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See detailunité: Eau-Environnement-Développement (ULg Campus Arlon): la télédétection au service de l'agriculture
Wellens, Joost ULg; Lang, Marie ULg; Benabdelouahab, Tarik et al

Diverse speeche and writing (2015)

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See detailA consommer avec modération!
Wellens, Joost ULg

Speech/Talk (2015)

Le bassin du Kou, dans le sud-ouest du Burkina Faso, est depuis quelques décennies le théâtre de différentes formes de problèmes et conflits que l’on rencontre souvent dans des zones irriguées. S’étendant ... [more ▼]

Le bassin du Kou, dans le sud-ouest du Burkina Faso, est depuis quelques décennies le théâtre de différentes formes de problèmes et conflits que l’on rencontre souvent dans des zones irriguées. S’étendant sur 1.800 km², ce petit bassin contient la deuxième plus grande ville du Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso). Il couvre un ancien périmètre de riz irrigué aménagé par l’état et plusieurs zones agricoles exploitées de façon informelle. Malgré une relative abondance des ressources en eau, la plupart des utilisateurs de l'eau font régulièrement face à des pénuries d’eau en raison d'une augmentation de la population agricole et de pratiques d’irrigation inefficientes. A la demande des parties prenantes publiques et privées actives dans la région, des outils d’aide à la décision ont été développés (à moindre coût) afin de garantir le suivi-évaluation des ressources en eau et leur utilisation. Pour le suivi régional, des cartes d’occupations de sol ont été établies à partir d’images aériennes, prises avec un petit avion amateur. Combinées avec des données du réseau hydrométrique, des cartes de consommation en eau régionale ont été dessinées. Des régions présentant de mauvaises efficiences en irrigation ont pu être identifiées. A partir de ces constats régionaux, des actions plus détaillées et spécifiques ont pu être entreprises. Au niveau du périmètre irrigué, plus grand consommateur en eau situé le plus en aval et soucieux de la mauvaise gestion de l’eau à leur niveau, un diagnostic des efficiences en distribution et consommation a été élaboré. Suite à ces constats négatifs, le logiciel SIMIS (FAO) a été mis en place afin de proposer une répartition d’eau équitable, et d’améliorer les rendements malgré les ressources en eau en diminution. Quant à la panoplie de parcelles informelles en amont, un modèle de simulation eau-sol-plante, simple mais robuste, AquaCrop (aussi FAO), a été adapté. Des calendriers d’irrigation, issu de ce logiciel, permettent aux agents de terrain de conseiller les exploitants d’augmenter les efficiences en irrigation et ainsi accroître la disponibilité en eau pour les utilisateurs en aval. A chaque fois, plusieurs séances de concertation ont accompagné le développement et la mise en place de ces différents outils. Tous les acteurs, décideurs et agriculteurs, ont été entendus et informés afin de garantir la durabilité et l’appropriation des approches. Chaque outil est appliqué de manière indépendante à son niveau, nécessitant un nombre limité de données ; mais les résultats combinés contribuent à une gestion intégrée des ressources en eau pour l’agriculture irriguée. Des entretiens ont démontré une amélioration des moyens de subsistance en raison de la meilleure distribution de l'eau et une meilleure compréhension entre les différents utilisateurs de l’eau. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional crop modelling and yield forecasting: opportunities in coupling models and satellite data
Wellens, Joost ULg; Derouane, Johan

Conference (2014, November)

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See detailAquaCrop: Manuel d'utilisation
Raes, Dirk; Steduto, Paquale; Hsiao, Theodore et al

Learning material (2014)

Le logiciel AquaCrop est un modèle de bilan d’eau qui permet d’évaluer les efficiences en irrigation, l’élaboration des calendriers d’irrigation au niveau de la parcelle et l'estimation des rendements ... [more ▼]

Le logiciel AquaCrop est un modèle de bilan d’eau qui permet d’évaluer les efficiences en irrigation, l’élaboration des calendriers d’irrigation au niveau de la parcelle et l'estimation des rendements. AquaCrop a été sélectionné en raison de sa simplicité et de sa robustesse, et du nombre limité de variables à introduire. Il existe bien des modèles déterministes, mais pour fonctionner correctement, ils exigent des paramètres d’entrée très détaillés qui ne sont pas toujours disponibles quand il s’agit de recherche en milieu rural (‘on-farm’). [less ▲]

