The Use of a Qualitative Multi-Attribute Assessment Model and an Interactive 3D Educational System for Upgrading the Technological Measure Performance in Hay-Orchards

27/08/2019

Summary

This technology is about the use of a qualitative multi-attribute assessment model and an interactive 3D educational system for upgrading the technological measure performance in hay-orchards

Technology Description

Hay- or meadow orchards have a multifunctional meaning in the environment; they are an important element of the typical countryside landscape. In addition to their production functions, they represent an important collection of genetic material and are a source of biodiversity. They are often linked to hilly areas where intensive food production is limited by environmental factors. These areas also face serious demographic problems. Consequently, the abandonment, shrinkage and poor supply of such orchards, as well as a remarkable overgrowing of the cultivated areas with forests, is a reality that can be a motivation to explore this field.

Technological measures will be linked to the following topics:

  • a list of technological measures for the revitalization of old high-stem trees (individual trees, avenues, orchards)
  • a list of technological measures for establishing new orchards (choice of location, preparation of terrain, cultivation) - guidelines for fruit species and variety selection
  • a list of technological measures for minimal tree care (tree pruning, protection against diseases and pests, soil care, determination of fruit harvesting periods)

The existing qualitative multi-attribute model for the multifunctional assessment of hay-orchards and the interactive 3D learning programme are unique. The evaluation method presents the foundation on which the set of technological measures for individual orchard is based, while the computer learning program enables faster learning of selected measure performance. Together they present a tool, which can be successfully used to improve production in hay-orchards and, consequently, to reduce the overgrowing of agricultural land by forests. Both need to be tested in wider practice and, if necessary, upgraded.

The applicant expects from the user to strictly implement technological measures adopted for individual orchards and to report on the usability of the evaluation method and learning tool. The applicant expects that both tools will upgrade the economic position of the growers living in suburbs, which are usually also demographically endangered.

Main advantages

  • improves production in hay-orchards
  • reduces the overgrowing of agricultural land by forests
  • upgrades the economic position of the growers living in suburbs

Stage of development

The technology is in the TRL 6- technology demonstrated in relevant environment.

The evaluation scheme for hay-orchards is considered as a decision-support system in hay-orchard evaluation. It was tested in practice in selected regions and is published in the following publications:

TOJNKO, Stanislav, PAŽEK, Karmen, ROZMAN, Črtomir, UNUK, Tatjana (avtor, tehnični urednik). Streuobstwiesen und ihre Auswertung, (Agrarwissenschaftliche Forschungsergebnisse, Bd. 66). Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač, 2016 . 86 str., ilustr. ISBN 978-3-8300-9147-9. ISBN 3-8300-9147-8. [COBISS.SI-ID 4239660]

TOJNKO, Stanislav, ROZMAN, Črtomir, MAJKOVIČ, Darja, PAŽEK, Karmen, TURK, Jernej, STAJNKO, Denis. Multifunktioneller Charakter von Streuobstbeständen - Modell zur Analyse und Bewertung = Analysis and evaluation model for high-stem orchards. Der Erwerbs-Obstbau : Berichte aus Wissenschaft und Praxis, ISSN 0014-0309. [Print ed.], 2009, vol. 51, no. 1, str. 29-34, doi: 10.1007/s10341-009-0076-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 2734892]

The methodology is based on the following criteria:

a) the physiological state of the trees (age of the bearing wood, productivity, presence of the disease) b) state of the plantation (tree density, empty spaces) c) the impact on prevention of erosion d) visual impact (compliance of the plantation with the surroundings, adjustment to the relief) e) impact on the diversity of the landscape

… (Tojnko et al. 2016).

Among fruit growers, the knowledge about production technologies is often found in handbooks and learning through errors. To understand the basic technological measures for generating tree crown and maintaining the bearing potential of high stem-trees and to shorten the learning time, an interactive 3D educational system with high computer graphics (EDUAPPLE, Kohek et al. 2015) will be used to enable users to understand technological measures, such as pruning, weighting, tying, and spreading. Those technological measures can be interactively practiced over and over again without any danger to the actual trees. The programme was tested in selected orchards and needs to be transferred to wider practices.

Challenge and needs

The existing qualitative multi-attribute model for the multifunctional assessment of hay-orchards and the interactive 3D learning programme are unique. The evaluation method presents the foundation on which the set of technological measures for individual orchard is based, while the computer learning program enables faster learning of selected measure performance. Together they present a tool, which can be successfully used to improve production in hay-orchards and, consequently, to reduce the overgrowing of agricultural land by forests. Both need to be tested in wider practice and, if necessary, upgraded.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property of the applicant presents the applicants publications in scientific and professional literature.

Potential markets and targets

The global market size of smart agriculture is expected to grow from approximately 9.58 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 23.14 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.

Potential partners

Farms, public agencies, non-government organisations.

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