Precision horticulture: application on apple orchards

Manfrini, Luigi (2009) Precision horticulture: application on apple orchards, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Colture arboree ed agrosistemi forestali ornamentali e paesaggistici, 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1627.
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Precision horticulture and spatial analysis applied to orchards are a growing and evolving part of precision agriculture technology. The aim of this discipline is to reduce production costs by monitoring and analysing orchard-derived information to improve crop performance in an environmentally sound manner. Georeferencing and geostatistical analysis coupled to point-specific data mining allow to devise and implement management decisions tailored within the single orchard. Potential applications range from the opportunity to verify in real time along the season the effectiveness of cultural practices to achieve the production targets in terms of fruit size, number, yield and, in a near future, fruit quality traits. These data will impact not only the pre-harvest but their effect will extend to the post-harvest sector of the fruit chain. Chapter 1 provides an updated overview on precision horticulture , while in Chapter 2 a preliminary spatial statistic analysis of the variability in apple orchards is provided before and after manual thinning; an interpretation of this variability and how it can be managed to maximize orchard performance is offered. Then in Chapter 3 a stratification of spatial data into management classes to interpret and manage spatial variation on the orchard is undertaken. An inverse model approach is also applied to verify whether the crop production explains environmental variation. In Chapter 4 an integration of the techniques adopted before is presented. A new key for reading the information gathered within the field is offered. The overall goal of this Dissertation was to probe into the feasibility, the desirability and the effectiveness of a precision approach to fruit growing, following the lines of other areas of agriculture that already adopt this management tool. As existing applications of precision horticulture already had shown, crop specificity is an important factor to be accounted for. This work focused on apple because of its importance in the area where the work was carried out, and worldwide.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Manfrini, Luigi
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Precision Horticulture, Spatial Analysis, Apple, Quality and Yiled Mapping, Variability Mapping
Data di discussione
30 Aprile 2009

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