References of "Destain, Marie-France"
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See detailNitrogen fertilisation recommendations : could they be improved using stochastically generated climates in conjunction with crop models ?
Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Basso, Bruno; Meza Morales, Walter ULg et al

in Proceedings of the 12th ICPA (2014)

Accurate determination of optimal Nitrogen (N) recommendations which ensure maximization of farmer's revenue while minimizing the environmental constraint is maybe among the major challenges in ... [more ▼]

Accurate determination of optimal Nitrogen (N) recommendations which ensure maximization of farmer's revenue while minimizing the environmental constraint is maybe among the major challenges in agriculture. Crop models have the potential to deal with such aspects and could thus be used to develop decision support systems. However unknown future weather conditions remains the key point of accurate yield forecast. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study that aims to supply the unknown future with stochastically generated climatic conditions. Coupling the methodology with appropriate decision rules led to a generic decision support system able to guide the N management practices. [less ▲]

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See detailLa compaction des sols agricoles en Wallonie
Destain, Marie-France ULg

Book published by SPW (2014)

Dans nos pays industrialisés, l’agriculture fait appel à des machines de plus en plus lourdes. Lorsque des charges élevées sont appliquées sur des sols sensibles, une compaction du sol peut se produire ... [more ▼]

Dans nos pays industrialisés, l’agriculture fait appel à des machines de plus en plus lourdes. Lorsque des charges élevées sont appliquées sur des sols sensibles, une compaction du sol peut se produire conduisant à des diminutions de rendements suite aux difficultés que rencontrent les racines pour prélever l’eau et les nutriments et à la perturbation de l’activité de la pédofaune. Au niveau environnemental, du fait de la compaction, l’infiltration de l’eau dans le sol est réduite, principalement dans l’horizon superficiel. Une accumulation de l’eau à la surface du sol avec un accroissement des écoulements latéraux et du ruissellement peut apparaître. Il en résulte une augmentation des risques d’inondation et de pollution de surface provenant de l’application d’intrants. Le risque d’érosion sur des sols en pente, même faible, est également accru. En Europe, on estime que 32 % des couches profondes de sol sont largement dégradées. A l’inverse de l’érosion ou de la salinisation qui montrent des signes visibles de dégradation, les effets néfastes de la compaction ne sont pas immédiatement perceptibles. Du fait que la compaction des horizons profonds (au-delà de 30 cm) est un phénomène difficilement réversible par régénération naturelle et que les méthodes de restauration artificielles ne sont pas toujours couronnées de succès, l’Union Européenne considère la compaction comme l’un des facteurs majeurs de la dégradation physique des sols. Le projet de Directive européenne COM(2006)232 amendé par la note 16157/07 du 14 décembre 2007 établit un cadre général pour la protection des sols. Ce projet prévoit notamment que les Etats membres, dont fait partie la Belgique, identifient sur leur territoire les zones susceptibles de présenter des processus de dégradation du sol (érosion, perte de matière organique, compaction, salinisation, contamination et perte de biodiversité). Une fois les zones à risque identifiées, les Etats membres doivent proposer des objectifs de réduction des risques ainsi que des mesures concrètes permettant de les atteindre. Ils sont libres de fixer leurs propres objectifs et de décider comment et quand les atteindre. Le projet SoCo a établi une cartographie de la sensibilité des sols européens à la compaction. Cependant, étant donné sa faible résolution, cette carte ne permet pas de se faire une idée précise de la situation en Wallonie. La Direction générale opérationnelle Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement du SPW a donc décidé de mettre en œuvre une étude pour analyser de manière plus précise les risques de compaction des sols en Wallonie. [less ▲]

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See detailLa compaction des sols forestiers en Wallonie
Destain, Marie-France ULg

Book published by SPW (2014)

Dans nos pays industrialisés, l’exploitation forestière fait appel à des machines de plus en plus lourdes pour assurer la vidange des coupes et le débardage des grumes. Lorsque des charges élevées sont ... [more ▼]

