protection measures in this orchard and have a positive experience in integrated plant protection.
In addition, within the frame of the pilot studies, the probe having been successfully developed and tested in B1 and B2 will be used on farms near the experimental sites to be able to present the practical features to the growers. Data from these trials will also be used in C1.
B5.1. Full-season investigation of automatic counting pheromone traps at codling moth (C. pomonella), forecasting, plant orchard
B5.2. Full-season investigation of automatic counting pheromone traps for Plum fruit moth (G. funebrana) and for Oriental fruit moth (G. molesta), selective forecasting for the two species in home garden orchard
B5.3. T Full-season investigation of automatic counting pheromone traps for leafminers (L. blancardella and L. scitella); forecasting, plant orchard
B5.4. Full-season investigation of automatic counting pheromone traps for cotton bollworm (H. armigera), forecasting, plant orchard
Field studies will be conducted in the experimental stations during the second, third and fourth years of the project. In one experiment, min. 2 automatic counting pheromone traps will be installed during the entire growing season. For each pest emerging, we evaluate the beginning of the occurrence, distribution of pest abundances, the flight peaks and extended activities. Pest control will be managed according to the results of the automatic trapping. Parallel to the automatic monitoring, trapping will be conducted in conventional ways by manual readings twice a week to provide confirmatory data on the accuracy of the data reported automatically. During evaluation, costs of the operation of the traps compared to similar, but human-reading trap handling will be taken into account.
C1 Environmental improvement monitoring
In this action we will show that the operation of the plant protection system becomes much more economical. Furthermore, we also quantify the environmental impact savings and the reduction of pesticide use as an agricultural load.
In accordance with the LIFE + proposal’s requirements, this specific action is dedicated to the proofs and measured evidences of environmental improvements due to our innovation.
To indicate the degree of the decrease in agricultural load on the environment, we intend to introduce an environment-index that will be calculated from the exact figures of pesticide treatments.
Our task here will be the presentation of the difference in pest management occurring during the traditional spraying operation compared to the use of the new system. To do this, we will record and compare the amount of pesticides used in test sites to the ones used in orchards or arable lands situated in nearby test areas. The data will be obtained from the so- called growers’ spraying diaries, which are obligatory.
The methodology to collect baseline data on pesticide use will be based on protocols for farming scale evaluation of pesticides use proposed by several EU level documents and peer reviewed publications. Detailed experimental design will be produced at the beginning of the project and will be provided in deliverable B5 (feasibility study and experimental design). Two IPM experts, full Professors (Dr. Bozena Baric, ZAGREB University and Dr. Miklós Tóth, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, will be responsible for this work).
Furthermore, a county side survey has been conducted in Hungary (http://okir-tdr.helion.hu/) with the lead of the Department of Environmental Informatics (CAR HAS, Dr. Miklós Dombos) in which growers’ spraying diaries of 294 farms and 4530 parcels have been recorded in detail for the years 2008-2010. This database will also be used for evaluation of larger scale base lines.
Beside these examinations we will conduct case study experiments on the longterm experimental site of CAR HAS (Ben.1.), at Nagyhörcsök, where we will have the possibility to experimentally compare the pesticide loads using traditional spraying regimes with those applied according to data obtained with our new device. A detailed experimental design will also be built before starting plot experiments.
However, the decrease of the environmental load may also be due to other factors: such as decrease of the need for human labour force and consequently lower personal and travel costs. The effect of these factors will also be thoroughly investigated. Furthermore, in the long run the more efficient and convenient use of the pheromone traps may result in a more widespread and frequent IPM.
Here we present evidences from several literatures that underline our prediction, namely the reduction in the quantity of pesticides used as a result of the project. A more detailed and thorough literature research and review will be finished in the frame of the project. This work will be presented in our professional materials, as well as in professional journal. In case studies reductions by 30-40% in insecticide sprays have been reported when they were timed to pheromone trap catches. According to the literature reduction will be significant –as it is evident in IPM-, although the rate of decrease depends on many factors, we can expect a quarter to a third decrease.
