Economics of a decision–support system for managing the main fungal diseases of winter wheat in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

El Jarroudi, Moussa and Kouadio, Louis and Beyer, Marco and Junk, Jurgen and Hoffmann, Lucien and Tychon, Bernard and Maraite, Henri and Bock, Clive H. and Delfosse, Philippe (2015) Economics of a decision–support system for managing the main fungal diseases of winter wheat in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Field Crops Research, 172. pp. 32-41. ISSN 0378-4290


We evaluated the cost effectiveness of a decision–support system (DSS) developed for assessing in real time the risk of progression of the main fungal diseases (i.e., Septoria leaf blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rusts and Fusarium head blight) of winter wheat in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (GDL). The study was conducted in replicated field experiments located in four agricultural locations (representative of the main agro-ecological regions of the country) over a 10-year period (2003–2012). Three fungicide spray strategies were compared: a single DSS-based system and two commonly used spray practices in the GDL, a double- (2T) and a triple-spray (3T) treatment; there was also a non-treated control. In years with a high disease pressure, the DSS-based recommendation resulted in protection of the three upper leaves comparable to that achieved with the 2T and 3T treatments, with significant grain yield increases (P > 0.05) compared to the control (a 4 to 42% increase, depending on the site and year). Overall, the financial gain in treated plots compared with the control ranged from 3 to 16% at the study sites. Furthermore, in seasons when dry weather conditions precluded epidemic development, the DSS recommended no fungicide spray, reducing use of fungicide, and thus saving the cost of the product. The gain in yield for the 2T and 3T plots (compared with control) did not necessarily result in a financial gain during the duration of the experiment. This study demonstrates the potential advantages and profitability of using a DSS-based approach for disease management.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 02:33
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2016 03:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: crop protection; sustainable agriculture; fungicide profitability; septoria leaf blotch; wheat leaf rust; fusarium head blight
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
06 Biological Sciences > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820507 Wheat
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2014.11.012

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