Dans nos pays industrialisés, l’exploitation forestière fait appel à des machines de plus en plus lourdes pour assurer la vidange des coupes et le débardage des grumes. Lorsque des charges élevées sont appliquées sur des sols sensibles, une compaction du sol peut se produire entraînant une réduction de porosité, avec des conséquences néfastes sur la vitalité des peuplements. Au niveau environnemental, du fait de la compaction, l’infiltration de l’eau dans le sol est réduite, principalement dans l’horizon superficiel. Une accumulation de l’eau à la surface du sol avec un accroissement des écoulements latéraux et du ruissellement peut apparaître. Il en résulte une augmentation des risques d’inondation et de pollution de surface provenant de l’application d’intrants. Le risque d’érosion sur des sols en pente, même faible, est également accru. En Europe, on estime que 32 % des couches profondes de sol sont largement dégradées. A l’inverse de l’érosion ou de la salinisation qui montrent des signes visibles de dégradation, les effets néfastes de la compaction ne sont pas immédiatement perceptibles. Du fait que la compaction des horizons profonds (au-delà de 30 cm) est un phénomène difficilement réversible par régénération naturelle et que les méthodes de restauration artificielles ne sont pas toujours couronnées de succès, l’Union Européenne considère la compaction comme l’un des facteurs majeurs de la dégradation physique des sols. Le projet de Directive européenne COM(2006)232 amendé par la note 16157/07 du 14 décembre 2007 établit un cadre général pour la protection des sols. Ce projet prévoit notamment que les Etats membres, dont fait partie la Belgique, identifient sur leur territoire les zones susceptibles de présenter des processus de dégradation du sol (érosion, perte de matière organique, compaction, salinisation, contamination et perte de biodiversité). Une fois les zones à risque identifiées, les Etats membres doivent proposer des objectifs de réduction des risques ainsi que des mesures concrètes permettant de les atteindre. Ils sont libres de fixer leurs propres objectifs et de décider comment et quand les atteindre. Le projet SoCo a établi une cartographie de la sensibilité des sols européens à la compaction. Cependant, étant donné sa faible résolution, cette carte ne permet pas de se faire une idée précise de la situation en Wallonie. Par ailleurs, le Code Forestier Wallon entré en vigueur le 13 septembre 2008 prévoit explicitement l’interdiction d’occasionner des dégâts au sol qui pourraient avoir des conséquences à long terme sur la vitalité des peuplements. Dans ce cadre, la Direction générale opérationnelle Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement du SPW a décidé de mettre en œuvre une étude pour analyser de manière plus précise les risques de compaction des sols en Wallonie. [less ▲]

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See detailBayesian methods for predicting LAI and soil water content
Mansouri, Majdi ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Leemans, Vincent ULg et al

in Precision Agriculture (2014), 15(2), 184-201

LAI of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and soil water content of the topsoil (200 mm) and of the subsoil (500 mm) were considered as state variables of a dynamic soil-crop system. This system was ... [more ▼]

LAI of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and soil water content of the topsoil (200 mm) and of the subsoil (500 mm) were considered as state variables of a dynamic soil-crop system. This system was assumed to progress according to a Bayesian probabilistic state space model, in which real values of LAI and soil water content were daily introduced in order to correct the model trajectory and reach better future evolution. The chosen crop model was mini STICS which can reduce the computing and execution times while ensuring the robustness of data processing and estimation. To predict simultaneously state variables and model parameters in this non-linear environment, three techniques were used: Extended Kalman Filtering (EKF), Particle Filtering (PF), and Variational Filtering (VF). The significantly improved performance of the VF method when compared to EKF and PF is demonstrated. The variational filter has a low computational complexity and the convergence speed of states and parameters estimation can be adjusted independently. Detailed case studies demonstrated that the root mean square error (RMSE) of the three estimated states (LAI and soil water content of two soil layers) was smaller and that the convergence of all considered parameters was ensured when using VF. Assimilating measurements in a crop model allows accurate prediction of LAI and soil water content at a local scale. As these biophysical properties are key parameters in the crop-plant system characterization, the system has the potential to be used in precision farming to aid farmers and decision makers in developing strategies for site-specific management of inputs, such as fertilizers and water irrigation. [less ▲]