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See detailUn cadre pour l'utisation des outils d'aide à la décision à diverses échelles spatiales pour la gestion de l'agriculture irriguée en Afrique de l'Ouest
Wellens, Joost ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Le bassin du Kou, situé dans le sud-ouest du Burkina Faso, est depuis quelques décennies le théâtre de différentes formes de conflits liés à toute une série de problèmes que l’on rencontre généralement ... [more ▼]

Le bassin du Kou, situé dans le sud-ouest du Burkina Faso, est depuis quelques décennies le théâtre de différentes formes de conflits liés à toute une série de problèmes que l’on rencontre généralement dans des zones irriguées. Dans le bassin du Kou, les aménagements hydro-agricoles couvrent une superficie totale de près de 2.000 ha; il s’agit de périmètres privés maraîchers et horticoles, et d’un grand périmètre de 1.200 ha réalisé par l’Etat. Malgré l’abondance en eau liée à la présence de sources importantes, d’une nappe phréatique facilement exploitable et d’un cours d’eau pérenne, la plupart des utilisateurs se retrouvent régulièrement en pénurie d’eau à cause d’une augmentation des utilisateurs et des mauvaises efficiences en irrigation. A la demande des parties prenantes publiques et privées actives dans la région, des outils d’aide à la décision ont été développés afin de garantir le suivi-évaluation des ressources en eau et leur exploitation agricole. Il a également été souhaité que les procédures soient réalisables à moindre coût avec les moyens techniques et financiers localement disponibles. Toute une chaine d’outils d’aide à la décision pour différents niveaux spatiaux a été mise en place : du niveau du bassin versant, à la parcelle en passant par les 1.200 ha du périmètre irrigué. Pour le suivi régional, des cartes d’occupations de sol ont été établies à partir des images satellites et aériennes. Combinées avec des données du réseau hydrométrique, des cartes de consommation en eau régionale ont été dessinées. Des régions présentant de mauvaises efficiences en irrigation ont pu être identifiées et des actions plus détaillées et spécifiques entreprises. Quant au périmètre irrigué, après avoir élaboré un diagnostic des efficiences en irrigation, le logiciel Scheme Irrigation Management Information System a été mis en place afin de proposer des scénarii d’irrigation fiables et équitables, et d’améliorer le rendement du périmètre malgré les ressources en eau en diminution. Un partenariat public-privé a été instauré garantissant la durabilité de la gestion hydro-agricole du périmètre. Au niveau de la parcelle, un modèle robuste de productivité de rendement de culture AquaCrop a été calibré et validé. Ce logiciel permet aux agents de terrain d’évaluer les efficiences en irrigation ainsi que l’élaboration de calendriers d’irrigation plus productifs et efficaces. Chaque outil est appliqué de manière indépendante à son niveau, nécessitant un nombre limité de données d’entrée; mais les résultats combinés contribuent à une gestion intégrée des ressources en eau pour l’agriculture irriguée. [less ▲]

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See detailA framework for using decision-support tools at various spatial scales for the management of irrigated agriculture in semi-arid West-Africa
Wellens, Joost ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

The Kou watershed, situated in the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso, has succumbed since a couple of decades to a typical theater play of anarchistic water management. With its 1.800 km², this small ... [more ▼]

The Kou watershed, situated in the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso, has succumbed since a couple of decades to a typical theater play of anarchistic water management. With its 1.800 km², this small watershed includes the second largest city of Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso), a former state run irrigated rice scheme and several informal agricultural zones. Despite the abundance of water resources, most water users find themselves regularly faced with shortages due to an increase in population and low irrigation efficiencies. Local stakeholders are hence in need of easy to use and low-cost decision support tools for the monitoring and exploitation of the water resources at different spatial and user levels. A top-to-bottom string of adapted water management tools has successfully been installed to tackle the problems: from watershed (top) to field level (bottom), not to mention the 1200 ha irrigation scheme. Land use maps have been derived from satellite and aerial images. Combined with data from a network of hydrologic gauging stations, regional water use maps were established. Hot spots in inefficient water use could be geographically identified and more detailed actions undertaken. Scheme Information Management Information System (SIMIS) was put in place for the management of the regions irrigated rice scheme. A more equitable distribution for the ever diminishing available water resources could be elaborated. A public-private partnership was installed to guarantee its sustainability. Day to day water use on irrigated plots was monitored by soil humidity and crop canopy measurements. A simple field-crop-water balance model AquaCrop was calibrated and validated, and is used by extension workers to draft optimal irrigation charts. Each tool is applied independently, requiring only limited data; but their combined results contribute to an improved integrated water management. [less ▲]

