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Finished projects

Improvement of vineyard application techniques

Since 2002, UMA has been part of a research group with the Department of Agroforestry Engineering (EAGROF) of the University of Lleida, the Department of Rural and Agri-food Engineering (DIRAC) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia de València, the Center for Agricultural Mechanization of the Generalitat of Catalonia (CMA) and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA). This multidisciplinary group has worked on the improvement of phytosanitary applications in tree crops, being the specialty of the UMA the vineyards.

Among the most interesting results of these projects are the design and development of a variable application of phytosanitary applications for vineyards and the development of DOSAVIÑA, software for the determination of the optimum volume of phytosanitary applications in vineyards.

The research activity is specified in several projects within the framework of R+D of the Ministry of Economy (MINECO):

  • AgVANCE (2015-2017). The project consisted of the design and evaluation of photon-based tools for agronomic management and the use of sustainable phytosanitary products in tree crops in the framework of precision agriculture. This included the development of a methodology for the quantification of the potential drift in air-blast sprayers, field tests for the quantification of the drift and the determination of the relationship between the characteristics of the vegetation and the volume recommendations in vineyards.
  • SAFESPRAY (2011-2014). Integral strategies were studied for a safe pesticides use by means of accuracy spraying and drift monitoring in viticulture. Methods and technologies were investigated to guarantee a pesticide application that respects human health and the environment, in order to ensure the production of quality food.
  • OPTIDOSA (2007-2010). Project to reduce the use of phytosanitary products and optimize the dosage in treatments on vineyards. The objectives were to adjust the application volume in tree crops by obtaining dose expression models and decision-making tools that explain them. We also worked on the pollution limitation caused by treatments, with special attention to water pollution due to spray drift.
  • PULVEXACT (2002-2005). Implementation of a decision system to adjust the dose of the phytosanitary product in vineyard crops based on the characteristics of the vegetation. In this project, systems to parameterize the vegetation were studied, different application volumes of plant protection products were tested and prototypes were designed for the execution of better precise applications. 

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Evaluation of a new spray treatment control system

Pulverizadores Fede has developed the H3O project within the framework of the SME Instrument. The H3O project is being developed in collaboration with the UMA, for the evaluation of this technology in fruit and vineyards, and the IVIA or citrus research. This project developed an intelligent electronic control system for sprayers to improve the efficiency of the treatments, by reducing pesticides and fuel costs, and for the correct performance of them, having a positive impact on the environment.

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Evaluation of pesticide application techniques with bomm sprayer in horticulture

With the participation of the ADV-Huerta del Baix Llobregat and the collaboration of Lechler, it is analyzing the practices of application of phytosanitary products with boom sprayers in horticulture. For this reason, different types of nozzles (fan, cone, low drift ...) are being compared in different application volumes, using as a reference the one made by farmers in the area.

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Study of the drift and characterization of vegetation in olive grove

UMA has participated in the national project MECAOLIVAR, led by the Center for Mechanization, Rural Technology and  Olive (CEMTRO) of the University of Córdoba, to develop prototypes that improve the technification and economic profitability of the olive tree crops. Specifically, the UMA has worked on the evaluation of the spray drift caused by the sprayers. To this end, it has carried out drift quantification tests using the ISO 22866. LIDAR technology has also been used for the characterization of the different types of the vegetation.

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Application of phytosanitary products in greenhouses

A research project has been carried out to improve the plant product applications in horticultural crops in greenhouses. The main objective was to improve the efficiency of the treatment adapting the spraying to the vegetation through the air  assistance with a trolley and the development of a method to characterize the vegetation. Subsequently, simulations were carried out, using computational fluid dynamics, to characterize the air currents.

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Efficiency tests in fixed spray systems in fruit trees

Syngenta has carried out, by means of the UMA, trials to evaluate the efficiency in applications of pesticides in fruit trees with fixed systems using sprinklers. The objective of these tests is to study deposition and covering of the product when this technique is used in different stages of vegetation, comparing this system against traditional methods for treatments, such as orchard sparyers.

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Analysis of droplet size and study of potential drift

In collaboration with the Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentario of the University of Torino, an analysis was made of the droplet size in different air outlets used in air assisted sprayers. Work has also been carried out on the development of a methodology for estimating the potential drift in orchard and boom sprayers, with the help of Hardi and Pulverizadores Fede

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Improvement of organic fertilizer application techniques

The management and correct application of animal waste has been another of the group's activity lines. Agreements with GESFER, the Consortium for Management of Agricultural Fertilization of Catalonia, have led the applications development such as APLIPUR or APLIFEM, tools to help regulate slurry tanks and trailers for distributing manure, respectively.