Bringing together 14 partners across 7 European countries, the new EU project CrackSense will address the fruit cracking challenge in Europe, focusing on real-time monitoring and prediction by utilising and upscaling sensing and digital data technologies. Since fruit cracking is a peel disorder, limiting fruit quality and yield, the ambition of the project is to monitor agri-environmental conditions because these conditions have a great influence on agricultural production.
“The phenomenon of fruit cracking occurs mainly in the pre-harvest stage, and it is often a physiological response to climatic and environmental conditions. It initiates at the surface of the fruit, where cracks traverse the skin and penetrate the inner tissues. That can result in yield loss in many fruit crops. CrackSense’s ambition is to prevent and reduce fruit cracking in citrus, pomegranate, table grapes and sweet cherries by developing and upscaling sensing technologies that will provide real-time sensor data through piloting activities set in Israel, France, Germany, Lithuania, and Greece.”
Victor Alchanatis,D.Sc researcher and Avi Sadka, professor of plant sciences
at the Agricultural research organization of Israel, the Volcani Center Coordination team of CrackSense
The sensor data collected will be combined with Earth Observation Data (provided by Copernicus, e.g., Sentinel satellite) and other data sets reflecting on environmental conditions. Biophysical and biochemical traits that control plant physiology will be monitored at large spatial scales by drones to optimise resource use and enhance fruit production. As CrackSense strives to collect diverse and punctual data sets across piloting regions, both remote and proximal sensing technologies will be used for these purposes. By improving the agricultural production of the crops mentioned above, CrackSense will also help in creating a model for other agricultural crops and mitigation strategies for fruit cracking, which could result in up to 50% higher financial gain for farmers and growers. The CrackSense project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and all the information is available on project’s website, as well as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.