Rothamsted has added a major update to its free pest, weed and disease management app, CROPROTECT.
The system provides farmers, growers and agronomists with guidance on pest, weed and disease management, especially in situations where effective pesticides are not available and alternative approaches are required.
The team behind it have now updated all the content for pests, weeds, diseases and crops so it is up to date with the very latest information from academia and industry.
They’ve also added an improved search functionality and the ability to sign in using Twitter and Facebook.
Laura Crook who manages the Croprotect app at Rothamsted said: “The app is an indispensable tool for all arable farmers seeking to optimise their pest management, but also any agronomists who might need to quickly check facts whilst in the field, or even agricultural students who are starting to learn about crop pests and their control.
“CROPROTECT allows rapid transfer of information to farmers and agronomists and actively involves a growing community of users. It groups together the pest-weed-disease complex for each crop, and these targets are tailored from feedback from our pioneer users.
“This means there is no faffing about - CROPROTECT tells you about the biology and impact of the target, and then goes straight to management recommendations.
“It’s also a two-way system which allows us to obtain a detailed picture of specific challenges growers face as conventional pesticide options are diminished - such as blackgrass in Winter wheat and flea beetle in oilseed rape.”
CROPROTECT provides growers with information about alternatives to pesticides, enabling them to move towards more integrated pest, weed and disease management that integrates pesticide use with other cultural, physical and mechanical control options.
“The loss of pesticide options to resistance and regulation means that growers have to think about integrating alternatives into their pest, weed and disease management strategies. CROPROTECT helps growers and agronomists to expand the toolbox for future, sustainable and smart pest management,” said Dr Paul Neve, leader of Rothamsted’s Smart crop Protection programme.
CROPROTECT is also working with users to map crop threats. By clicking on the "I have this" button or mentioning a pest/weed/disease when they register helps the developers to build a better picture of the different crop protection challenges faced across the UK.