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See detailInitiation à ENVI
Midekor, Akoly; Wellens, Joost ULg; Tychon, Bernard ULg

Learning material (2013)

Ce cours présente les concepts de base de la télédétection ainsi que certaines techniques de traitement et de classification d’images satellitaires à l’aide du logiciel ENVI. On commence par se ... [more ▼]

Ce cours présente les concepts de base de la télédétection ainsi que certaines techniques de traitement et de classification d’images satellitaires à l’aide du logiciel ENVI. On commence par se familiariser avec d’images satellites en les étudiant dans les modules ENVI Zoom et ENVI. Le cours se focalise après sur les différentes techniques de classification les plus utilisées : classification non-supervisée, supervisée ou par arbre de décision, et une analyse pratique de changement temporel de l’occupation de sol à partir d’images satellites. Les données de base de ces exercices sont tirées de la base de données du projet GEeau et traitent les différentes problématiques de gestion de l’eau et de l’environnement dans l’Ouest du Burkina Faso. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailPerformance assessment of the FAO AquaCrop model for irrigated cabbage on farmer plots in a semi-arid environment
Wellens, Joost ULg; Raes, Dirk; Traore, Farid et al

in Agricultural Water Management (2013), 127

Small-scale irrigation initiatives are expanding rapidly in Burkina Faso. However, in many cases optimal yields are not being obtained despite the available water and the required nutrient applications ... [more ▼]

Small-scale irrigation initiatives are expanding rapidly in Burkina Faso. However, in many cases optimal yields are not being obtained despite the available water and the required nutrient applications. Local stakeholders need an easy-to-use decision-support tool to assess irrigation water use and its impact on yield. In this study, a water-driven crop model, AquaCrop, developed by FAO, was adapted for cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) using a limited dataset and leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV). The experiment was conducted in south-western Burkina Faso on small irrigated farmer plots, where optimal managerial conditions could not always be guaranteed. Statistical indicators – normalized root mean square error (nRMSE) and index of agreement (d) – suggested that the model is very reliable for simulating cabbage biomass yield and soil water content (low nRMSE and d-index near 1). The relationship between observed and simulated yield produced a d-index of 0.99 and an nRMSE of 1.39% (or 0.59 ton/ha). The comparison between observed and modeled soil water content gave a d-index of 0.90 and an nRMSE of 4.38% (or 9.13 mm). Also of interest was the indirect link between plant density and yield via maximum canopy cover, which can considerably simplify yield estimation. It was concluded that AquaCrop was a very useful tool for enabling local end-users to evaluate and optimize cabbage yield and irrigation water use. [less ▲]

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See detailAn easy and low-cost method for preprocessing and matching small-scale amateur aerial photography for assessing agricultural land use in Burkina Faso
Wellens, Joost ULg; Midekor, Akoly; Traore, Farid ULg et al

in International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (2013), 23

In recent decades, the Kou watershed in south-western Burkina Faso has suffered from poor water management. Despite the abundance of water, most water users regularly face water shortages because of the ... [more ▼]

