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Research and development of methodology to estimate the maximum distance the effective collection of information thermal inversion, pointed to by the weather station with drones, for application to the control of the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis)


Anáhata Agronomic Services LLC is a technology-based company of the Technology-Based Companies Incubator of the "Luiz de Queiroz" Agriculture School of the Sao Paolo University (ESALQ-USP). It is part of the innovation ecosystem represented by the Agtech Valley, whose centrality is occupied by ESALQ-USP. Agricultural aviation uses specific spray nozzles that produce the ideal spray spectrum for pest control. Through the correct application technology, combining knowledge about the epidemiological behavior of the cotton boll weevil it was obtained the pest exemption in the Sao Paulo cotton crop in the 14/15 harvest. The results showed a reduction in the number of pesticide applications by 50%. This project was developed and executed by the Cotton Producers Sao Paolo Association (APPA) and was coordinated by the Anáhata businesswoman, agronomist Regina Hakvoort. In the next harvest, 15/16, the results were even better, with a reduction of 70% in the number of pesticide applications for control of the cotton boll weevil, which represented a decrease from 30 applications, not control, to 9 applications, there was complete suppression of the pest. The conclusion is that the use of Ultra Low Volume (UBV) technology, to function properly, necessarily needs to be employed under suitable climatic conditions. This technology is very susceptible to the phenomenon of Thermal Inversion. During the work done in these two harvests, it was observed that most of the cotton producers did not control the phenomenon of Thermal Inversion. Another important problem in applying pesticides is Drift. The deviation of pesticides to unwanted places causes a deterioration of the image of the production process. Therefore, it is essential that chemical management tools be used correctly and without deleterious side effects. In this context, the technology of Anáhata Agronomic Services LLC was able to reduce by 70% the amount of active ingredients applied per ha in the two harvests. To achieve the suppression of the cotton boll weevil, therefore, it was observed that the application technology is a fundamental strategy. Applications should be monitored accurately, so that correct meteorological conditions are observed. Anáhata considers that this factor is decisive in order to obtain maximum control, with the use of a minimum possible number of applications. SISVANTs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems) represent a very low cost alternative in the transport of sensors for remote monitoring of various types of applications. In integrated pest management, for example, SISVANTs can aid in monitoring climatic conditions. Thus, it is possible to measure in real time: the phenomenon of Thermal Inversion, in different heights, through the collection of temperature data between 2 and 10m; and wind speed. This information is essential for the authorization of flights for the aerial application of pesticides. Therefore, the present project aims to research and develop aerial application technology through the use of drones equipped with climate sensors. The aim is to generate data to estimate the maximum effective distance of the Thermal Inversion information comparing the information generated around a thermal inversion measurement tower fixed to the soil at a central point of the crop area of interest occupied with the cotton crop. This project aims, therefore, to develop the automation of the procedures, through the generation of hardwares, softwares and algorithms, employable in real time, to reach the optimized handling of the cotton boll weevil, the primary target, with the generation of real time decision-making models. It should be pointed out that this technology can be used to control other pests with the use of aerial application in other crops of interest to Brazilian agribusiness. (AU)