Yiannis Ampatzidis

Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management.

Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform applications result in the use of agrochemicals where no diseases, weeds or pests occur. This unnecessary use of agrochemicals leads to increased costs, risk of crop damage, environmental pollution and contamination of the edible products.

The rapid development of new technologies and the changing landscape of the online world (e.g., Internet of Things, cloud-based solutions) provide a unique opportunity for developing intelligent agricultural systems for precision applications. Technological advances in machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enabled the development of intelligent agricultural technologies for precision applications. These technologies can optimize weed, pest and disease identification and management. In this article, several examples of emerging technologies in citrus are presented.

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