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From Twitter

14 November 2022
Pest management
Project reports
#IPMPopillia
In September 2021 we started the big field experiment in the Piedmont region, a highly infested zone. Giovanni Bosio from the plant health service of the Piedmont region found meadows which were not treated yet and with willing owners to let us do ex...
22 June 2022
Other
Pest management
Project reports
#IPMPopillia
In collaboration with colleagues from CREA (Florence), we have treated popillias with three experimental control protocols that appear as promising candidates in their hands. Treated popillias have been snap frozen for molecular analysis. In the next...
21 June 2022
Other
Pest management
#IPMPopillia
Definitely not my ususal workweek! I am an economist at the Technical University of Munich, usually sitting in an office with a computer and conducting research there. But not this time… As I am part of the IPM Popillia project, which consists o...
20220629_2200_0720cfff_pic_143_cam_1labeled_Chosen

A review of the progress made by PESSL III

 PESSL INSTRUMENTS GmbH

Pessl Instruments GmbH has been producing reliable measuring instruments for 38 years and has developed various devices for the measurement and monitoring of different agricultural parameters, being one of the leading IoT providers for agriculture offering innovative and cost-effective solutions for more efficient farm management. Participating in the IPM-Popillia project gives PESSL a chance to put into the farmer's disposal all its expertise on sustainable agriculture and fulfill its mission to offer high-added value and customized cost-effective solutions and contribute to global environmental protection.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The IPM-Popillia project, funded by @EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, started in September 2020. Our expert team has been working on a monitoring device with the aim of P. japonica detection and monitoring.

The insect traps our team evolved include electronic devices with 10 MP lenses on the top of the housing and are self-sufficient through a battery and a solar panel. The traps are equipped with sensors collecting climatic data, like temperature, relative humidity, or wind, which will be used to get more detailed insight into the flight behavior of P. japonica. In addition, the trap system is equipped with a lure, attracting the target species to enter the trap system. After entering the trap, insects get fixed and photographed. The photos serve as a base for the development of an automatic detection tool specifically for P. japonica. Deep learning systems using artificial neural networks are training the system to detect and separate the targeted insect from non-targets, check more info in our previous blog post.

The prototype traps produced by PESSL were planned to be installed in high-risk areas of the first introduction of P. japonica, to evaluate the innovative monitoring tool under field conditions. In addition to the remote-controlled evaluation, catches of these traps are planned to be evaluated also manually by the experts. The results of these monitoring efforts will be then compared with automated monitoring results and will provide feedback for optimizing the detection software.

PROGRESS OVER THE PAST MONTHS

Ten prototype traps for P. japonica have been produced and installed in 2022 in France, Italy, and the Azores. They were shipped beginning of June 2022 to those different locations and have been installed by our partners there. So a big, big THANK you to all our partners supporting us in those trials: :

  • Nelson Simões & Màrio Brum Teixeira and their team on the Azores,
  • Giovanni Bosio, Michelangelo Regis, and their teams in Piemonte,
  • Luca Jelmini & Michela Meier and their team in Ticino, as well as
  • Nathalie Gourbeau from Service Régional de l'Alimentation (SRAL) in Strasbourg

Photos: iSCOUT Installation on field site in the Azores and in France.

We followed two approaches:

  • Comparison of the standard used monitoring devices with the iScout system (evaluation of catches and correlation).
  • Collecting pictures of P. japonica in traps for labeling and base of the machine learning approach on species level.
Right
Left
Right
Left

In the images above, the original and labeled photos are shown. The localization became more precise and the order classification of P. japonica as Coleoptera more stable (more insects were recognized and fewer mistakes in the order classification were performed).

WHAT'S PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE?

  • Analyzing results of the evaluation between iScout devices and standard monitoring trap devices.
  • Labeling of photos collected in 2022 and training the AI for species level.
  • Getting information about the mass production ability of the specific ADD-On for production in higher capacity.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Dr. Christina Pilz, Product manager for camera solutions and team lead

I started working for PESSL in November 2014, while being responsible for the Decision Support Systems in Plant Health Management (Disease models and Camera Products). Previous to Pessl's career, I collected professional experience particularly in the biology and microbiological control of agricultural pest insects, having studied agriculture at the University of Agriculture and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna and working, at the Research Station Agroscope in Zürich as well as at the Plant Protection Service in Hungary and at the Agency for Health and Food Security, Austria. At PESSL I started by supporting the development of disease model implementations and for four years my focus lay also on electronically monitoring devices of pest insects in viticulture, agriculture, and fruit production.

Damir Najvirt, Machine learning engineer

I studied physics, specializing in stochastic processes and their role in the development of financial markets at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Maribor, Slovenia. I have been working for PESSL since 2016, where I developed image processing solutions for our camera products and automated systems for fruit and insect recognition. I am responsible for designing, evaluating, and enhancing our machine learning stack. I am especially passionate about the transformation of data into valuable information that, in turn, guides farmers all over the world.

Eva Munda, Entomologist assistant

My entomology career started when I was about five years old and breeding mosquitoes in the living room. My parents were not amused, but I learned a lot about the life cycle of a mosquito. It was only a natural decision for me to study ecology and nature conservation at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Maribor. I started to work for Pessl instruments in June 2021 as an Entomological assistant, with the main focus on insect identification. In my free time, I like to cook, paint, and spend some time in nature hiking, mushrooming, or birdwatching.

M.Sc. Junia Rojic, Project support officer

At PESSL, I am responsible for all the administrative tasks related to projects, including among others proposals, reports, deliverables, time schedules, meetings, minutes, and budget control. I studied Industrial Engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil, recognized in Austria as a Master's degree in Materials Science. With more than 12 years of experience in Project Management, including many years in Brazil working at R&D and IT companies, I am delighted to be part of a European Project, with many important stakeholders, and most importantly, supporting agriculture and food production in the 21st century. In my free time I do sports, like volleyball and indoor football, but also enjoy spending some time reading and in nature hiking

The Big Field Experiment
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 EU Flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861852

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