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Disease Models

Fighting pests and diseases according to IPM guidelines cannot be done without using computer-based models. Agro-chemicals should be applied with the utmost care, only when really needed, to protect users and the environment alike. Thus a state-of-the-art disease model is the perfect add-on to an in-situ weather station.

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Click to see the free ADCON Webinar on Youtube:
Plant Protection with Smart Agriculture Meteorology

Pests and diseases are ubiquitous these days, there is no way around them. Therefore the challenge lies in the answer to the one and only question: when to apply a protective spray? Or a curative one, should protection have failed?

There are two ways to determine that:

  1. You can take a time-based approach and an event-based approach. If you rely on time you wait until a specific event occurs – crop reaching a certain development stage, weather hitting certain temperatures, insects starting to fly, etc. – and then apply your first spray. After that the treatments are renewed every so many days, according to the guide book of the chemical. While this approach might deliver good protection your are almost certain to overspray a lot, thus wasting lots of money and polluting the environment. This is not a very efficient method.

  2. Making use of computer models. Over the last 20 years computer models have established themselves as the method of choice to properly time a spray, not too soon, and not too late. These computer models process local weather data with scientific algorithms and will issue warnings resp. treatment recommendations only when the risk for an outbreak is high. This is the method required by modern IPM guidelines.

Ideally you apply a protective spray shortly before the first traces of disease start showing.
Question is only: how can this be achieved? ADCON has a great solution!

ADCON provides the entire value chain for the above mentioned approach, from in-situ weather data, near-real time transmission all the way to issuing treatment recommendations to your mobile device, when the computer model deems the time to be right for a spray to be applied.

For a large variety of crops ADCON provides a number of different pest and disease models, either developed by leading plant and disease specialists, like Prof Gubler of UC-Davis, California, or Dr Kast from Weinsberg, Germany, or they are based on publicly available and well proven algorithms, like the Mills Table for Apple Scab or the Ullrich-Schroedter algorithm for Phytophtora in potatoes.

Automatic recalculation
As soon as “fresh” data from your ADCON weather stations arrives in your office, these computer models have the capacity to recalculate these algorithms in real time. How often this is done depends of course on the parameters of the models. Some recalculate only once per day, some twice, some more frequently.

Model setup and customization
For operational convenience all models come with the same user interface. Once you have learned to use one, you can setup all of them. Setting initial thresholds, modifying phenological phases and selecting the sensors, which the calculation is based on, is intuitive and does not require a manual.

What makes the ADCON versions of these models most attractive is their ability to be customized as needed. Provided you or your crop advisor have sufficient knowledge of your crop variety, the specifics of your pathogen and the functionality of a model, you can adjust all parameters and thresholds as you deem appropriate. And, what’s even better, you can run the same model as many times as you like, with different settings, in order to evaluate which settings come closest to the reality in your field. This feature is of particular interest to researchers, who want to validate their own algorithms.

Phenological Phases according to BBCH
The models calculate the progress of the plant development based on the BBCH table, developed in Eastern Germany. Of course individual settings are possible. The duration of each phase is shown in a table, and an image shows the respective development stage of the plant.

Treatment Recommendations
Every model will inform you by email and alarms in the software about the progress in the calculation of the disease index, treatment recommendations and the washout of chemicals. Messages like treatment recommendations are visible as alarms even if the respective window is not open.

Automatic Traceability Records
Create your own database of agro-chemicals, input your treatments (and irrigations), and at the end of the season you’ll have a great record of all your actions – prove to any buyer of your product the why, when, what and where of all your activities!

Disease models
Upon request the following models come on a separate CD, free of charge

  • Apple Powdery Mildew
  • Apple Scab
  • Grape Bunch Rot (Broome)
  • Grape Downy Mildew - Precipitation based and Temperature Sum based
  • Grape Powdery Mildew by Gubler-Thomas, UC Davis
  • Grape Powdery Mildew by Dr. Kast, Weinsberg
  • Hops Powdery Mildew
  • Strawberry Powdery Mildew
  • Strawberry Bunch Rot
  • Potato Blight (Ullrich-Schroedter)
  • Potato Blight (WINSTEL)
  • DSV Wisdom TomCast
  • DSV TomCast
  • Lettuce Downy Mildew
  • Walnut Blight
  • Pistachio Blight
  • Tomato Late Blight


The Fireblight disease model "MaryBlyt", containing the algorithm of the University of Maryland, is also available upon request, but incurs a one-time license fee.

Various meteorological sensors
Sensors you need to run plant protection models

Agricultural Risk Management
A short outline of benefits of ADCON systems regarding modern Agricultural Risk Management.

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