The rational control of harmful organisms for plants (pests) forms the basis of the integrated pest management (IPM), and is fundamental for ensuring agricultural productivity while maintaining economic and environmental sustainability. The high level of complexity of the decision processes linked to IPM requires careful evaluations, both economic and environmental, considering benefits and costs associated with a management action.
Plant protection models and other decision tools (DTs) have assumed a key role in supporting the decision-making process in pest management. The advantages of using DTs in IPM are linked to their capacity to process and analyze complex information and to provide outputs supporting the decision-making process. Nowadays, several DTs have been developed, tackling different issues, and have been applied in different climatic conditions and agricultural contexts. However, their use in crop management is restricted to only certain areas and/or to a limited group of users.
In this paper, the researchers review the current state-of-the-art related to DTs for IPM, investigate the main modelling approaches used, and the different fields of application. They also identify key drivers influencing their adoption and provide a set of critical success factors to guide the development and facilitate the adoption of DTs in crop protection.