INTELLI-FRUIT - Intelligent Fruit Cultivation

You are here

Context and objectives

In recent years, different applications of precision agriculture have been developed and implemented for specific crops such as potato. However, in horticulture and for fruit tree crops in particular, precision agriculture is lagging behind. This is mainly due to the three-dimensional nature of tree crops. Furthermore, it is unclear to which extent precision horticulture can increase the rentability of the fruit growing company and until now, the complex data sets returned by (remote) sensing techniques cannot easily be interpreted by the fruit grower. Therefore, this project aims to bring precision horticulture closer to practise by evaluating its applicability and added value for the fruit grower. Different precision techniques will be tested and improved in practise and the results will be demonstrated and disseminated to the end-user via various communication channels. Finally, a dashboard will be developed which can be used by the fruit grower to visualize data from the field, allowing him to apply precision horticulture.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

  • At least two algorithms to transform raw remote sensing data into interpretable information
  • At least one peer reviewed article in a scientific journal
  • At least two presentations and proceedings at scientific symposia
  • Communication to the fruit growing sector: 6 demonstration events, 6 thematic events, 6 articles in professional journals

Societal (including environmental) relevance

Precision agriculture means taking the right measures at the right time, in the right place. Hence, the farmer intends to minimize resource input while maximizing product quantity and quality. The project aims to bring precision horticulture to practise by development, demonstration and dissemination activities. As such, various resources such as fertilizers, water for irrigation, plant growth regulators and pesticides will be used more efficiently. This will lead to a more sustainable fruit cultivation and a lower environmental impact.

Expected products and services

A user-friendly dashboard will be developed that can be used by the farmer to visualize field information, generated by (remote) sensing techniques. The data will be represented in a comprehensive way, for instance using color codes from green meaning no actions should be taken, to red meaning immediate management actions are required. The user will be able to compare different maps such as UAV images from different dates, satellite images and soil maps. Interpretation of these maps will allow to take deliberate management decisions. The dashboard will be integrated in the EVA-app, developed by pcfruit for administrative purposes, and connected to the mapEO-app, developed by VITO for the visualization of UAV-data.

Potential users

  • Fruit growers, Fruit tree nurseries, Advisors in fruit cultivation / agriculture
  • Drone pilots, Providers of precision agriculture applications