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See detailULTRASONIC WAVES THROUGH AGRICULTURAL SOILS TO DETERMINE THEIR COMPACTION AND POROSITY LEVEL 
Luong, Jeanne ULg; Mercatoris, Benoît ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

Poster (2014)

Compaction is one of the major causes of the physical degradation of agricultural soils. The traffic of more and more heavy machines leads to a decrease of the porosity at both the topsoil and subsoil ... [more ▼]

Compaction is one of the major causes of the physical degradation of agricultural soils. The traffic of more and more heavy machines leads to a decrease of the porosity at both the topsoil and subsoil levels. This has negative impacts in agricultural and environmental contexts such as the reduction of soil fertility and water infiltration. This project aims at characterizing in a fast and non-destructive way the state of compaction of an agricultural soil at a local scale using ultrasonic wave propagation. Acoustic signatures of soil samples will be correlated to their compaction level and their porosity distribution. This should allow a better comprehension of the compaction process and help to define critical threshold. As a result, this methodology could assist in taking restrictive measures such as load limitation of agricultural engines and implementing remedial methods. This poster presents the experimental protocol implement for this research. [less ▲]

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See detailASSESSMENT OF PLANT LEAF AREA MEASUREMENT BY USING STEREO- VISION
Leemans, Vincent ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

in 2013 International Conference on 3D Imaging (IC3D) - Proceedings (2013, December)

The aim of this study is to develop an alternative measurement for the leaf area index (LAI), an important agronomic parameter for plant growth assessment. A 3D stereo-vision technique was developed to ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to develop an alternative measurement for the leaf area index (LAI), an important agronomic parameter for plant growth assessment. A 3D stereo-vision technique was developed to measure both leaf area and corresponding ground area. The leaf area was based on pixel related measurements while the ground area was based on the mean distance from the leaves to the camera. Laboratory and field experiments were undertaken to estimate the accuracy and the precision of the technique. Result showed that, though the leaves-camera distance had to be estimated precisely in order to have accurate measurement, the precision of the LAI evaluation, after regression, was equivalent to the reference measurements, that is to say around 10% of the estimated value. This shows the potential of the 3D measurements compared with tedious reference measurements. [less ▲]

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See detailA comparison of within-season yield prediction methodologies
Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Basso, Bruno; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2013, November)

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See detailLeaf area and leaf orientation measurement by using stereo-vision
Leemans, Vincent ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

Conference (2013, September 03)

This paper presents a 3D stereo-vision system aiming at the measurement of plant characteristics. The method is intended to be used in an Ecotron where the availability of plant material is limited and ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a 3D stereo-vision system aiming at the measurement of plant characteristics. The method is intended to be used in an Ecotron where the availability of plant material is limited and where crop should be characterised non destructively. The plants were not considered as individuals, it was the crop as a whole that was characterised. The leaf area index (LAI) was measured. It is an important property of vegetation, since it determines the photosynthetic primary production, the plant evaporation and characterises the plant growth. The average leaf angle (ALA) was also measured. For the computation, leaf pixels were differentiated from soil pixels by using linear discriminant analysis. The stereo vision system computed the distance to the camera of each pixel in the image in the region where the pixels are present in both images. The observed area was computed on the basis of the average distance of the leaf pixels in the region. The leaf area was evaluated for each triplet of adjacent pixels by computing the cross product of the vectors defined by those three points. The sum gave the leaf area for the same region. The area of these triangles was summed for all the pixels in the region and the ratio to the observed area gave the LAI. The ALA was the mean orientation of the pixel triplets. After calibration, the method was found to present a coefficient of correlation of 0.93 with destructive reference measurements and a precision of 0.12 for the LAI. It was possible to measure the LAI and the ALA from the germination up to the ripening stage with a minimum of work load. [less ▲]

