Enhancing olive grove sustainability through NOVATERRA DSS implementation

Olive Leaf Spot (OLS) is a significant concern for olive growers, affecting yield and quality. In 2022 and 2023, Myrolion conducted a trial to assess the effectiveness of the NOVATERRA Decision Support System (DSS) compared to conventional, calendar-based treatment schedules and untreated controls. The study aimed to evaluate the impact of these approaches on treatment frequency, labor hours, cost efficiency, and yield in the context of OLS management.

The trial involved nine sub-plots categorized into three treatment models: NOVATERRA DSS-guided, conventional (seasonal applications), and untreated controls. These were analysed based on the number of treatments, work hours per hectare, and cost per hectare. The assessment also factored in yield, treatment costs, income potential, and profit potential per treatment type.


– 2022 (Low OLS Pressure): NOVATERRA DSS plots required no treatments, achieving a 100% reduction in work hours and costs compared to the conventional treatment, which necessitated three applications.

– 2023 (High OLS Pressure): NOVATERRA DSS plots had a 33% reduction in work hours and costs, requiring only two treatments compared to three in the conventional method. Despite a slight yield decrease in untreated plots (11.3% less than conventionally treated plots), the untreated plots showed a marginal profit increase due to zero treatment costs. However, NOVATERRA DSS-treated plots demonstrated the highest financial sustainability, with a significant profit increase over both conventional and untreated plots, attributed to optimised treatment applications.

Practical implications

The NOVATERRA DSS not only minimised the environmental impact by reducing unnecessary pesticide applications but also enhanced financial sustainability for olive growers. By tailoring treatments to actual risk levels, the system significantly cut down on labor and costs associated with OLS management without compromising yield quality. This approach proves particularly beneficial in years of varying OLS pressure, demonstrating adaptability and efficiency in resource use.

Adopting the NOVATERRA DSS in olive cultivation offers a more sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly approach to managing OLS compared to conventional methods. This trial underscores the importance of precision agriculture tools in enhancing profitability while reducing environmental footprint, making it a viable solution for modern olive groves facing the challenges of disease management.