Tecnologia Agrícola e Eficiência Energética (MED)



The Farming Technology and Energy Efficiency  group consists of 3 teams:

[T1]'Development of farm machinery' - development (concept; design/construction; field tests; pre-production prototype validation) of equipment. Projects are being pursued in fruit harvesting (olive) and mechanical tree pruning (olive, pear and apple orchards).

[T2] 'Precision agriculture' - state-of-the-art knowledge in agriculture geotechnologies (GNSS,GIS, WEBGIS, Remote and Proximal sensing) and the concept of "precision agriculture" towards various applications, namely on extensive husbandry, cereals, vineyards, orchards, pest and disease risk maps.

[T3] 'Energy efficiency in Agriculture' - focus in identifying, quantifying and putting forward possible correcting measures to questions related to the energy used in relevant and well identified agriculture sectors, using a common approach as in other EU countries.

Linhas de Investigação

T1 -: 'Development of farm machinery'

The Row-side Machine for Continuous Olive Harvesting is mainly intended for high-density olive groves (200 to 500 trees per hectare) with a potential market, in thousand hectares, of 800 in Europe, 300 in Northern Africa; 200 in the Middle East; 150 in South America. Work focus is to bring the present prototype (MkIII) into a viable product for the market.

Following 16 years of research studying a mechanized alternative to the expensive manual pruning of olive trees, it is a long-term goal to transfer the results obtained onto (a) super-high-density olive groves (b) to other fruit groves (Pêra-rocha).

T2: 'Precision agriculture'

T2 develops with companies and producers three major projects:

i) use of quad mounted proximal sensors for the management of the binomial productivity/quality of grapes to promote economic and environmental sustainability of the highly competitive wine production sector (http://inalentejo.uevora.pt/);

ii) use of European Space Agency remote sensors to monitor plagues and diseases, as well as disease and plague risk mapping (http://lst.uevora.pt/), in line with EU Directive (Directive 2009/128/EC - Sustainable Use of Pesticides);

iii) satellite based biomass yield mapping and modulation of Mediterranean relevant forest species. Results obtained in 2013: i) with different vineyards producers in the Alentejo (600 ha), ii) those obtained in "Vale de Santarém" with different tomato growers associations monitoring Tuta (a tomato plague), and iii) mapping and modulating biomass yield of Quercus rotundifolia  and Quercus suber , indicate that the tools under development will achieve a great social value for national and international producers.

T3: 'Energy efficiency in agriculture'

This team has been involved in projects to quantify energy consumption in several agro-production activities (wheat, greenhouse tomatoes, olive groves, vineyards, dairy cows, pigs and broilers) and to study/identify ways to improve the use of energy, increasing energy efficiency, either by the improvement of the existent technology (modernization and automation of the systems, more rational use of agricultural inputs, such as irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) or by the adoption of new technologies (precision farming, conservation tillage, organic farming, integrated control systems). Also, the efficient use of energy in farm buildings either for environmental control systems or waste management have been studied by the team researchers.

Outras Informações