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See detailYield variability linked to climate uncertainty and nitrogen fertilisation
Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Basso, Bruno; Leemans, Vincent ULg et al

in Stafford, John V. (Ed.) Precision agriculture '13 (2013, July)

At the parcel scale, crop models such as STICS are powerful tools to study the effects of variable inputs such as management practices (e.g. nitrogen (N) fertilisation). In combination with a weather ... [more ▼]

At the parcel scale, crop models such as STICS are powerful tools to study the effects of variable inputs such as management practices (e.g. nitrogen (N) fertilisation). In combination with a weather generator, we built up a general methodology that allows studying the yield variability linked to climate uncertainty, in order to assess the best N practice. Our study highlighted that, applying the Belgian farmer current N practice (60 60 60 kgN.ha-1), the yield distribution was found to be very asymmetric with a skewness of -1.02 and a difference of 5% between the mean (10.5 t.ha-1) and the median (11.05 t.ha-1) of the distribution. Which implied that, under such practice, the probability for farmers to achieve decent yields, in comparison of the mean of the distribution, was the highest. [less ▲]

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See detailPrediction of non-linear time-variant dynamic crop model using bayesian methods
Mansouri, Majdi ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

in John Stafford (Ed.) Precision agriculture '13 (2013, July)

This work addresses the problem of predicting a non-linear time-variant leaf area index and soil moisture model (LSM) using state estimation. These techniques include the extended Kalman filter (EKF ... [more ▼]

This work addresses the problem of predicting a non-linear time-variant leaf area index and soil moisture model (LSM) using state estimation. These techniques include the extended Kalman filter (EKF), particle filter (PF) and the more recently developed technique, variational filter (VF). In the comparative study, the state variables (the leaf-area index LAI, the volumetric water content of the layer 1, HUR1 and the volumetric water content of the layer 2, HUR2) are estimated from noisy measurements of these variables, and the various estimation techniques are compared by computing the estimation root mean square error with respect to the noise-free data. The results show that VF provides a significant improvement over EKF and PF. [less ▲]

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See detailA Site-Specific Grain Yield Response Surface : Computing the Identity Card of a Crop Under Different Nitrogen Management Scenarios
Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Basso, Bruno; Leemans, Vincent ULg et al

in The acts of the EFITA2013 congress (2013, June)

At the parcel scale, crop models such as STICS are powerful tools to study the effects of variable inputs such as management practices (e.g. nitrogen (N) fertilization). In combination with a weather ... [more ▼]

At the parcel scale, crop models such as STICS are powerful tools to study the effects of variable inputs such as management practices (e.g. nitrogen (N) fertilization). In combination with a weather generator, we propose a general methodology that allows studying the yield variability linked to climate uncertainty, in order to assess the best practices in applying fertilizers. Our study highlights that, using the usual practice of Belgian farmers, namely applying three doses of 60kgN/ha, the yield’s distribution presents the highest degree of asymmetry. This implies the highest probability to achieve yields superior to the mean. The computed return time of expected yield shows that 9 years out of 10, a grain yield of 7.26 tons.ha-1 could at least be achieved. [less ▲]

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See detailZoom sur la rétention par les plantes
Lebeau, Frédéric ULg; Massinon, Mathieu ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2013)

This video aims to get an insight on the mechanisms involved in retention of pesticides on plants. Using high magnification lenses, high speed camera and led back-light, the elaboration of retention on ... [more ▼]

