History   - major achievements

Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics    2009                   back

In 2009, the project 2 057 1930 PO6R coordinated by Dr. Anna Nieróbca, titled "Use of remote measurements to identify and assess the degree of infestation of plants by the root rot disease" was completed. The aim of the project was to examine the possibility of using remote methods (multispectral images) to assess the degree of infestation by diseases of cereal stem base. The study had identified potential relationships between vegetation indices and plants infestation by root rot disease. The study was conducted on the long term experiment field with the crop rotation: winter wheat, winter triticale and barley. Several times during the growing season, aerial photos were performed at selected sites: multispectral using photo TETRACAM ADC camera and RGB photos by using Sony digital camera. At the same time at the same sites ground measurements were performed.

The analysis conducted showed that there are close links between vegetation indices obtained from ground-based ADC images (NDVI, SAVI, IPVI), and the root infection indices (Gaeumannomyces graminis). During the three year study, only in 2006, an infestation of the winter wheat and winter triticale allowed remote identification of possible pathogens. The long and cold winter has had a great impact on the diversity index of vegetation in the spring. In 2007 and 2008, very good cropping conditions after the winter did not significantly differentiate the vegetation index of the test objects. The index of root infection by G. graminis used in this study, was an effective identifier of the disease, and clearly correlated with vegetation indices obtained on the basis of aerial photographs and remote sensing on the ground.
In order for effective remote sensing of vegetation index of diseases, we should consider: VARI (the group indices RGB) and index NDVI (the group indices using NIR channel). IPVI and SAVI indices show a slightly worse performance than the NDVI. The weakest proved to be an identifier index NIR / G. The results indicate that the methods of low altitude remote sensing are effective in the diagnosis of root infection in cereal crops, but are much worse in identifying root rot disease infection (P. herpotrichoides).

In 2009, the research project PBZ-KBN-086/P04/2003, coordinated by prof. Dr hab. Tadeusz Górski titled "Extreme meteorological and hydrological events in Poland (assessment of the events and forecasting their impact on human environment)" was finished.
An analysis of statistical distributions of basic crop yield in Poland was performed. Using the model predictions yield IPO yields, weather indices for the years 1951-2000 were determined and the reasons for the extremely low yields were presented. Based on the calculated indexes, there were defined weather effects for agricultural drought and excessive precipitation in Poland. The maps for the probability of low values of climatic water balance in Poland, linked to specific loss of yield of selected crops were developed. It was found that the yields expressed in physical or economical units have in recent years become more volatile, resulting in a higher risk for agricultural production. It was indicated that the acute drought weather caused crop losses in the years 1959, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2006, while the yield losses due to excessive rainfall occurred between 1980 and 1997.

In the winter, frosts and an insufficient thickness of the snow cover were the cause of yield losses in 1982, 1996, 2003 and 2006, and long lasting snow cover in 1970, 1979, 1996, 2006. The biggest losses in crop yields occur in the event of the imposition of a few unfavourable weather conditions for crops in different growing seasons. Defaulting long snow cover, rainfall and excessive heat and lack of sunshine caused losses in 1962. Losses in yields in 1970 were caused by a drought that occurred in the autumn of 1969 and caused significant delays and difficulties in the sowing of winter cereals. The effect of autumn drought was compounded an acute and long winter of 1969/70. Yield losses of winter cereals and oilseed rape in 1982 occurred due to frost in January, when the temperature drops occurred reaching up to-25oC in the absence of snow cover. In the same year a shortage of precipitation from July to September, clearly showed the yields of potatoes and other root crops falling. Another example, when winter wheat yield losses were caused by cold winter and drought in the summer of 2006.

The Department carried out three tasks in the multi-annual program, "Shaping the agricultural environment in accordance with the concept of sustainable development”

The task 1.2, "Developing indicators to assess sustainable management of agricultural environment," coordinated by prof. dr hab. Antoni Faber.

