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FP7 Marie Curie IAPP - Colbics - Project

FP7 Marie Curie IAPP - Colbics Project

Decision-support tools for the monitoring of arthropod pests and integration of biological control products : A case-study in Chile

Decisions-support tools for the monitoring of arthropod pests in Chile

Implementation of Integrated Pest Management strategies and increased use of biological control make decisions more and more complex for growers and farm advisors. Telematics tools are useful to facilitate multi-criteria decision processes. Although generic tools exist, research and development are often needed to setup tools taking into account the target crops, the considered crop protection issues and the socio-economic context. Anasac-Chile, the most important biological control agent manufacturers in Chile, offers a monitoring service of crop sanitary state, focusing on insect pests. This service is the corner stone of biological control agent commercialisation activity of the company. Nonetheless, this service had an economic cost limiting its expansion and needed optimisation in terms of cost-efficiency and accuracy of its decion rules.

In the context of COLBICS the mixed Anasac Chile-INRA-PUC R&D team evaluated the monitoring system from field work to decision rules and interactions with growers. 2 R&D activities were carried out :

  • Field experiments to optimize data collection protocols and develop tools responding to the needs of field work
  • Development of database management methods to provide diagnosis and advice to growers and farm advisors

As results, the team developed specific programs to efficiently and reliably collect arthropod pest density data, feed a database, generate reports and propose biocontrol-based management decisions to the growers.The final result is a gain of economic efficiency of the service by nearly 30% with higher capacity to make an ex-post evaluation of the efficiencies of the decision-rules.