Institute of Horticulture (LatHort): Dr.agr., Edgars Rubauskis, Dr.agr., Līga Lepse, Dr.agr., Jānis Lepsis, Dr.biol., Sarmīte Strautiņa
Latvian Fruit Growers Association (LAA): Pēteris Skrastiņš
Association of Latvian Organic Agriculture (ALOA): Ieva Liepniece, Raivis Bahšteins
Nature in some cases surprised us, horticulturists, again – with a long and cool spring of season 2022, with over moistened beginning of summer, followed by a period of drought and a relatively long autumn. It was reflected also in the data of weather stations and sensors installed in the farms involved in the project. During springtime, an online meeting was organised by the Institute of Horticulture (LatHort) that gave the opportunity to share information about Innovation Hubs, and perspectives on using meteorological and environmental data in precision horticulture in Latvia.
One of the first important events in agriculture after the Covid-19 pandemic was the national agricultural exhibition RĀMAVA 2022, which took place on May 12 - 14. During the exhibition on May 14, project partners LatHort and LAA reported on updates with ATLAS Innovation Hubs and emphasized the importance of smart agriculture in the future, especially in light of the EU's Green Deal.
The project ATLAS was presented during the agricultural exhibition “Rāmava 2022”
Despite the fact that everyone is tired of the situation caused by the pandemic some interactions were performed in the Innovation Hubs in Latvia. On July 14 the field day was held in farm Eglāji – the orchard of almost 12 ha of irrigated apple trees, equipped by Davis meteorological station with additional sensor nodes in the orchard. Due to the wet weather in a situation where the trees feel wonderful the stakeholders’ interest was not so high. Only 10 stakeholders were participating in orchard management, particularly with an interest in irrigation. However, it should be noted that the meteorological situation was very variable (unequal) in Latvia. In the season of 2022 were recorded very dry regions were recorded in Latvia as well. Orchard irrigation until now has not been common practice in Latvia. The field day was a place where applied science combined together with ATLAS Innovation Hubs came closer to industry. For an overview, some pictures are available in the gallery.
It is always the most attractive for target groups when experience, knowledge, and solutions including technics and technologies are available at the same time and space. Such a possibility was offered to berries growers from Latvia and Estonia. They met in North part of Latvia, visiting an open day dedicated to blackcurrants in “Korgzeme” Ltd (July 22, 2022). At least 35 stakeholders during “Blackcurrant Day 2022” were introduced with Innovation Hubs of ATLAS, meteorological station and sensor sets, and station nodes in the berry’s plantations. There were possibilities to learn how to use data for data-driven horticulture against pests, and how to manage the best conditions for the blackcurrants in the field and other fruit crops. For an overview, some pictures of “Blackcurrant Day 2022” are available in the gallery and video.
A little overview and insight into ATLAS for organic vegetable growers were presented during the field day at farm “Puteņi” (September 5, 2022) – L. Mucenieces farm in Kaibala parish. There were 9 visitors, whose main interests were related to strip-cropping, intercropping, catch-crops, green manure application, and implementation and promotion of a set of environment-friendly technological solutions in vegetable growing, where weather conditions play a significant role. The weather station using opportunities was demonstrated and discussed as well as analysing the soil moisture conditions and total evapotranspiration of crops. The use of smart technologies in horticulture is focused also on in another Horizon 2020 project SMARTPROTECT implemented in LatHort, which is aimed to stimulate knowledge flow in the regional AKISs across the EU and connect these to the innovative potential of advanced methodologies for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in vegetable production, integrating precision farming technologies and data analytics. The importance of irrigation, especially data-driven irrigation was highlighted, where some approaches could provide ATLAS-generated solutions. For an overview, some pictures of field day are available in the gallery.
During Info Day on July 14, 2022, the visitors were introduced with ATLAS Innovation Hub- an installed meteorological station in the farm “Eglaji”
At the farm “Puteņi” during ATLAS Info Day in September 5, 2022, discussed the influence of soil moisture conditions to the pumpkin’s development and yield.
Info Day of ATLAS Innovation Hub during “Blackurrant Day 2022” at “Krogzeme Ltd” introducing visitors to data-driven horticulture possibilities
Part of Info Day participants visiting Innovation Hub demonstration site in the farm “Eglaji”.