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2022 summer of Innovation Hubs in Latvia
Despite the fact that everyone is tired of the situation caused by the pandemic some interactions were performed in the Innovation Hubs in Latvia. On July 14 the field day was held in farm Eglāji – the orchard of almost 12 ha of irrigated apple trees, equipped by Davis meteorological station with additional sensor nodes in the orchard. Due to the wet weather in a situation where the trees feel wonderful the stakeholders’ interest was not so high. 10 stakeholders were participating in orchard management, particularly with an interest in irrigation. It should be noted that the meteorological situation was very variable (unequal) in Latvia. In the season of 2022 were recorded very dry regions were recorded in Latvia as well. Orchard irrigation until now has not been common practice in Latvia. The field day was a place where applied science combined together with ATLAS Innovation Hubs came closer to industry.
It is always the most attractive for target groups when experience, knowledge, and solutions including technics and technologies are available at the same time and space. Such a possibility was offered to berries growers from Latvia and Estonia. They met in North part of Latvia, visiting an open day dedicated to blackcurrants in “Korgzeme” Ltd (July 22, 2022). At least 35 stakeholders during “Blackcurrant Day 2022” were introduced with Innovation Hubs of ATLAS, meteorological station and sensor sets, and station nodes in the berry’s plantations. There were possibilities to learn how to use data for data-driven horticulture against pests, and how to manage the best conditions for the blackcurrants in the field and other fruit crops.
A little overview and insight into ATLAS for organic vegetable growers were presented during the field day at farm “Puteņi” (September 5, 2022) – L. Mucenieces farm in Kaibala parish. There were 9 visitors, whose main interests were related to strip-cropping, intercropping, catch-crops, green manure application, and implementation and promotion of a set of environment-friendly technological solutions in vegetable growing, where weather conditions play a significant role. The weather station using opportunities was demonstrated and discussed as well as analysing the soil moisture conditions and total evapotranspiration of crops. The use of smart technologies in horticulture is focused also on in another Horizon 2020 project SMARTPROTECT implemented in LatHort, which is aimed to stimulate knowledge flow in the regional AKISs across the EU and connect these to the innovative potential of advanced methodologies for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in vegetable production, integrating precision farming technologies and data analytics. The importance of irrigation, especially data-driven irrigation was highlighted, where some approaches could provide ATLAS-generated solutions.