In this task, two groups of homogeneous regions in terms of nitrate concentrations in shallow groundwater were separated. In five voivodeship: Kujawsko-pomorskie, lubuskie, łódzkie, wielkopolskie and zachodnio-pomorskie, groundwater is exposed to elevated nitrate pollution. However, in none of these regions, the nitrate content in drainage water did not exceed the critical concentration adopted in the Nitrates Directive. Developed balances of N, P and K from the farms situated in areas sensitive to nutrient runoff from agriculture. Farms have been identified in areas of particular RZGW, where high positive balances in the balance were noted. Based on 40,000 soil samples, the acidity of soil in all local districts in Poland were determined. There are reasons to believe that in many local districts soil pH not only reduces yields, but also contributes to lower their quality. The critical thresholds of climatic water balance were determined to be useful to assess the prevalence of drought in the country and the estimation of yield losses that it can cause.  The task was performed to examine the extent sustainability of agricultural production in different spatial scales. For this purpose, we established a database for the 2,171 rural communes, which included 17 indicators characterising the state of agriculture in the aspects of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. The product analysis is a universal indicator of the level of sustainability of agriculture in the cross-section of local district.  

The task 2.8 "Assessment of the production, development and implementation of cultivation technology for energy purposes," coordinated by prof. dr hab. Anthony Faber.

During the project conference on energy crops and utilisation of agricultural production space was organised (4-5.06.2008). Conference participants represented the science, agricultural extension and energy. For the first time, in a country as large group of specialists from different fields have become familiar with the results of current research on the production and use of biomass energy. Within the project four experiments with five energy crops were conducted, which have demonstrated the need for thorough verification of the reference yield constituted each year by the MRiRW.

The use of biomass in distributed power plant, especially for heating farm, requires improvement of boilers and combustion processes. Only then will farmers with a tangible benefit (eliminate or reduce expenditures for the purchase of fuel) and will improve environmental benefits, which are essential for protection against climate change.  

Within the task ware performed the following analysis:  

1) assessment of the productivity of energy crops in different habitats for the years 2004-2009,

2) evaluation of economic efficiency of production of biomass for energy purposes

3) assessment of the energy efficiency of the basic types of agricultural biomass for large and distributed energy systems,

4) characterisation of the potential environmental effects of crops for energy purposes.

The task 2.9 "Improvement of advisory systems for sustainable crop production," coordinated by Dr. Andrew Zaliwski.

In 2007, focussed on the work on the development of advisory guidelines in fertilisation rates of sulphur and indicators for nitrogen and phosphorus balance at the field level and to improve selected programs, consulting and decision support systems: NawSald, MACROBIL, Plano RS, IPM IDSS, ZeaSoft and "System for agricultural recommendations associated with the course of weather." A summary of sulphur uptake by chosen crops was prepared and an algorithm for determining the needs of sulphur fertilisation was developed.

In 2008, work focused on developing decision support systems available on the internet. Algorithms needed for decision support in sulphur fertilisation were developed. The administrations sides over the internet for “Internet decision support system in integrated plant” (IPM IDSS), and “System recommendations relating to the conduct of agricultural weather” (IPO) and a module for cyclic weather data transfer and aggregation of data. The workshops on topics the task was organised in 30.09.2008.

In 2009, the algorithm for calculating doses of sulphur for NawSald was developed. A project of a web application to list the contents of mineral nitrogen in the soil profile was developed and modules for presentation of data from 10 voivodeships were made. An algorithm for the stock market of livestock in the farm and the algorithm for calculating the amount of NPK nutrients in natural fertilizers produced by the flock in the marketing year, which was implemented in the programs and MACROBIL NawSald. ZeaSoftValidation program was developed to automate the process of validation ZeaSoft.exe and was used for initial validation of the system. The central meteorological data module which powers “advisory system for sustainable crop production” was started

Employees of the Department took part in many symposia and conferences of national and international importance organised under the "Proficiency". In 2010, in a conference on biomass in Lyon, France: A. Doroszewski, R. Pudełko, M. Borzęcka-Walker, K. Mizak in Jönköping, Sweden participated R. Pudełko, M. Borzęcka-Walker, K. Mizak , J. Kozyra. Within this project, M. Borzęcka-Walker was at three months internship in Agroscope in Switzerland.

Opr. Andrzej Doroszewski