Pilot program using tech to detect pests

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Farmers will be able to plan their pesticide usage with greater efficiency should a new technology come to fruition in a pilot program

Pilot program using tech to detect pests
Smart sensors and traps will monitor pests in orchards in real time

Fruit orchards outside Shepparton, Victoria will, this summer, play host to a pilot program that is using technology to detect and forecast pest levels on crops.

The collaboration is between global agricultural sciences company FMC Corporation and RapidAIM, an agtech start-up, which delivers region-to-farm pest analytics.

The aim is to "deliver state-of-the-art regional pest forecasts" for farmers, which can be incorporated into FMC’s Arc farm intelligence platform.

It will involve RapidAIM’s patented smart sensors and traps, which are both instrumented and wirelessly connected, remotely detecting pests in the orchard in real time.

"We believe that the future of agriculture lies in targeted crop protection based on comprehensive, digital pest monitoring and forecasting," says RapidAIM co-founder and CEO Nancy Schellhorn.

"Together with FMC, we’re helping growers in Shepparton, and soon the world, take the guesswork out of crop protection and focus their efforts where it matters most."

FMC’s Australian strategic product manager Leandro Posteraro says the collaboration aims to accurately predict pest levels and pressures "before it becomes a problem".

"FMC’s proprietary Arc farm intelligence platform uses predictive modelling based on real-time data to help ensure the right crop protection products are applied precisely where and when they are needed to improve sustainability, optimise crop yield and enhance grower return on investment," he says.

"Together, we have an unrivalled advantage to quickly learn from nature and accelerate our team’s ability to provide advisors and growers with crop protection advice and insights faster, easier and in a smarter way."

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