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Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen


Institute for Strategies and Technology Assessment

Inhalt: Spatial Methods, Modeling and Forecasting

In which regions of Germany is the application of plant protection products associated with higher risks for the environment? When and where is the infestation pressure by important pests particularly high? What habitat requirements do agricultural birds have and how are these compatible with current management?

We answer these questions at our institute using spatial methods for site characterization, risk analysis of chemical pest management and development of forecasting models and decision support tools.

Characterize sites: Using data to model structural properties

Spatial analyses allow us to characterize and quantify properties of the cultivated landscape. To do this, we apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing systems, among others, to delineate and target structural areas in the landscape.

Assessing environmental risks from pesticide use

A key element for exposure assessment and risk analysis of chemical pesticides /plant protection applied by our institute is the regionalized small structures inventory.

The small structures inventory maps landscape elements such as hedges or field margins in the agricultural landscape and is based on the institute's own database. It is an important basis for landscape-dependent risk management in crop protection. Farmers, politicians and interested users can research this information as digital maps in the JKI Geoportal or use it as special GIS applications.

Crop cultivation is exposed to various environmental conditions. In order to avoid harvest losses or yield losses, the application of plant protection products may be necessary, for example, in the case of high pest incidence or pest pressure. However, this also involves environmental risks, which depend on different soil and terrain properties and also extreme weather events.

The "Model for Synoptic Evaluation of the Risk Potential of Chemical Plant Protection Products" (SYNOPS) developed at the Institute, estimates such environmental risks. Within the framework of the National Action Plan for Plant Protection, it is used to monitor the potential environmental risk posed by pesticides to the natural environment in Germany.

Development of forecasting models and decision support tools

Digital "tools" can also support to achive the goals of sustainable agriculture.

At our institute, we are working on forecasting models that use mathematical and statistical modeling methods to predict the occurrence of pests or diseases in a timely manner. In this way, the optimal exact time for the application of a pesticide can be determined. Compared to conventional routine applications, these forecasting technologies help to reduce the number of applications and therefore quantities of pesticides applied, while avoiding crop losses.