Drone applications for efficient plant health control of hop fields

The primary objective of this project is to develop an efficient service for plant health control in hop fields. Within the project framework, we aim to determine which sensor on the drone can most successfully identify suspicious infected hop plants. The results of data analyses will facilitate more targeted control measures. We intend to test both, a thermal camera and a basic 4-channel multispectral camera.

Responsible organisation

Challenges and how they will be addressed

While technological hurdles remain, we are optimistic that at least one sensor will yield satisfactory results in detecting infected hop plants. The primary challenge lies in the complexity of data analysis methods. Additionally, the speed at which hop growers will adopt the developed service poses another obstacle. However, Hmezad Exim’s extensive collaboration with over 90% of hop growers presents a direct opportunity for promoting the service. Furthermore, the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing (IHPS) will showcase the results at various events, including the annual professional conference attended by hop growers, as well as monthly advisory sessions during the growing season, aimed at addressing ongoing issues faced by hop growers.

Tech components and data

The service of plant health control in hops will be developed using two sensors on DJI Mavic system:

DJ Mavic 3M – 4 channel multispectral camera; the average reflectance data of green, red, red edge and near infrared wavelength bands

DJ Mavic 3T – thermal camera; temperature data

Expected outcomes

The primary objective is to develop an efficient service for plant health control in hop fields. Namely, recent diseases, including verticillium wilt of hop and citrus bark cracking viroid – CBCVd), pose a serious threat to hop production in Slovenia. The implementation of this service is anticipated to reduce the time and human resources required for visual plant health control in hop fields. Furthermore, we expect the service to operate more quickly and accurately than visual screening conducted by hop growers and thus help to preserve the hop production to the present extent.

About Hmezad exim

SME whose main activity involves providing comprehensive support for hop production to hop growers, including advice and the supply of materials for hop production as well as marketing the hop.

Drone Stakeholders survey (e.g. Drone manufacturers, Drone service providers, Software developers)

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      Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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