Precision agriculture: treating effectively without harming the environment

To feed society in 2050, agriculture must guarantee sufficient production. Although pesticides increase crop yield and quality, they can have harmful effects on the environment, even when used in very low quantities. In order to balance agricultural performance and environmental conservation, precision farming offers innovative techniques to reduce the use of phytosanitary products by bringing the right dose to the right location.

Spraying without waste

High-tech spraying

Experimentation at the heart of ReducPol © Irstea / P. Latron (Look At Sciences agency)

A closer look at ReducPol, a research platform that evaluates the application and spraying of phytosanitary products.


[Video] An artificial vine for full-scale testing

Introducing Evasprayviti, a test bench that mimics natural vines and measures phytosanitary product sprayer performance.

"Connected" innovation: reducing pesticides in viticulture

© Irstea/ V. De Rudniki

The latest tool developed by Irstea: PICORE. Designed for winegrowers, Picore allows them to optimize settings on their sprayers while ensuring treatment quality. This method can lead to 15-20% product savings.


An innovative test bench to reduce the risk of drift


The aim of the EoleDrift test bench is to test and classify sprayers according to their ability to reduce the risk of spray drift in order to help equipment manufacturers provide safe, certified equipment to winegrowers. 

Efficient spreading that doesn’t harm the soil

Test bench for spreading organic waste

© Irstea / V. De Rudniki

Manufacturers are able to make use of a spreading simulation tool and a test bench for applicators that assesses their ability to distribute organic fertilizer on the ground.

A slug pellet applicator


The SPANDO TDS spreader, a small slug pellet applicator, is the result of a partnership between Irstea and De Sangosse. The applicator, tested using Irstea's Cemib test bench, provides improved distribution and identical doses across an entire plot, due to the DPAE (flow rate proportional to forward electronic speed) in conjunction with GPS. In order to avoid throwing pellets outside the plot, DE SANGOSSE, in partnership with Irstea, has equipped the SPANDO® with a patented edging disk.  Spreading parameters are chosen electronically using a control unit. Parameters include the dose/hectare, size and average working speed. These specifications can be used to reduce the dose per hectare and provide savings.

For further information, consult the De Sangosse website

Limiting the use of pesticides in vineyards

Although using a certain amount of phytosanitary products is essential to reliable agriculture, it is no longer possible to ignore the fact that even at small doses, these products have a particularly toxic impact on human and environmental wellbeing. At Irstea, scientists have been working on buffer zones to naturally eliminate these products.

Will the success of artificial wetland buffer zones be confirmed?

To intercept pollution caused by agricultural drainage, Irstea has created an artificial wetland buffer zone at Rampillon, covering an area of 1.44 hectares. Special report on the encouraging initial results.