Minimization of Fungicidal Applications Against Potato Late Blight in the North Caucasian Region: Use of the “Agrodozor” System
Late blight is considered to be the most devastating potato disease, which control requires application of fungicides able to significantly contaminate the environment and accumulate in agricultural products. Pesticide load on potato fields can be reduced via optimization of the scheme of protective treatments. Such optimization can be performed using a mathematical simulator describing the dependence of late blight-caused yield losses on the weather data and an “Agrodozor” decision support system (DSS). The performed analysis of a situation in the regions of the North Caucasus allowed us to determine three zones differing in the disease harmfulness and characterized by potential yield losses at the level of <10, 10-20, and >20 % and the probability of disease appearance in field during 30, 77, and 90 % of seasons, respectively. Using the “Agrodozor” DSS, we calculated the optimum dates of fungicidal treatments for these zones and showed that, comparing to the commonly used routine scheme of treatments, the use of this DSS provides a significant reduction of the number of such treatments and, therefore, the corresponding costs for their arrangement, as well as reduction of the total toxicity index of the required protective measures.
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