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Tool that predicts the appearance of weeds

Argentina Spanish

Wild plants grow in all agricultural fields that reduce crop yields by competing with them for water, light and nutrients. To control them, the most frequent management among producers is based on the use of herbicides. These agrochemicals are most effective when applied at the time weeds barely emerge. Within this framework, researchers from the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA (FAUBA) developed a tool that predicts, 7 days in advance, when weeds are most likely to emerge. So, by increasing the effectiveness of agrochemicals, fewer applications would be required.

The web tool forecasts the emergence of the yuyo colorado, which is key to making decisions about the management of agrochemicals to deal with it. "This web tool evaluates the emergency risk for each of the seven days after the consultation. Two groups of variables are required: environmental variables - such as soil temperature and humidity - that are automatically loaded, and those that must be enter the producer in consideration of agricultural management, such as what the ancestor crop was, what yield it obtained, what type of soil tillage it uses and in what location it is located," explains Diego Ferraro, teacher of the FAUBA Cerealiculture chair.

The researcher highlighted that, as a first stage, the model was designed to predict the emergency risk of a particular weed, the Yuyo Colorado. In the future, thanks to the structure that was used in its programming, the model can be calibrated to work with many other weeds and in any region where extensive grain crops are produced. The tool is free, and it can be accessed through the web. To use the model, only a cell phone, a tablet or a personal computer with an internet connection is required. "We are excited to bring the research of the public University to the producers."