Decision support systems halve fungicide use compared to calendar-based strategies without increasing disease risk
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Cita bibliográficaLázaro, E., Makowski, D. & Vicent, A. (2021). Decision support systems halve fungicide use compared to calendar-based strategies without increasing disease risk. Commun Earth Environ 2, 224.
The European Green Deal aims to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by half by 2030. Decision support systems are tools to help farmers schedule fungicide spraying based on disease risk and can reduce fungicide application frequency and overall use. However, the potential benefit of decision support systems compared to traditional calendar-based strategies has not yet been rigorously quantified. Here we synthesise 80 experiments and show that globally decision support systems can reduce fungicide treatments by at least 50% without compromising disease control. For a given fixed number of fungicide sprays, decision support systems were as effective as calendar-based programs in reducing disease incidence. When the number of sprays was halved, the increase in disease incidence was lower for decision support system-based strategies than calendar-based strategies. Our findings suggest that decision support systems can reduce fungicide use while limiting the risk to plant health and resistance development.