Plant pathogens may cause significant yield losses, threatening global food safety. A common approach for crop protection includes regular and frequent pesticide treatments independently of the weather and disease development level, which often results in excessive contamination of the environment and extra costs due to unnecessary use of pesticides. The use of modern digital technologies, such as computerized decision support systems (DSS) allows farmers to reduce the number of required treatments depending on the weather data and characteristics of the cultivars and pesticides used. To demonstrate advantages of the use of the Agrodozor DSS developed by the authors of this study, in silico evaluation of the efficiency of this online resource has been carried out for the Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Kaliningrad region of Russia) in relation to the potato late blight and its control by fungicides. Using archived data (2005-2018) from 22 weather stations located at the studied region, the climatic zoning in relation to potential potato yield losses caused by the late blight has been performed followed by the optimization of the fungicide treatment schemes. Weather conditions favorable for the disease development (>20% of potential yield losses) were frequent in the Kaliningrad region, Latvia, and Lithuania (71.6, 50.0, and 50.8% of the analyzed seasons, respectively), whereas Estonia and Poland showed mainly unfavorable conditions (59.0 and 60.3%, respectively). Compared to the routine approach, the Agrodozor DSS provided a 1.3–3.2× reduction of the number and costs of fungicidal treatments and 1.2–5.8× reduction of their total toxicity that indicated its high efficiency and practical potential.
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