DFG Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg) 722

Use of Information Technologies for Precision Crop Protection

at the University of Bonn, Faculty of Agriculture

first period: October 2001 September 2004
transition period: October 2004 - September 2006

coordination: PD Dr. Erich-Christian Oerke

A Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg GK) is a research and training programme of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG). It focuses on post-graduate teachning level and research at the PhD level.

In the GK, scientist from the University of Bonn from the institutes for plant diseases and protection, crop science and weed control, horticulture, geo-informatics, agricultural engineering and remote sensing work together in close cooperation. The objective is a precise control of weeds, pests, and plant diseases. In this way, the use of chemical pesticides on agricultural and horticultural fields shall be reduced. The research of the GK focuses on:

  • the development and the use of optical sensors, thermal sensors and digital cameras for the fast and early identification and localisation of weed patches, plant diseases in agricultural and horticultural fields in the far and near range
  • the use of geo-information-systems and expert systems for a site-specific planning, analysis and documentation of plant protection applications
  • the targeted application of plant protection compounds using GIS and GPS-controlled innovative sprayers and harrows
  • the evaluation of precision plant protection methods on the economic benefits, environmental effects and the quality of the food produced

In an accompanying study programme, students within GrK acquire a broad knowledge about precise methods of plant protection and pest control, and they learn to handle modern state-of-the-art IT techniques. In this way graduates from the GRK should be able to promote a new field on the labour market, which will become increasingly important in the future.