Computer Centre for Agricultural Pest Forecasting (CIPRA)
What is CIPRA?
The CIPRA is a user-friendly software tool that can predict the development of pests (insects and diseases), crops (phenology) and some postharvest disorders based on hourly weather data. This software therefore enables users to determine, in real-time, the best time to apply plant protection measures.
The software is based not only on weather observations from a number of automatic stations across Quebec, but also on weather forecasts. The establishment of a central computer network provides access to real-time weather data. The probabilities of pest development are then calculated using scientifically developed bioclimatic models.
The CIPRA includes, within a common computer infrastructure, more than 130 forecasting models for insect pests, diseases, crop phenology and postharvest physiological disorders for more than 25 different crops. Every year, new bioclimatic models or indices are added to CIPRA, making it a constantly evolving tool.
The CIPRA is now the largest collection of real-time bioclimatic forecasting models operational in Canada and is an excellent decision support tool for crop protection and production in Canada. This approach contributes significantly to reducing pesticides in the environment while promoting sustainable crop production systems for Canadian farmers.
The CIPRA approach was initiated in 1995, through a dynamic collaboration with partners in plant protection, plant physiology and meteorology. It was developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's bioclimatology and modelling research team in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Based on a modular design (by crop), CIPRA's bioclimatic models can be easily and quickly transferred to other national and international stakeholders in order to ensure better spatio-temporal distribution of bioclimatic forecasts. The "AgWeather Quebec" and "AgWeather Atlantic" web platforms now also incorporate several of the CIPRA bioclimatic models with input of weather data from more than 300 sites in eastern Canada (Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario).
Today, the CIPRA is used directly by approximately 250 users, but the information is redistributed by them to hundreds of farmers. Although these data are primarily distributed in Quebec, the CIPRA is also used in several other Canadian provinces.
The CIPRA Crop Guide is a publication generated by CIPRA which contains a compilation of all the information found in the "Help" menu. The Guide is a work in progress and will be regularly updated with the latest models added to CIPRA.