New Remote Sensing Technologies for Optimizing Herbicide Applications in Weed-Crop Systems (TOAS Project)
The main scientific and technological objective of this project is to generate georeferenced weed infestation maps by using remote images collected by the new remote sensing platforms known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The maps will be generated just in the time recommended for herbicide applications, which usually corresponds to the early-season of the crop development. At this stage, remote images from conventional aerial or satellite platforms are limited by their insufficient spatial resolution for discriminating between seedlings of crop and weeds and by the similar spectra and appearance of both types of plants. The ultimate socio-economic (and environmental) objective of this project is to optimize (thus, drastically reduce) the use and doses of herbicides through site-specific weed management (SSWM) techniques by applying them only to weed infested areas in fields of proposed annual and permanent woody crops. These techniques are in line with the European policy for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, which promotes reductions in herbicide applications and the utilisation of adequate doses according to the weed infestation.