C1-1 Evaluation of environmental loads at sites
Data on treatments will be collected in sites of the pilot study. The positive (environmentally friendly) impact of the use of pheromone bait traps is evidenced by many experiments and case studies. Our task here will be the presentation of the difference in pest management occurring during the traditional trap operation and during the use of the new system. To do this, we will compare the amount of pesticides used on test sites to the ones used in orchards or arable lands situated nearby test areas. The data will be obtained from the so- called growers’ spraying diaries, which are obligatory to keep for growers and farmers.
C1-2 National, regional reviews
The results obtained from our case studies will be extended to larger scales, e.g. regional or national reviews will be summarized based on different databases. In Hungary, there are three databases that can be taken into account: CSO data, the Terredegra database produced by CAR HAS, which contains full farming data nearly 2,000 farms and the Hungarian agri-environmental monitoring database.
The estimation of the environmental-friendly potential of our monitoring device is an important task, thus we plan to make evaluations using similar data from more than one country or even data from all over Europe to estimate the degree of environmental improvement.
C1-3 Measurements on cost efficiency
Since the prototype will operate automatically, manual checks will no longer be needed. The decrease in the number of traps inspection visits will result in a significant decrease of gasoline consumption. This reduction in CO2 emission and in the budget will be quantified.
Consider the following situation on a farm: Since pheromone traps can be spaced widely apart in different parts of a farm, growers will visit their pheromone traps by car to save time. This has to be done at least twice weekly, otherwise the data measured will contain too much uncertainty for reliable timing of IPM pest control. Thus, in case of a pest insect which flies from April to September (i.e. the oriental fruit moth or codling moth), there are typically 44 – 48 trap visits per season necessary.
With our automatic trap system, it will be necessary to visit traps only at the beginning and at the end of the vegetative season, which makes 2 trap visits only.
Based on this, one can calculate that the CO2 emission from the car trips (and consequently the carbon footprint) would be reduced at least by ca. 95% with our new system, compared to traditional trap maintenance.
Printed, web and audio-visual demonstration materials will be produced for plant protection and environmental experts. Bringing our materials to scientific conferences, national and international events; pest management trainings will be organized. LIFE website at the web interface will offer transfer of pest and environmental information.
D1-1 – Erecting information signs at project site
Erecting and maintaining information signs in project areas at strategic sites of the project. Signs will be located at places accessible and visible to the public. The board will inform readers about the project objectives and its main features. The LIFE logo and logos of Beneficiaries will appear on all signs. The information signs will inform the general public of the nature of the project and will fulfill the requirements of the Common Provisions concerning the publicity of Community support.
In total, 9 information signs (info boards) will be erected on the project sites.
Preparation of the boards will start in July 2014 and all boards will be erected by September 2014.
D1-2 – Design and operation of project website
A project website will be designed, set up and maintained in English, Hungarian and Croatian. The website will be the main source of information of the project, and it will include a project overview, aims and objectives, the locations of activities, the layman’s report, a news section, PDF versions of project publications and reports, general information on plant protection related to monitoring and links to relevant websites. The website will promote awareness of the objectives and activities of the project, disseminate project results as work progresses. It will also facilitate information exchange and provide an opportunity to make contact with groups working on similar projects. The production of a website will fulfill the requirements of the Common Provisions.
Preparation of website will start in June 2014 and it will be updated regularly during the entire project. By July 2014, the basic frame of the website will be online. Full project website will be finished by September 2014. After the project is over, the website will be maintained according the After LIFE Communication Plan.
Monitoring of project dissemination: the communication officer is responsible to gather all media appearances and place them on the website. That will ensure that project dissemination will be followed closely. Monitoring of project dissemination will be included in this action.
