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Building sustainable cropping systems by combining scientific and empirical knowledge. The example of soil-born disease control on vegetable sheltered crops

Abstract : Protected vegetable crops are facing new stakes as regards the limiting use of chemical products to avoid pesticide residues in the food products and in ground water, while avoiding any visual symptom of pests and diseases to agree with marketing-firm requirements. The aim of this project is to build sustainable cropping systems by using alternative techniques such as diversified crop sequences, thermal disinfection or organic manure and optimizing their combination. This goal cannot be reached using the sole scientific knowledge since systemic knowledge on that subject is very poor. However, a wealth of information and knowledge is available from local practitioners (farmers and technical advisors), especially on the interactions betweens techniques, environment and the expression of pathogens’ activity on the plants. The first step of the project has been to build a database which enables to use a uniform representation frame for scientific literature and empirical knowledge extracted in on-farm surveys. This enables to analyse the effects of each cropping technique on the evolution of soil-born pathogens, taking into account the pedoclimatic conditions in which the technique has been applied and the whole cropping system at hand. The second step is to use this framework to determine the effects of a particular technique or combination of techniques on a specific pathogen, and identify the contracdisction between various knowledge. Methods of AI, like evidence theory or argumentation framework shall be tested on these data. The third step will be triggered when no conclusion can be drawn on the effect of one practice on the development of pathogens, because there are too many contradictions between growers and/or with scientific current knowledge. Then, group discussion between growers and advisers will be conducted to get a more experienced insight and to attempt to identify the roots of the contradiction. If necessary, experimental plots will be designed with the growers to conduct a focussed study of the problem. The last step is to build a dynamic model of the interactions between cropping techniques, biological processes and environmental conditions to simulate the evolution of soil born pathogens in given cropping systems. This model will be used, with growers and advisors, in an iterative process of design, evaluation by the model and improvement of new cropping systems
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  • HAL Id : hal-02753728, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 27877

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Marc Tchamitchian, Mireille Navarrete, Frederique F. Bressoud, Joel Fauriel, Laure Pares. Building sustainable cropping systems by combining scientific and empirical knowledge. The example of soil-born disease control on vegetable sheltered crops. 1. Symposium on Horticulture in Europe (SHE), Feb 2008, Vienna, Austria. ⟨hal-02753728⟩

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