Feeding more people with less water is putting efficient irrigation practices worldwide high on the agendas. As a reaction, over the last decades, numerous irrigation decision-support tools have been developed. For several reasons, the gap between farmer and modeler remained in most cases too large. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to alleviate the encountered adoption limitations with AquaCrop and its stand-alone AquaCrop plug-in. This simple and robust field-crop-water balance has been successfully tested for a wide range of crops and regions, and its database is still expanding through worldwide contributions. The present chapter describes how AquaCrop can help irrigation advisory services draft efficient irrigation calendars that are easily applicable and adoptable: either by the elaboration of site-specific irrigation schedule calendars in chart format when the user has no access to the needed data or by the integration of its plug-in in a server/client ICT application offering centralized data management. As for the irrigation charts, studies prove 10-30% water savings, while maintaining yield and requiring minimum data. The server/client application offers an all-in advice tool, including real-time irrigation advice and yield forecasts. No adoption assessments have yet been carried out, but several ongoing pilot studies are promising.
Part of the book: Current Perspective on Irrigation and Drainage
The first step in the formulation of disease management strategy for any cropping system is to identify the most important risk factors. This is facilitated by basic epidemiological studies of pathogen life cycles, and an understanding of the way in which weather and cropping factors affect the quantity of initial inoculum and the rate at which the epidemic develops. Weather conditions are important factors in the development of fungal diseases in winter wheat, and constitute the main inputs of the decision support systems used to forecast disease and thus determine the timing for efficacious fungicide application. Crop protection often relies on preventive fungicide applications. Considering the slim cost−revenue ratio for winter wheat and the negative environmental impacts of fungicide overuse, necessity for applying only sprays that are critical for disease control becomes paramount for a sustainable and environmentally friendly crop production. Thus, fungicides should only be applied at critical stages for disease development, and only after the pathogen has been correctly identified. This chapter provides an overview of different weather-based disease models developed for assessing the real-time risk of epidemic development of the major fungal diseases (Septoria leaf blotch, leaf rusts and Fusarium head blight) of winter wheat in Luxembourg.
Part of the book: Advances in Plant Pathology