The System

The heart of the system is represented by the DSS.


Logo Orzobirra.jpg      The DSS are computer systems that collect, organize, interpret and automatically integrate information from real-time monitoring of ''culture environment" (through sensors or monitoring activities). The DSS analyze this data by means of advanced modeling techniques and, on the basis of the models' outputs, generating a series of alarms, and supports the decisions.


Purpose: are designed as "tools" that can provide assistance and additional information to complement and not to replace the one who makes the decisions about crop management. These services allow a better use of resources, whether natural or technical inputs, and allow to implement a production process complies with the principles of integrated production (including the integrated defense under Directive 2009/128/EC) and to trace the logic of decisions at the base of each operation performed in the course of the season.


Holistic vision: provide information on the key aspects of crop management, such as nutrition, fungal diseases and weeds, plant development and forecast production, the heat and water stress.


Specific: media and alarms provided by the DSS are related to a production unit (UP), i.e. in one or more parcels uniform, or seeded with the same varieties, with similar ground conditions, the same preceding crop enabling a uniform management in the course of the season.


Interactivity: each UP is characterized by the user via site-specific information both static (that do not change over the course of the season and are entered into the system by the user only once) and dynamic (changing during the season).


Updated in real time: receive real-time data collected in the cultivation and use them as input variables for the forecast models operating in the system, whose outputs are updated hourly.


Accessibility: the services are provided via the Internet through any browser, available 7 days 7, 24, 24 hours, and do not require the installation of specific programs. The services are available on the Horta website following an authentication process that requires a user name and a password.


User interface: navigation within the services, intuitive and dynamic, allows you to choose the level of detail with which to explore the information provided. This information is displayed in a graphical format that can communicate in an immediate, effective and unique status of each component of crop management.


Update: as soon as there are new results from research, the capabilities of DSS are updated without any user intervention.


Co-development: the services have been developed in close connection with the expert advisory groups, including representatives of producers, and with panels of users to respond appropriately to their needs.


Meteorological data validated: they use data from the network of agro-meteorological HORTA Srl which are recorded and transmitted in real time via GPRS and subjected to a system of quality control before reaching the DSS. In this way they are always validated and complete.


Mathematical models operating in the DSS have been developed in the context of different national and international research projects at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Piacenza.