Precision management of horticultural crops


Zude-Sasse Manuela Zude-Sasse

Manuela Zude-Sasse

Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Germany

Khot Lav Khot

Lav Khot

Washington State University, USA

Manfrini Luigi Manfrini

Luigi Manfrini

University of Bologna, Italy

Bortolotti Gianmarco Bortolotti

Gianmarco Bortolotti

University of Bologna, Italy


This session captures the latest methodological developments and applications in precision horticulture engineering. Research related to technologies that aid in fine-tuning crop production and postharvest process (monitoring and management) practices are welcome. Specific focus is given to technologies for site-specific weather and crop monitoring, controlling light use, irrigation, nutrients, crop protection and crop canopy as well as load management. Furthermore, precise monitoring and measures considering preharvest factors affecting the postharvest fruit and vegetables quality and storability are invited. Papers that integrate sensor and actuation technologies with emerging network connectivity, edge and cloud computing solutions are also captured.


We welcome contributions that covers the following topics:

  • Crop stress sensing- both in open and protected environments with real-time decision support by harnessing IOT concepts, network connectivity, edge/cloud computing
  • Monitoring and using data on preharvest factors affecting postharvest properties of produce
  • Integration of data and models for decision support
  • Learnings from pilot/demo farms exploring digital agriculture concepts
  • Optimizing light, water, nutrients and pesticide use efficiency by means of plant data
  • High throughput phenotyping aimed at optimized breeding and translational technology for crop production


Manuela Zude-Sasse obtained a PhD at the Technical University Berlin, became Associate Professor at Humboldt University with habilitation in “Applied Plant Physiology”, and subsequently Professor at the Berlin University of Applied Science, Germany. Presently, she serves as group leader for PRECISION HORTICULTURE at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, meanwhile publishing >80 WoS papers, editing several (special) issues of international journals and a book on optical methods for crop sensing. The author works in the areas of sensor development, and turning the signals into plant information. The plant information obtained are applicable in the agronomic processes.

A WSU faculty member since 2013, Lav Khot is one of the core members of Center for Precision & Automated Agricultural System (CPAAS). His program is internationally recognized in the field of precision horticulture engineering and automaton technologies that help growers better monitor and manage crops while ensuring optimal use of resources, such as chemicals, water, energy, and labor. Khot is a recipient of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40, Class of 2021 inclusion from Fruit Growers News and the 2018 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award from FFAR. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and more than 350 combined national and international conference talks, extension/outreach workshops, and short courses. He currently serves as the Associate Editor for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Journals. He also chaired the Mechanization, Digitization, Sensing and Robotics Workgroup of the International Society of Horticultural Science (2018-2022), as well as the multi-state group (S1069: Research and Extension for Unmanned Aircraft Systems {UAS} Applications in U.S. Agriculture and Natural Resources (2021-2022).

Luigi Manfrini is an assistant professor at the Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna. He focuses his research on application of new technologies and precision managements coupled with the effects of the environment on fruit tree physiology with the aim to develop new strategies to improve orchards sustainability maintaining high level of quality and yields. Currently involved in national and international projects addressing issues related to precision management implementation, sustainable fruit production and efficient resources use. Secretary of the EUFRIN Working Group on “Decision Support Systems”. Author of more than 60 publications in scientific and professional journals, PhD in precise orchard management (since 2009) and M. Sci. in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (since 2004).

Gianmarco Bortolotti has a background in agricultural sciences and obtained his PhD in Agricultural and Food sciences at the University of Bologna focusing on innovative apple tree training system for increasing fruit production automation and sustainability. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Agricultural and Food sciences of the University of Bologna, where he is involved in National and European projects. His research focuses on fruit crops plant physiology, on automation friendly tree training system/architecture as well as precision agriculture applied on fruit production. In the last years, with colleagues of his research group, he is working in developing Precision Orchard Management (POM) techniques, those exploit new sensors, methodologies and technologies for precision agriculture.