In recent decades, the Kou watershed in south-western Burkina Faso has suffered from poor water management. Despite the abundance of water, most water users regularly face water shortages because of the increase in the amount of land under irrigation. To help them achieve a more equitable allocation of irrigated land, local stakeholders need an easily managed low-cost tool for monitoring and mapping these irrigated zones. The aim of this study was to develop a fast and low-cost procedure for mosaicing and georeferencing amateur small-scale aerial photographs for land-use surveys. Sets of tens (2009) and hundreds (2007) of low-altitude aerial photographs, with a resolution of 0.4 m and 0.8 m, respectively, were used to create a detailed land-cover map of typical African small-scale irrigated agriculture. A commercially available stitching tool and GIS allowed georeferenced ‘mono-images’ to be constructed; both mosaics were warped on a high-resolution SPOT image with a horizontal root mean square error (RMSE) of about 11 m. The RMSE between the two image datasets was 2 m. This approach is less sensitive to atmospheric conditions that are non-predictable in programming satellite imagery. [less ▲]

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See detailCartographie des périmètres irrigués de Mogtedo et de Karfiguela à l'aide de Google Earth
Dimzoure, Lamine; Wellens, Joost ULg; Tychon, Bernard ULg

Learning material (2013)

Des études diagnostics ont démontré l’absence d’une cartographie récente des périmètres irrigués rendant toute planification et gestion de l’eau aléatoire. La présente étude avait comme objectif de ... [more ▼]

Des études diagnostics ont démontré l’absence d’une cartographie récente des périmètres irrigués rendant toute planification et gestion de l’eau aléatoire. La présente étude avait comme objectif de développer une technique à moindre coût pour la cartographie des périmètres irrigués à partir de l’imagerie issue de Google Earth. Des captures d’écran, géoréférencées et mosaiquées à l’aide d’ArcGIS ,ont permis la création d’une seule image détaillée et géoréférencée par périmètre irrigué. A travers ces images détaillées, il a été possible de rapidement et clairement mettre en place un SIG et une base de données décrivant les canaux, ouvrages et parcelles des périmètres. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring the evolution of irrigated areas with Landsat images using backward and forward change detection analysis in the Kou watershed
Traore, Farid ULg; Cornet, Yves ULg; Denis, Antoine ULg et al

in Geocarto International (2013)

The Kou watershed is characterized by important water resources used for drinking, agriculture (especially in the important irrigated areas), industry and the preservation of aquatic fauna and flora. For ... [more ▼]

The Kou watershed is characterized by important water resources used for drinking, agriculture (especially in the important irrigated areas), industry and the preservation of aquatic fauna and flora. For several decades there has been increasing pressure on the Kou’s water resources, partly because of the expansion of the irrigated agricultural areas. This study was conducted to examine this issue, focusing on one specific irrigated area. In order to monitor the expansion of irrigated areas in developing countries, a low-cost remote sensing method based on Landsat images and aerial photographs was developed. The method is based on maximum-likelihood classifications, followed by backward and forward change detection analysis requiring agronomic expertise. Using pixel trajectory analysis, the method connects all pixels to their consecutive states in order to correct their current states. The study showed that the irrigated area has expanded by almost 80% over 20 years, with most of this expansion occurring in the past 10 years. The approach, if validated, could be used to obtain information on past occupation in the rural irrigated areas for which there is no archived data. [less ▲]

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See detailA framework for the use of decision-support tools at various spatial scales for the management of irrigated agriculture in West-Africa
Wellens, Joost ULg; Traore, Farid; Diallo, Mamadou et al

in Agricultural Sciences (2013), 4 (8A)

The Kou watershed in south-western Burkina Faso has suffered from poor water management for several decades. Covering 1,800 km², this small watershed is the site of the second largest city in Burkina Faso ... [more ▼]

The Kou watershed in south-western Burkina Faso has suffered from poor water management for several decades. Covering 1,800 km², this small watershed is the site of the second largest city in Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso), a former State-run irrigated rice scheme and several informal agricultural zones. Notwithstanding the abundance of water resources, most water users regularly face water shortages due to a population increase and low irrigation inefficiency. Local stakeholders therefore need low-cost, easy-to-use decision-support tools to enable them to monitor and exploit the water resources to best advantage at different spatial and user levels. A top to bottom series of adapted water management tools has been successfully installed to address current problems, from watershed level (top) to individual field level (bottom), and including the 1,200 ha irrigated rice scheme. Remote sensing techniques have been developed to map the agricultural lands. Combined with data from a network of hydrologic gauging stations, regional water-use maps have been compiled. SIMIS software is being used for the public-private management of the irrigated rice scheme. A simple field-crop-water balance model, AquaCrop, is being used by extension workers to draft optimal irrigation charts. Day to day water use on irrigated plots was monitored by soil humidity and crop canopy measurements. Each water management tool is applied independently, requiring only limited data, but their combined results are contributing to improved integrated water management. [less ▲]

