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Pesticide treatments, innovation is online

The INNOSETA project is the first European platform dedicated to crop protection. The aim of the project is to build a large network to facilitate the adoption of innovative and effective practices in the field of pesticide treatments

by Giovanni M. Losavio
July - August - September 2020 | Back

Pesticide treatments and crop protection are one of the most sensitive areas of agricultural practice. And they are so not only from the economic point of view, i.e. in terms of an optimal use of resources, but - also and above all - from the environmental and health point of view. Unlike other types of processing, the actions aimed at protecting crops from weeds and parasites involve the use of chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health, polluting the environment, harmful to the balance of ecosystems.

This is why, compared to other primary sectors, the research and innovation in this sector have an even more strategic role to play in the development of low-impact technologies. Technologies, that is, studied to reduce more and more the quantities of product used on plants and, therefore, released in the soil and in the air. A fundamental contribution in this direction comes from the European project INNOSETA (where SETA stands for Spraying Equipment, Training and Advising). Coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, this project involves 15 partners from 7 countries, including Italy, represented by the Crop Protection Technology (CPT) sector of the Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA) of the University of Turin.

Promoted at Horizon 2020, INNOSETA is the framework programme for Research and Innovation (2014 - 2020) created by the European Commission, the first European network dedicated to machines and technologies for pesticide treatments. The goal, explain the organizers of the initiative, is to encourage the adoption of the most advanced technologies and the most efficient techniques for crop protection.

The network is structured as a platform, a meeting space for farmers, industries, technical consultants, researchers and students, where today more than 800 products are already hosted with plenty of technical information available in eight languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Dutch and Swedish). The platform is organized into four technical sections, each of which is focused on a particular thematic “channel”.

The section entitled “industrial products” houses driver assistance systems, boom height control systems, sensors for identifying the canopy or weeds, and the latest models of nozzles or individual protection systems. In particular, you can find information about the construction features and technical details relating to more than 250 models. The area dedicated to training material contains more than 300 files including documents, videos, online courses and other insights on plant protection treatments in Europe. Meanwhile, the “projects” category is a database with about 60 projects (national and international) that offers an overview of the issues addressed by international research groups. The fourth and final section of the platform - entitled “articles” - is dedicated to scientific publications, with more than 140 presentations on the topics of sprayers, crop protection and innovation in the pesticide treatment sector. Obviously, INNOSETA is available in Italian, and it offers anyone who registers the option to add educational or informative material, author publications, as well as presenting one or more innovative industrial products.

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