Optimization of copper treatments in organic viticulture by using a web-based decision support system

Tsvi Kuflik, Daniele Prodorutti, Andrea Frizzi, Yochai Gafni, Shoham Simon, Ilaria Pertot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents Coptimizer, a model-driven decision support system designed to help growers to optimize and track the use of copper-based fungicides against grapevine downy mildew in European organic viticulture, where the use of only a fixed amount of copper per year per hectare is permitted. Copper is a preventive fungicide allowed in organic agriculture that is active only at the application site (i.e. it is non-systemic), so that new plant growth results in unprotected tissues. In areas where disease incidence is high, organic farmers usually apply weekly copper treatments at the risk of exceeding the fixed threshold. The capability of Coptimizer for not exceeding the copper threshold was evaluated in simulation using historical data and tested in two experiments under field conditions during 2008. The results show that by using Coptimizer growers could be able to maintain the same level of protection as that gained by traditional application schedule while applying only half the amount of the fungicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by SafeCrop Centre funded by Fondo per la ricerca, Autonomous Province of Trento. We acknowledge Alberto Butterini and Alberto Pellegrini for the simulation and the evaluation of Coptimizer.


  • Downy mildew
  • Expert system
  • Fungicide reduction
  • Model based agricultural decision support system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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