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See detailA public-private partnership experience in the management of an irrigation scheme using decision-support tools in Burkina Faso
Wellens, Joost ULg; Nitcheu, Martial; Traore, Farid et al

in Agricultural Water Management (2013), 116

Within the framework of a national policy on food sufficiency dating back to the late 1960s, a 1,200 ha State-run irrigated rice scheme, called the ‘Kou Valley’ scheme, was established in south-western ... [more ▼]

Within the framework of a national policy on food sufficiency dating back to the late 1960s, a 1,200 ha State-run irrigated rice scheme, called the ‘Kou Valley’ scheme, was established in south-western Burkina Faso. Jointly managed over a long period by State officials and a series of international development agencies, all aid ended abruptly in 1993, leaving the farmers and their hastily assembled Water Users Association (WUA) poorly prepared to assume management of the scheme. Concerned about the poor state of the water management and aware of their lack of management skills, the WUA turned to a private external operator for support via a public-private partnership (PPP), which involved outsourcing the water management. Initially, the PPP was funded and assisted by an international development agency. The costs are now gradually being met by the WUA and will ultimately represent 12% of the water fees collected from WUA members. An irrigation advisor was appointed on a full-time basis, and technical studies were conducted to assess the water management problems and put forward viable solutions using decision-support tools (SIMIS). At various stages, participatory meetings were organised to enable the farmers to express their opinions and to propose and discuss possible solutions. After 3 years, there was some improvement in the land occupation situation and the water distribution was more equitable in some parts, as shown by various performance indicators and a general survey. However there are limits to what water management change alone can achieve without essential infrastructural improvements. As the WUA members lacked the necessary education, effective knowledge transfer was not possible and therefore assistance on water management is likely to remain in private or State hands. The farmers, however, have indicated their satisfaction with the proposed approach and their willingness to participate in PPP-based management of the scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailFractional cover data retrieval using eCognition
Wellens, Joost ULg; Denis, Antoine ULg

Report (2012)

For the overall calibration and validation of the AquaCrop model decent information on the development of the canopy cover is crucial. Throughout the growing season overhead canopy pictures were taken ... [more ▼]

For the overall calibration and validation of the AquaCrop model decent information on the development of the canopy cover is crucial. Throughout the growing season overhead canopy pictures were taken. Different image treatment programs have been evaluated on their capacity to retrieve the fractional cover data from these images. The findings are presented in this technical note. The objectives (and/or constraints) were manifold: - determine for each image the percentage of canopy cover of the monitored crop (maize or cabbage); - in case of mixed-cropping, calculate a separate canopy cover for each crop; - weeds are to be excluded; - mask all non-desired items (camera operator, field borders, …). [less ▲]

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See detailRecensement hydro-agricole des utilisateurs d'eau du barrage de Mogtedo (Plateau Central, Burkina Faso)
Wellens, Joost ULg; Sanou, Eva

Report (2012)

Au cours de la période de février-avril 2012 un inventaire exhaustif sur les pratiques hydro-agricoles a été effectué dans la région de Mogtedo. Tous les agriculteurs qui utilisent l’eau du barrage ont ... [more ▼]

Au cours de la période de février-avril 2012 un inventaire exhaustif sur les pratiques hydro-agricoles a été effectué dans la région de Mogtedo. Tous les agriculteurs qui utilisent l’eau du barrage ont été soumis à un questionnaire (formulaire en annexe), faisant l’objet d’enquête. L’étude a été organisée par le projet BF-102 et le travail supervisé par les agents de la DRAH-PCL. L’équipe des enquêteurs était constituée par les agents des différents ZAT. Cette note présente de manière succincte les résultats obtenus avec l’enquête. La rédaction d’un article plus élaboré est prévue dès qu’il y aura plus de données disponibles sur la zone. [less ▲]

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See detailManaging competing water users in a small watershed using decision support tools - a case study of Burkina Faso
Wellens, Joost ULg

