Based on a sophisticated modelling framework using live weather data feeds and novel risk algorithms, the system will quantify daily risks of pests and diseases and provide guidance on whether a spray is required. In addition, the platform can provide support for decisions on optimal spray timing and generate lists of approved products available, based on the specific threats to the crop. Using well-timed sprays to control pests and diseases only when necessary – and the correct product and dose – will both increase yields and reduce pesticide use. This maximises food security while minimising environmental impact and risks of development of pesticide resistance.
The CropMonitor platform also uses the latest in-field diagnostic technologies, such as automated spore capture and detection. These technologies provide very early warnings for pathogen spore incursion into crops before any infection or damage can occur. They also provide additional evidence to promote the use of well-timed sprays, which can then reduce the need for subsequent sprays. CropMonitor is also trialling new sensor technologies including a new WiFi-enabled soil moisture and temperature sensor, which can inform prediction of risks from soil borne pests and diseases and drought stress to crops. These devices also have a role in supporting risk assessments for flooding and run-off after rainfall which can lead to contamination of water sources with pesticide and/or fertiliser residues.