Although the processes of manually scouting crops is very important, it is time-consuming and error-sensitive. That is why Koppert is developing the scout-app, which will automatically identify and count the pests on sticky traps. This will utilize smart technology such as image recognition powered by machine learning, which will make the app self-learning and ensure that it becomes more accurate as time progresses.
Thanks to this, growers only need to use a smartphone to scan the Horiver sticky traps in their greenhouses. The scout-app can identify whitefly, thrips, Sciaria, and Nesidiocoris tenuis. It is also possible to manually enter sticky trap and crop data in the app. The generated data will then be displayed in an online dashboard. This dashboard is based on a map that growers can customize to suit their needs, giving them immediate insight into the level of infestation in their greenhouses. Additionally, the dashboard lists how pests and their natural enemies develop in relation to one another. The dashboard also integrates the application and effects of chemical corrections. ‘This method gives growers good insight into the system for integrated crop protection that they use for their crops,’ explains Tom Vroegop, a Product Manager for Monitoring & Application at Koppert ‘The dashboard also provides detailed analyses of the situation in the greenhouse and shows the severity of the infestation, enabling growers to act quickly. This also ensures that our consultants, who are monitoring remotely, can provide more targeted support.’
Steps towards sustainability and futureproofing
A team of specialists is developing the scout-app together with Koppert’s growers and consultants, and a number of Dutch tomato growers are testing the innovation in practice. The app is currently in the pre-introduction phase: we are shifting the focus towards other crops and further increasing the number of clients who are testing the app. The scout-app will be available after summer (for now the Netherlands only). ‘Thanks to this innovation, growers can scout more quickly and efficiently as well as combat infestations in a more targeted way,’ says Vroegop. ‘Reducing time, labour, and costs while also ensuring more accurate work, this is one way in which digitalization is helping to make horticulture more sustainable and future-proof.’