WP4 – Improved management practices

The aim of WP4 is the definition and refinement of improved management practices as derived from a reiterative process performed amongst modelling outputs (WP2) and stakeholder evaluation (WP3). To this end, a range of working hypotheses will be explored by simulation in order to identify a set of optimal management practices tailored to maximize olive production and quality as well as by-products over each climate and environment scenarios as defined in WP1. The impacts of these strategies will be evaluated also in terms of mitigation carbon emissions from the agro-ecosystem.

Task 4.1 – Indicators analysis for present and future periods (business as usual

Leader ARI, partners involved CREA and CNR
Duration M17-M26

The aim of this task is the computation of environmental sustainability indicators (as defined in task 1.3) for the present period to be used as baseline to evaluate agro-ecosystems performance  in the present period and under future climate scenarios.

For olive oil industry, plant productivity and quality are extremely crucial and affected by several factors that are strongly related with local environmental conditions as well as traditional practices and the genetic material. The spatial outputs obtained from calibrated and validated model (WP2) will be used to assess the environmental sustainability and economic viability of olive agroecosystem performances in the present periods  and in the future climate scenarios (Task 1.2). This assessment will be performed under a Business as usual (BAU) scenario (i.e. using current management practices as defined in WP1 for the present period and management options as defined by stakeholders consultations in WP3).

Finally, impacts resulting from modelling and from economic analysis will be compared to thresholds, as defined in task 3.1, in order to identify current and future sustainability and profitability of olive tree practices.

Task 4.2 – Identification of feasible optimal olive management improvement strategies

Leader CREA, partners involved ARI and CNR
Duration M25 – M35

Dynamic simulation of olive production systems will be extensively applied here to evaluate the capacity of agronomic management practices to improve systems resilience respecting sustainability requirements and economic viability.

A set of agro-management plans, specifying the field operations for a whole year, will be defined for representative olive productions systems relative to geographic area, soil conditions, socio-economic situations, presence of particular environmental constraints. These plans will include management practices previously individuated in Tasks 3.2 and 4.1, to be compared with other using only conventional techniques currently used at present.

The management plans will be then coded into .xml scripts using the formalism of CREA-AgroManagement, a software component from the BioMA framework specifically developed to simulate agro-management practices. The component will be coupled to the modelling solutions established in WP2, and taking the xml scripts as inputs, it will allow to simulate the production systems performance and impact on externalities, under various managements.

The analysis will address topics outlined in the above-mentioned tasks, in particular water-use, soil protection, pests control.

Deliverables

D4.3 (Month 35) Analysis report about feasibility and effectiveness of new agro-management strategies based on scenario simulations.

Milestones

M4.1 (Month 29) Development of a set of innovative sustainable agro-management practices, to be evaluated for a number of target use-cases to be found across the participant countries.

M4.2 (Month 29) Implementing Agro-management component into the biophysical model use for scenario simulations.