In an interdisciplinary approach the Research Training Group investigates methods and technologies for a site-specific and efficient control of weeds, pathogens, and nematodes in agricultural crops. By utilizing and developing innovative sensor techniques, geoinformation systems, data processing and control techniques, pest control measures are applied only if, when and where economically needed.

The spatial and temporal heterogeneity of incidence and distribution of pests in the field is assessed using remote sensing techniques and global positioning systems. For on-line and off-line applications these data are analysed in decision support systems considering a spatial component. Spatially and temporally precise pest control is achieved by using sensor-guided equipment. The short-term effects, i.e. the efficacy of control of weeds and diseases, and long-term effects of site-specific control strategies on incidence and distribution of pests in the field are monitored by using technical sensors again. Thus, a new quality in crop protection will be demonstrated by documenting all steps of these pest management systems.

This enables farmers to develop new production standards and to evaluate and to demonstrate the ecologic benefits of his crop protection strategy. The generation and management of information on the incidence of pests with high spatial resolution and the conversion into precise control systems will enable a targeted and resource-preserving integrated pest management system under high productivity conditions, which is economically successful, environmentally sound and socially acceptable.

The accompanying study programme provides all members of the Research Training Group from different disciplines with an overview on the basics and the current state of knowledge in research on Precision Farming. Lectures given by national and international researchers, laboratory training courses, internships in laboratories abroad, and attending international meetings will contribute to a rapid integration of the Ph.D. students into the international research community on Precision Farming.

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