New integrated strategies to reduce the use and impact of pesticides on grapevines and olive trees

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The Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA), and the Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) of the UPC are participating in the European project NOVATERRA, to develop new strategies to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of the pesticides that are most damaging to the environment and to consumers’ health, and to avoid their most negative effects. The new strategies will be used for integrated management of pests, diseases and weeds in grape and olive crops of the Mediterranean.

NOVATERRA will develop a series of innovative, integrated, sustainable strategies that are feasible technologically and economically, from three perspectives. The first is the use of alternative, natural protection products, such as biopesticides, biocontrol agents and adjuvants, and innovative formulations. Second, a smart agricultural platform will be developed to apply the products more precisely (smart farming). Finally, new soil management will be tested using strategies of functional biodiversity and robotics to manage weeds for better crops health with less chemical products.



On completion of the project, the most efficient integrated pest management (IPM) strategies will be selected and implemented, to measure the impact of the use and protection of crops on human health, air, soil, biodiversity and energy; in a decision support system (DSS) that will be developed as a web application.

NOVATERRA has received funding of 4.9 million euros from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union. It will last four years (October 2020 to September 2024). The project is coordinated by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA). Seventeen other participants are involved in addition to UMA of the UPC: 3 from Spain, 3 from France, 3 from Italy, 1 from Belgium, 3 from Greece and 4 from Portugal.

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