This video aims to get an insight on the mechanisms involved in retention of pesticides on plants. Using high magnification lenses, high speed camera and led back-light, the elaboration of retention on plant leaves is better understood. The behavior of different drops diameters and speed is observed and linked to the physics behind. The video is dedicated to plant protection products users and should give them a clear understanding of the relevant parameters to be mastered to avoid losses and reduce polution. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling and Prediction of Time-Varying Environmental Data Using Advanced Bayesian Methods
Mansouri, Majdi ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

in Masegosa, Antoçnio; Villacorta, Pablo; Cruz-Corona, Carlos (Eds.) et al Exploring Innovative and Successful Applications of Soft Computing (2013)

The problem of state/parameter estimation represents a key issue in crop models which are nonlinear, non-Gaussian and include a large number of parameters. The prediction errors are often important due to ... [more ▼]

The problem of state/parameter estimation represents a key issue in crop models which are nonlinear, non-Gaussian and include a large number of parameters. The prediction errors are often important due to uncertainties in the equations, the input variables, and the parameters. The measurements needed to run the model (input data), to perform calibration and validation are sometimes not numerous or known with some uncertainty. In these cases, estimating the state variables and/or parameters from easily obtained measurements can be extremely useful. In this work, we address the problem of modeling and prediction of leaf area index and soil moisture (LSM) using state estimation. The performances of various conventional and state-of-the-art state estimation techniques are compared when they are utilized to achieve this objective. These techniques include the extended Kalman filter (EKF), unscented Kalman filter (UKF), particle filter (PF), and the more recently developed technique variational Bayesian filter (VF). The objective of this work is to extend the state and parameter estimation techniques (i.e., EKF, UKF, PF and VF) to better handle nonlinear and non-Gaussian processes without a priori state information, by utilizing a time-varying assumption of statistical parameters. In this case, the state vector to be estimated at any instant is assumed to follow a Gaussian model, where the expectation and the covariance matrix are both random. The randomness of the expectation and the covariance of the state/parameter vector are assumed here to further capture the uncertainty of the state distribution. One practical choice of these distributions can be a Gaussian distribution for the expectation and a multi-dimensional Wishart distribution for the covariance matrix. The assumption of random mean and random covariance of the state leads to a probability distribution covering a wide range of tail behaviors, which allows discrete jumps in the state variables. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling and Prediction of Time-Varying Environmental Data Using Advanced Bayesian Methods
Mansouri, Majdi ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

in Masegosa, Antoçnio; Villacorta, Pablo; Cruz-Corona, Carlos (Eds.) et al Exploring Innovative and Successful Applications of Soft Computing (2013)

The problem of state/parameter estimation represents a key issue in crop models which are nonlinear, non-Gaussian and include a large number of parameters. The prediction errors are often important due to ... [more ▼]

The problem of state/parameter estimation represents a key issue in crop models which are nonlinear, non-Gaussian and include a large number of parameters. The prediction errors are often important due to uncertainties in the equations, the input variables, and the parameters. The measurements needed to run the model (input data), to perform calibration and validation are sometimes not numerous or known with some uncertainty. In these cases, estimating the state variables and/or parameters from easily obtained measurements can be extremely useful. In this work, we address the problem of modeling and prediction of leaf area index and soil moisture (LSM) using state estimation. The performances of various conventional and state-of-the-art state estimation techniques are compared when they are utilized to achieve this objective. These techniques include the extended Kalman filter (EKF), unscented Kalman filter (UKF), particle filter (PF), and the more recently developed technique variational Bayesian filter (VF). The objective of this work is to extend the state and parameter estimation techniques (i.e., EKF, UKF, PF and VF) to better handle nonlinear and non-Gaussian processes without a priori state information, by utilizing a time-varying assumption of statistical parameters. In this case, the state vector to be estimated at any instant is assumed to follow a Gaussian model, where the expectation and the covariance matrix are both random. The randomness of the expectation and the covariance of the state/parameter vector are assumed here to further capture the uncertainty of the state distribution. One practical choice of these distributions can be a Gaussian distribution for the expectation and a multi-dimensional Wishart distribution for the covariance matrix. The assumption of random mean and random covariance of the state leads to a probability distribution covering a wide range of tail behaviors, which allows discrete jumps in the state variables. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling and Prediction of Nonlinear Environmental System Using Bayesian Methods
Mansouri, Majdi; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Destain, Marie-France ULg

in Computers & Electronics in Agriculture (2013), 92

An environmental dynamic system is usually modeled as a nonlinear system described by a set of nonlinear ODEs. A central challenge in computational modeling of environmental systems is the determination ... [more ▼]

