The CROPROTECT project, based at Rothamsted, is working with farmers and agronomists to map crop threats such as blackgrass and flea beetle where pesticides are becoming limited and alternative approaches are required. The idea is to provide warning of the risk and provide guidance on pest, weed and disease management.
The information is available on a website but also now via a new smartphone App. This will be particularly useful where integrated approaches are required such as agronomic practices, biological control methods or resistant crop varieties.
Dr Toby Bruce (left), the Rothamsted Research senior scientist who co-ordinates CROPROTECT, discussed requirements with users and many of them said they wanted an App for improved accessibility. He says: “We are listening to the needs of the farmers and agronomists and aim to give decision support not decision making.
“Indeed, the first pest, weed and disease targets have been selected based on number of votes from pioneer users of the system. The information on the system can be rapidly updated and is constantly growing.”
As the system evolves, it is envisaged that it will include more links to additional online resources.
Further engagement with the end-users will facilitate advancement of the tool, which is being built in partnership with users and in consultation with the online farming forum AgriChatUK, the AHDB levy board, agronomist organisations (Hutchinsons, Agrii and the AICC) and the National Farmers Union.
Map on the CROPROTECT website showing yellow rust in wheat. Click to view full-size.
The CROPROTECT App can be downloaded from the website croprotect.com
The Android App is being launched today and the iOS version will be available in three weeks.