Integrating advanced earth observation and environmental information for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases

Lead Research Organisation: CAB International
Department Name: International Development (UK)

Abstract

The project aims to bring together and produce cutting edge research to provide pest and disease monitoring and forecast information, integrating multi-source (Earth Observation (EO), meteorological and vertical looking radar) to support decision making in the sustainable management of insect pests and diseases. The project will explore the integration and fusion of new data sources from recently launched satellites with existing data products. This will overcome spatial and temporal differences to produce new data solutions and algorithms which are suitable for pest and disease monitoring and prediction, intervention efficacy forecasting and estimation of yield losses. The new data products and algorithms will be tested using two candidate systems: a fungal disease of wheat (stripe rust) and a serious insect pest (migratory locust). The corresponding efficacy of a biopesticide used to control the locust will also be explored, with the aim to investigate whether the same data inputs produced during this project can be utilised under a wide range of systems, leading to a greater impact of data assimilation in the future. Models will be validated in the laboratory and in the field to give a measure of certainty of predictions. Additionally, risk and loss estimation will be investigated using cutting edge EO techniques, and monitoring of locusts will be explored using Vertical Looking Radar, a technology which is capable of identifying the size and species of insect flying through a radar beam. In addition to building monitoring and forecasting systems with data assimilated during this project, routes to extend this information to appropriate end users will be explored to ensure maximum impact of technologies developed during the project. The project consortium will work closely with NATESC in China to ensure the system is built in a way that is compatible with existing methods of information dissemination. The project consortium is a strong multidisciplinary team with expertise in EO, vertical-looking radar technology and agricultural research and extension.

Planned Impact

This project will have an impact on a wide range of audiences. The wider academic audience will benefit through the production of new algorithms and data products which may be used in further predictive modelling, monitoring and risk forecasting work. For example improved models for estimating insect body temperature, derived from EO data sources, could be applicable for a wide range of targets not explored within this project and could pave the way for improved pest and disease prediction models. The project consortium will benefit through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between organisations. The nature of the project team will ensure that impact of the work is optimal as the team brings together leading researchers in the field of EO from both China and the UK (RADI-CAS, ZJU, Assimila LTD and Kings College London), and integrates them with leading agricultural research and extension institutions from UK and China (CABI, Rothamsted Research, IPP-CAAS). The synergy of the consortium ensures that developments within the project are directly applicable to the agricultural end user. NATESC (Ministry of Agriculture's National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Centre) will act as an external consultant to ensure that all outputs of the project are applicable to its extension messaging and the final work package of the project aims to identify how messages produced during the project could actually integrate into NATESC's advisory systems in the future, ensuring the maximum impact for this work. The overall impact of the research will lead to pathways for better information messages available to both NATESC as an end user of the information and for farmers who are end users of this information. i.e. when and where a biopesticide application will be optimal; where wheat rust is developing and needs spot application of pesticide. The wider goal of this work is to assist NATESC to work towards a reduction in chemical pesticide use in line with their objectives to have 0% increase in pesticide use by 2020.
 
Description ADDITIONAL FUNDING: Research Grant, Newton Fund
Amount £146,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/N006712/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation Assimila Ltd
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Department Institute of Plant Protection
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation Rothamsted Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Department Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Wheat rust modelling partnership 
Organisation Zhejiang University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working with RADI and Assimila to develop a model for predicting wheat rust spread. CABI and IPP carried out a literature review on the current state of wheat rust modelling. For the locust and biopesticide development models ZJU and IPP, CAAS worked to collect ground truthing data and developed models. CABI assisted with the ground truthing data collection and model development with Assimila.
Collaborator Contribution IPP and RADI carried out field work to ground truth data. RADI and Assimila worked on developing models for wheat rust prediction and spread. KCL are working on Land Surface Temperature (LST) and how that data fits into the various models while Rothamsted Research are determining the biodiversity of insects affected by locust control insecticides. Assimila are also developing models to predict locust development and time for the biopesticide to kill locusts. IPP, CAAS are also working on biopesticide survival in the environment in Inner Mongolia and ZJU are looking at soil moisture effects in Inner Mongolia.
Impact Data Product and Land Surface Temperature Algorithm Report delivered by KCL; Desk study for preparing baseline of current locust and wheat rust expectations of relevant players delivered jointly by CABI and NATESC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Baseline study with Stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CABI met with a dozen representatives of agencies managing locusts and rust at national, provincial, city, county and farm level. CABI learned about the participants aims and objectives, and the way they like to work and was made aware of the boundaries of responsibility for agencies such as NATESC. A discussion on preferred channels of communication that support people at all the levels best - a highlight was realising just how important channels such as WeChat are to Chinese people, and how a solution to knowledge dissemination should definitely incorporate that alongside existing channels.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017