Target groups: basically all stakeholders that are affected by the project (farmers, ministries, NGOs, universities, etc.)
D1-3 – Producing layman’s report and project leaflets
A layman’s report (8-12 pages) will be prepared about the objectives, activities and achievements of the project. It will be presented in English, Hungarian and Croatian, both on paper and in an electronic format. It will be distributed at meetings and will be available in PDF format on the project website.
Leaflets will be designed and produced to disseminate information about the project. It will be an A4 format description of the project.
In total 500 copies of the layman’s report will be printed and distributed at various events (conferences, workshops, forums, etc.).
There will be 500 leaflets printed.
Preparation of the layman’s report will start in September 2017 and it will be completed in a month.
Target groups: all stakeholders that are affected by the project (farmers, ministries, NGOs, universities, etc.).
D1-4 – Dissemination of results in the scientific community
Project objectives and results will be published in international, scientific journals. Targeted scientific journals are the peer reviewed ecological, agro-ecological and agricultural journals. In addition, project results will be communicated at conferences, workshops and similar public events.
Dissemination of results in the scientific community will start by writing articles for various papers, conferences, workshops. In April 2015 the earliest, the first articles will be submitted to selected journals.
Target groups: experts, scientific community
Responsible beneficiary for the action: RISSAC
D1-5 The introduction of the device on post-graduate courses on pesticides organized by Hungarian Plant Protection Society (HPPS)
The Hungarian Plant Protection Society (HPPS) organizes the Hungarian Plant Protection Science Days, and the Plant Protection Club’s monthly meetings. HPPS engages and partner with agricultural stakeholders through annual workshops to inform on crop pest losses, control costs, and pesticide use. The workshops encourage and reward input, foster collaborative relationships, and provide high quality contemporaneous data on pest management practices and their economic impacts. At the workshops, participants complete a guided survey. In addition to quantitative data, stakeholders identify the specific intent of pesticide inputs, so the resulting data provide unique insights into the decision-making experience of each pest manager. Dialogs with stakeholders help us identify emerging pest issues and changing needs of grower.
The Hungarian Plant Protection Society (HPPS) will be asked in the frame of external assistance to facilitate stakeholders to join the project. HPPS will organize workshops and professional courses about the use and benefits of the prototype in action D1.
The following meetings are organized by the HPPS in each year:
Plant Protection Days: hold in Budapest, two full days. This year it will be happened on February 18-19. Usual number of participants 300-350; Sections: Plant Protection entomology, Plant Pathology, Weed Science. Language Hungarian, presentation abstracts published electronically.
Integrated Production in Horticultural and Field Crops: Budapest, one full day, In 2013 it was on November 27. Usual number of participants 250-300. Scope: Plant Protection Science in general. Presentations focus on actual important plant protection problems in Hungary at the time. Language Hungarian, presentations are published in a Hungarian Journal: Integrált Termesztés Kertészeti és Szántőföldi Kultúrákban (one issue yearly)
Monthly Society Meetings: Budapest, usual number of participants 30-50, one or two invited speakers, on current problems at the time in Hungary.
On the one hand we will join these ordinary meetings of the HPPS in that we will present our project results and related issue. On the other hand we will organize 4 separate workshops, which will exclusively deal with the project results.
The thematic aims, technical presentations and professional materials will be prepared before the meetings in the frame of D1 tasks
D1-6 – After LIFE Communication Plan
By the end of the project an After LIFE Communication Plan will be prepared. The Plan will describe the communication of the project after LIFE support has finished and it will present the results achieved by the project. The Plan will be downloadable from the project website.
Target groups: LIFE, beneficiaries, all stakeholders
Expected results: A detailed After LIFE Communication Plan
Possible constraints and assumptions: Main constraints to this action may be the accessibility of public media. Sometimes it is difficult to access media with a message related to science and new tools. In order to avoid such difficulties, we focus only on special media interested in projects in the field of environment-protection.