Database of relevant RDP project examples

Project title: Applied research - commercial association "Farm Potato" and Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institut
MEASURE: 1.7.1
Measure name: cooperation for development of new products, processes and techonolgies in the agriculture, food and forestry sector
Theme: cooperation based on science
Start year: 2011
Name of the beneficiary: Commercial association Talukartul
Backround of the project: It is a 3-year cooperation project between CA Talukartul and Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute (PBI). The project is leaded by Jõgeva PBI at the head of Mati Koppel. The exact name of the applied research is "Protection of place-specific potato blight and implementation of monitory-system of moistening need to raise the quality of potato and optimizing cost price".

The idea of the project arose about ten years ago from a cooperation project between Estonia and Denmark in which the received information from automatic observatories and adequate programs were used in Jõgeva to predict the times of potato blight protection. Estonian/Denmark project gave information only about Jõgeva but there is no knowledge about implementing this system in wider context.
Objectives of the project: Project had two bigger aims:
1) protection of potato blight;
2) researching the need for moistening in potato cultivation.
Main activities: The project helped to establish a observation network that consists of 13 i-Metos automatic observatory over Estonia; in three enterprises there are two observatories. The observatories are located the way it would be possible to research the needs of potato blight protection that result from climate on three different levels: whole Estonia, county and inside the enterprise. The participants of the projects are the members of CA Talukartul. The data from observatories is directly saved into Austria server and is thereby available in the Internet for all project participants. Farmer can see the data on web-page which is available when logging in using user-name and password. Farmer can order a location-based forecast from that web-page also.

The i-Metos automatic observatories that are used in the project can measure atmospheric humidity and -temperature, precipitation, aeolian speed, solar radiation, frost and soil humidity with inner ground sensor. The observatories are working with solar batteries and data is sent directly to server in Austria by GPRS modem. The observatories can be programmed to measure the data and send them to users with necessary frequency. The data are measured once in every half of hour and the received data is loaded in Internet three times per day which means that farmer can check for the new information daily in every morning, midday and evening-

Necessary guides, web-page content and usable programmes of the program are translated into Estonian. They have licences for different programmes of potato blight protection and local forecast. I-Metos observations that are used in project are related with many calculating models of potato blight protection need. The data is presented on quite complex tables and graphs in all models so it is hard to understand and use for beginner-regular customers. In addition the data of models needs to be associated with potato varieties and fungicides in Estonia. Acknowledge of Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute(PBI) are needed on both of the occasions which are disseminated between the stakeholders of the project. In the first phase of the project Jõgeva PBI shares some advice about participants' fields on the basis of the models - when and with which preparation farmer needs to spatter the fields to protect it against potato blight and the farmer can mark the spraying date.

Automatic observatories measures precipitation and soil humidity, adequate models calculates the amount of evolving humidity of the soil during the evaporation. All together they discover the amount of humidity for normal growth and insufficient development of the plant. In accordance with the data from end of July, 2011 the driest place among the participant areas was Jõgeva where the need of humidity of the plants was 100 mm.
Output and results indicators: Yet, the project started in April 2011, there are still difficulties with presenting the results. The first results are creating guides, programmes and web-page in Estonian and establishing an observation network consisting of 13 observatories. The usage of programmes have showed very big differences about the need of potato blight protection in different areas of Estonia. 2-4 spatters have made on different fields since the end of July, at that different fields needed different fungicides.

The result of the project it is now possible to do regular monitoring of soil humidity. For example the numbers varied double in June 2011 according to the places the automatic observatory is located: Jõgeva 67 mm, Kohila 137 mm (Ingliste 124 mm). The humidity of soil is measured with a sensor that is located 20 cm under the ground.
Experiences/lessons learned: The observatories share good information but are too difficult to use for custom agricultural entrepreneur and need lots of work. Using the programmes that work on the basis of observations and their information is quite common in foreign countries but not in Estonia. Whereas every country has its own features so the programs and models of other countries can't be directly transmitted to Estonian systems. They need some improvements and adoptions in accordance to local circumstances.

The farm of Kalle Hamburg is also participating in this project and his fields have two observatories: "When the project helps to cancel at least one spatter-process then it has proved itself."

They are planning to do a follow-up project for that project.
Contact person : Mati Koppel
County: Järva county
Project inserted into database: 2011-08-11

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