Conference (2011, September)

The Kou watershed, situated in the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso, has succumbed since a couple of decades in a typical theater play of anarchistic water management. With his 1.800 km², this small ... [more ▼]

The Kou watershed, situated in the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso, has succumbed since a couple of decades in a typical theater play of anarchistic water management. With his 1.800 km², this small watershed holds the second largest city of Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso), a former State run irrigated rice scheme and several informal agricultural zones. Nevertheless the abundance on water through sources, an exploitable water table and a perennial water course, most water users find themselves regularly faced to water shortages due to an increase in population, low irrigation efficiencies and lack of mutual respect. Since 1987 the political and administrative authorities have been searching, together with the concerned users, ways to address the threats resulting from this situation through the creation of a Local Water Committee (LWC). Despite the Committee’s will, it was not before 2005 that the LWC started gaining importance through an impetus given by the State within the framework of a decentralised IWRM policy and the invitation of civil society (amongst others the privately run Water Observatory (WO)) to its activities. At the same moment these institutional and organisational changes took place; on demand of the above stated stakeholders (concerned users, public LWC and private WO) decision support tools have been appropriated to guarantee a decent monitoring of the water resources and their exploitation by agriculture. For small irrigated plots throughout the region, efficient irrigation calendars were being proposed using the FAO AquaCrop model. Another FAO tool, SIMIS, has been put in place for the management of an equitable water distribution for the watersheds irrigation scheme. A GIS, based on remote sensing data retrieval and on terrain gauging sites, has been developed for the monitoring of the available water resources and the expansion of the irrigated zones on a watershed level. The WO, aided by the University of Liege, focused on the development and the application of these tools and the appropriation of their derived results by the concerned users. Throughout the different study stages, participatory meetings were organised. Farmers and state agents were heard, and plans and solutions proposed and discussed. These results are periodically presented to the LWC, enabling them to forecast possible hot spots end granting it a judging base. Once decisions are taken, the administration in charge of water and agriculture surveys their application on the field. It is interesting to see how, once competing structures (public vs. private) reinvented their positions and now successfully collaborate, each having their terrain of expertise. The LWC gained in authority now that it finally has got objective data on the intensification of occupied lands and the use of the water resources. Several decisions have been taken and put in place to protect and conserve the water resources; other management scenarios are momentarily being developed and will be presented to the LWC the months to come. The administration in charge of water and agriculture, with its extended network of field agents, continued to play their role on terrain by guiding and popularizing, but as a public representative it’s also the only structure to enforce and maintain the ‘law and order’ of the retained land and water management policies. The private WO concentrated on counselling based on the results of the decision support tools. Being a free market player, it roamed the country to successfully find other parties interested in the developed techniques. After merely five years, improvements on the management of soil and water resources can be recorded thanks to the integration of decision support tools, the WOs counselling and the Ministries field agents. [less ▲]

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See detailAppropriation of decision support tools derived results in the private management of an irrigation scheme in Burkina Faso
Wellens, Joost ULg; Diallo, Mamadou; Nitcheu, Martial et al

Conference (2011, May 31)

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See detailPrévision des rendements agricoles. Guide d'utilisation.
Bronne, Charles-Emmanuel; Wellens, Joost ULg; Midekor, Akoly Agblévi et al

Learning material (2011)

Manuel présentant une méthode, développée par l'Université de Liège, de prévision de la production agricole. Cette méthode se base sur l'utilisation de différents programmes informatiques, et a pour but ... [more ▼]

Manuel présentant une méthode, développée par l'Université de Liège, de prévision de la production agricole. Cette méthode se base sur l'utilisation de différents programmes informatiques, et a pour but de prévoir le rendement agricole à partir de données météorologiques, agrométéorologiques, et NDVI (télédétecté). Elle est appliquée dans ce manuel sur les cultures du coton et du maïs au Burki Faso. [less ▲]

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See detailPromouvoir des approches innovantes de recherche-développement en matière de GIRE au Burkina Faso
Wellens, Joost ULg; Derouane, Johan

in Integrated water resources management and challenges of the sustainable development - Abstract volume (2010, March)

Detailed reference viewed: 7 (0 ULg)