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3D-Mosaic in brief

  • ERA-Net ICT-Agri transnational project

  • Coordination: Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim

  • Funding: Ministries and Agencies from participating partner countries; funding sum 890 T Euro

  • Duration: 05/2011 - 04/2013

  • Partners: 11 partners from 7 countries (EU member and AC)

In the context of current global changes, assuring the supply of fresh produce and increasing economic viability are priority targets within  plantation management. In the cultivation of tree crops, water is a critical input factor and irrigation is  necessary in all European countries. As a matter of fact, input requirements  in an orchard vary in space and time due to the variability of climate, soil and  plant growth.

Spatial patterns of soil and plant properties can be regarded as a 3D-Mosaic. Thus, an optimum orchard management has to address seasonal and spatial variability in soil and micro-climate that affect plant growth and fruit development. However, irrigation today is commonly managed at the orchard level and not at the tree level. Uniform irrigation frequently creates sub-optimum conditions with some parts of the orchard having insufficient water while other parts suffer from water logging and subsequent oxygen shortage. Consequently, water is wasted and/or yield and fruit quality are reduced. Tree-scale leaf area index and fruit load and individual fruit-scale size, water content, and maturity-related pigmentation represent information vital for orchard management resp. irrigation decision making. Until now, these parameters have been underutilized due to lack of automation of their monitoring.

The target of 3D-Mosaic is to promote precision management of orchards by means of a decision support system (DSS) aiming to optimize efficiency of inputs including water and to diminish the environmental footprint of fruit production. The DSS will apply information and communication technologies (ICT) for precision management of the most economically relevant tree crops, apple and citrus.