An environmental dynamic system is usually modeled as a nonlinear system described by a set of nonlinear ODEs. A central challenge in computational modeling of environmental systems is the determination of the model parameters. In these cases, estimating these variables or parameters from other easily obtained measurements can be extremely useful. This work addresses the problem of monitoring and modeling a leaf area index and soil moisture model (LSM) using state estimation. The performances of various conventional and state-of-the-art state estimation techniques are compared when they are utilized to achieve this objective. These techniques include the extended Kalman filter (EKF), the particle filter (PF), and the more recently developed technique variational filter (VF). Specifically, two comparative studies are performed. In the first comparative study, the state variables (the leaf-area index LAI , the volumetric water content of the soil layer 1, HUR1 and the volumetric water content of the soil layer 2, HUR2) are estimated from noisy measurements of these variables, and the various estimation techniques are compared by computing the estimation root mean square error (RMSE) with respect to the noise-free data. In the second comparative study, the state variables as well as the model parameters are simultaneously estimated. In this case, in addition to comparing the performances of the various state estimation techniques, the effect of number of estimated model parameters on the accuracy and convergence of these techniques are also assessed. The results of both comparative studies show that the PF provides a higher accuracy than the EKF, which is due to the limited ability of the EKF to handle highly nonlinear processes. The results also show that the VF provides a significant improvement over the PF because, unlike the PF which depends on the choice of sampling distribution used to estimate the posterior distribution, the VF yields an optimum choice of the sampling distribution, which also accounts for the observed data. The results of the second comparative study show that, for all techniques, estimating more model parameters affects the estimation accuracy as well as the convergence of the estimated states and parameters. However, the VF can still provide both convergence as well as accuracy related advantages over other estimation methods. [less ▲]

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See detailVers un système de prédiction du rendement en temps réel
Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Ferrandis Vallterra, Salvador ULg; Leemans, Vincent ULg et al

Poster (2012, October 16)

L'objectif de cette recherche est le développement d'un outil capable de prédire les rendements d'une culture de blé en temps réel, au fur et à mesure que la saison avance. Pour atteindre cet objectif ... [more ▼]

L'objectif de cette recherche est le développement d'un outil capable de prédire les rendements d'une culture de blé en temps réel, au fur et à mesure que la saison avance. Pour atteindre cet objectif, nous avons développé une méthodologie qui repose sur l'adjonction des éléments suivants : (i) le modèle de culture STICS (INRA, France), (ii) un réseau de capteurs sans fil pour le monitoring des variables agro-environnementales (éKo system, The Crossbow technologies, USA) et (iii) une base de données météorologiques. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of bacteria community associated with earthworm gut
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2012, July 26)

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are ... [more ▼]

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are found indirectly in their closed environment or directly in their gut. Functional aspects of these interactions and symbiosis in relation with soil characteristics and fertility rates are poorly developed. Here, the micro-organisms diversity and potential related functions of earthworm gut were investigated using a proteiomic approach for both protein and micro-organism identifications. Microbial community investigation was detected by proteomic approach based on bidimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation – time of flight (Maldi-Tof). Diversity of gut associated bacterial communities was discussed. Indeed, application of particular crop production practices such as crop residue management at the field level could regulate the gut bacterial communities in earthworm but also microbials in soils. Agricultural systems had to consider the microbial and associated organisms in the soil to enhance fertlility and crop production in sustainable ways. [less ▲]

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