How can technology reduce the economic impact of plant diseases and pests by improving farmers’ ability to quickly and accurately diagnose and respond to plants/trees/vines with disease or pest issues?
Farmers growing crops (fruits, grapes, grain, etc) everywhere around the world must deal with pests and diseases. Pests and disease can cause everything from slight crop damage to total crop failure. Farmers use a variety of methods to prevent or remove pests from fields and plants, including but not limited to: chemical-based methods (pesticides, herbicides and fungicides), biological methods (e.g. beneficial/predatory insects), physical methods (e.g. nets/barriers, crop rotation, refuge crops), and other control methods (e.g. propane-fired cannons or “bird-bangers”, coloured balloons, streamers). Some pest control methods are losing their effectiveness from their inability to deteriorate the pests or diseases accurately and effectively within the fields and plants in a timely manner. It is expensive and time consuming to efficiently inspect, monitor, prevent and respond to overarching concerns from pests and diseases. Not only that, but diseases and pests can pose a significant negative impact on local food security and international trade, which many farmers rely upon. How can technology help farmers not only respond effectively to outbreaks with diseases and pests, but also do it in an environmentally and cost friendly manner to avoid crop damage or total crop failure, resulting in economic loss.
Not Sure How to Get Started?
What are the economic implications faced by farmers when their crops are diagnosed with disease and pest issues?
How could innovations from other industries be used to help monitor and reduce pest damage to agricultural crops?
What is currently being done to locate disease and pests within the agriculture industry and how can technology be used to fast track the diagnosis?