- xarvio® SCOUTING – BASF’s free smartphone app – equips farmers and horticulturists with digital tools to quickly and accurately assess threats to their crops’ productivity
- The latest added feature provides instant identification and counting of pests caught by fruit growers in pheromone traps
- The tool will be particularly valuable to apple and pear growers because it recognises two major insect pests of pome fruit: codling moth and oriental fruit moth
Fruit growers monitoring pest pressure can now save themselves the time, trouble and tedium of manually identifying, counting and recording the pests they find in their pheromone traps.
The latest feature added to BASF’s xarvio® SCOUTING smartphone app will manage that task for them, providing instant identification and counting of two major insect pests: codling moth and oriental fruit moth.
“Fruit growers can just take a photo and xarvio SCOUTING’s pheromone trap analysis feature will do the rest,” explained Mark Peacock, Technical Development Manager, BASF Australia and New Zealand. “It’s a real time-saver because most growers know which pests they’re looking at. But it may also identify pests more accurately than the human eye in some scenarios and can certainly count them much more quickly.”
Codling moths and oriental fruit moths are significant threats in many tree crops, so Mark is anticipating an enthusiastic response, especially from pome fruit growers.
“Codling moth is the driver pest in pome fruit, and oriental fruit moth is a secondary pest in those orchards,” he said, “so I think apple and pear growers will find this innovative feature very useful.”
The xarvio SCOUTING app, which is free to download and use, can also identify hundreds of types of weeds, and recognise the damage caused by more than 400 different diseases, pests and nutrient deficiencies in more than 60 different crops, including grapes and stone fruit.
Whatever the suspected problem, all growers need to do is use their smartphone’s camera and the app will instantly provide them with its analysis.
xarvio SCOUTING automatically keeps a record of all its findings, so users can build up a database and compare the various stresses on their crops over time.
Another important feature of the app is its unique radar function. It lets users know via SMS when in-field stresses including pests and diseases have been identified in the local district. It collates data in every area, so it can warn growers and agronomists of threats in nearby crops and show the variations in pest and disease pressure between seasons.
Local take-up and use by growers and agronomists will also enhance the accuracy and speed of the app’s analysis, helping it build a more complete picture of the specific pest and disease patterns in the local area.
Growers can use all this information to make faster and more informed crop management decisions, which will help optimise inputs and crop production. For example, most pheromone traps are used to determine spray timings. Assessing the risk of infestations will now be faster and users can potentially make more decisive calls based on information from around the district as well as what they find in their own traps.
“It will be exciting to see more features added to xarvio SCOUTING as we look to provide more benefits for local horticultural growers and their advisers,” says Charith Kamaragoda, BASF’s Head of Horticulture for Australia and New Zealand. “The pheromone trap analysis feature in xarvio SCOUTING will give users a convenient, smart and useful introduction to the app. What all the extra features will have in common is fast, accurate analysis built on reliable data. Together they will add enormous value at no cost to growers.”