Representing Situational Knowledge for Disease Outbreaks in Agriculture

Markus Stocker, Jussi Nikander, Hanna Huitu, Marja Jalli, Markku Koistinen, Mauno Rönkkö, Mikko Kolehmainen


We present a software system for automated projection of situational knowledge for disease outbreak in agriculture. The system supports farmers and agricultural advisers in obtaining and maintaining awareness of present and future disease outbreaks in crops grown at agricultural parcels. It models objects such as plant pathogens and agricultural parcel crops, and their relations, as entities in situations observed by an environmental monitoring system. It utilizes a mechanistic disease pressure model to obtain knowledge about observed situations from forecast data for various weather parameters. It represents obtained situational knowledge explicitly and manages represented knowledge in a knowledge base. We evaluate the system for 3 fungal plant pathogens, 2 cereal crops, and 17 agricultural parcels located in Finland, for a growing season. We underscore how the explicit representation of situational knowledge is useful toward various purposes, including reasoning, query and visualization, and is, thus, vastly superior to having situational knowledge only implicit in high-level data products such as maps.

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DOI: 10.17700/jai.2016.7.2.290

Journal of Agricultural Informatics