The national multi-agricultural industry surveillance initiative iMapPESTS is launching a trial of its airborne surveillance and diagnostics technologies on 5 December at the Nuriootpa Research Station.
The iMapPESTS: Sentinel Surveillance for Agriculture program aims to rapidly monitor and report the presence of airborne pests and diseases for multiple agricultural sectors, including viticulture, grains, cotton, sugar, horticulture and forestry.
A key feature of the five-year program is the sentinel, a mobile surveillance unit, that captures a snapshot of airborne pests and diseases in a particular location at a given time. The sentinel features several airborne samplers, onboard power supply, a weather sensor, telemetry and control panel (with remote access) to monitor the unit, as well as automated robotics to change pots on the samplers according to the day or capture criteria.
A prototype of the sentinel will launch at the Nuriootpa Research Centre in the Barossa on 5 December 2019. The launch will involve a showcase of the sentinel and how the unit operates, as well as an opportunity to meet the team behind the new surveillance technology and provide feedback on how grapegrowers, wine producers and consultants see how the technology may assist in pest and disease management.
Key viticulture pests and diseases, such as Light Brown Apple Moth, will be targeted during the Barossa trial phase via the on-board lure traps and spore traps.
After the sentinel captures airborne spores and insects, the samples will be dispatched to the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) laboratories for identification of target pests and diseases.
iMapPESTS will work with grapegrowers, wine producers and representatives across the wine sector to understand the best way to present and share the dynamic information about the pests or diseases detected in an area at a particular time.
Grapegrowers, wine producers and consultants are encouraged to attend the launch of the sentinel to get a first look at the cutting-edge technology that aims to improve pest management in vineyards.
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For more information, please contact Shakira Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
iMapPESTS is supported by Hort Innovation, through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture as part of its Rural R&D for Profit Program and 16 partner organisations including AgriFutures Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Forest & Wood Products Australia, Grains Research & Development Corporation, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, Sugar Research Australia, and Wine Australia.