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The Central Institute for Decision Support Systems in Crop Protection (German acronym ZEPP) was founded in October 1997 on the basis of an administrative agreement of the Federal States.


The realisation takes place at the Service Center Rural Area (Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum) Rheinhessen-Nahe-Hunsrück in Bad Kreuznach. The foundation of ZEPP bases on a successful model project funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry between the years 1993 through 1997.


The mission of ZEPP is to collect and analyse existing predictive and simulation models for important agricultural and horticultural pests and diseases and to develop these models for practical use. More over, it initiates the development of predictive models for further pests and diseases not yet considered.


An universal applicable time-reduced procedure enables ZEPP to take up scientific model approaches, to adapt them to different regions and to develop them for practical use. The realisation is carried out in close cooperation with R&D institutions in Germany, e.g. the Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants - The Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), universities and other R&D institutions. In addition many cooperations exist with European foreign countries.


More than 40 met-based predictive models for pests and diseases have been successfully developed and introduced into practical use in cooperation with the governmental crop protection services within the last years. The occurrence of pests and periods of high-intensity attacks can be calculated with high accuracy. Thus it is possible to reduce the intensity of chemical control in combination with a high effectiveness and therefore contributing to an environment-friendly agriculture. The predictions are suitable for both integrated and organic farming. Plant protection products are being saved particularly in fungal control of potatoes and cereals as well as in aphid control of cereal crops. Further models are in the process of introduction for practical use.


The plant protection services of the Federal States provide the prediction information to farmers and horticulturists. The calculation of pest attack and disease predictions is based on more than 600 met. stations using the latest information technologies and media. German farmers receive these prediction data up-dated every day and covering the entire territory.