Design of a decision support method to determine volume rate for vineyard spraying
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Dose determination in crops such as grapevine, which develops a large canopy within a relatively short period of time, becomes a key factor on the final success of plant protection product (PPP) application. Efficacy of PPP applications depends on many factors. Based on multiple data obtained over several years in real working conditions using different types of sprayers in vineyards, and by adding a complete data base about crop characteristics (structure, crop stage, leaf area, LAI, etc.), the objective of this work has been to develop an easy and useful tool, DOSAVIÑA, able to determine the optimal volume rate in spray applications in vineyards. DOSAVIÑA, based on a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel ), allows quantifying all the parameters involved in the application process (sprayer type, crop characteristics, working conditions, weather, etc.), and to determine the efficiency of the application. By selecting and choosing the different options for each parameter (crop, pesticide, working conditions, weather conditions, sprayer, and droplet characteristics) the program calculates the theoretical volume rate (L ha‐1) based on two different methods, the Optimal Coverage Method and the Tree‐Row‐Volume method. Results obtained with DOSAVIÑA allow reducing the recommended volume rate in comparison with traditional application rate selection managed for farmers. In order to make a complete and useful tool, the program includes the possibility to calculate the final working parameters (pressure, nozzle type, and size) according to the recommendations on volume rate (L ha‐1) obtained.