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GIS-based software for orchards in Russia

A new computer program for orchard planning, which can provide maximal profit in specific local conditions, is developed by a team from Krasnodar supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises.

Recommendations offered by the program are based on the data on environmental conditions and soil-climatic requirements of orchard trees, and primarily, stone fruit crops (apricot, peach, cherry).

Potential yields of various fruit crops in a certain soil-climatic situation can be estimated using computer software developed by the horticulturists from Krasnodar (North Caucasus) on the basis of a vast data bank, digital maps, and GIS application for viewing and creating such maps. These materials were provided by scientists from Krasnodar, Moscow, and Obninsk, and the work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises.

This project will help orchard farmers to avoid massive losses in lean years. They will even forget about bad harvests and failure of crops, because recommended crops will be just optimal for planting in the local climate and soil conditions. Besides, if one crop fails, the loss can be covered by the yield of another crop, i.e., the program provides a kind of insurance to farmers.

The team members collected the cartographic data base for geographic information system of Krasnodar region. This GIS contains an environment for combining various maps of that region by placing one map over another like layers of a cake. Specifically, the set of superimposed maps is as follows: digital topographic map, delineations of the region’s boundary, locations of 35 meteorological stations, distribution of commercial orchards, and soil map.