Two new technologies, The Plant Sniffer and BioScout, could change the pace of Australian grain growers to identify and respond to crop disease outbreaks.
These innovative technologies and more will be discussed by Grains Research Update (GRDC), Grains Research Update, Perth, which will be held at Crown Perth on 24 and 25 February.
Jean Ristaino, of North Carolina State University, will outline the pioneering work being undertaken by her team in the development of portable technology called S Plant Sniffer ’, which allows growers to identify plant diseases in the phaddock.
Professor Ristaino and her team developed the hand-held device, which is inserted into a smart phone, and works by sampling the volatile organic compounds that emit plants through their leaves.
By measuring the type and concentration of VOCs released by the plant, the Sniffer Plant can quickly determine, in the field, whether a plant has an infection and which disease it is.
Recognized disease techniques currently depend on molecular tests, which take hours to do in a laboratory. A sample can be obtained for the laboratory and wait for a test to delay the identification of diseases by days or weeks.
“Our technology – now ready to grow – will help grow growers identify diseases more quickly, so that they can limit the spread of the disease and damage associated with crops,” said Professor Ristaino.
The BioScout platform is handled by Lewis Collins, one of the founding and chief executive officers of the BioScout company, which takes real-time airborne disease detector sensors for agriculture.
BioScout allows disease growers to track and monitor them in real time through disease sensors.
Patented sensors automatically collect and detect particles causing diseases in the air.
By detecting these particles, BioScout allows growers to gather information on the best intervention and protection practices based on the location and type of disease found.
It uses a combination of biological sampling analytics, mapping and data to track disease spread. Sensors are placed throughout the field, collecting disease data 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mr Collins will discuss how BioScout has been developed and tested from initial scientific validation to commercial applications.
The Grain Research Grain Update, Perth, is an important source of agronomic and industry information and resources, and is an important opportunity to interact between consultants, growers and other industry personnel.
This year, the cost of attendance to encourage greater participation by industry and growers was reduced.
The maximum price is $ 300, which will receive participants two information days with over 50 presenters talking about the latest research findings and innovations to help on farm profitability.
More than 40 concurrent sessions over the two days will be held on important issues affecting grower profitability – ranging from specific crop agronomy, nutrient management and weed control to frost and soil constraints.
Extended focus sessions on the second day will cover: dealing with climate change, external crop protection challenges and how to implement integrated pest systems on the farm.
The five regional GRDC Grains Research Update events will follow at the following WA locations: t
- Kwinana West Zone, Corrigin Recreation and Events Center – 27 February
- Kwinana East Zone, Merredin Regional Community and Leisure Center – 28 February
- Geraldton Zone, Yuna Community Center – 6 March
- Albany Zone, Jerramungup Sports Center – March 11
- Area of Esperance, Lough Ree Hall – 12 March.
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