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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Implementation of a Smartphone-and Web-Based Decision Support System for Managing Insect-Vectored Diseases of Vegetables and Grapes

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Adapt the AgScouter scouting system to California vegetable and grape production and assist in the development of the chemical management module for California production.

2. Hold training sessions to teach producers, crop advisors, Extension personnel, and scouts how to use the system.

3. Evaluate the utility and benefits of using AgScouter to base management actions through case studies of the mealybug-transmitted Grapevine leafroll-associated viruses and the thrips-vectored viruses tomato spotted wilt virus.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) Digitized maps of California Central Valley vegetable and Napa grape production regions will be developed by manually drawing boundaries around fields identified in satellite imagery. Cooperating growers will provide hand-drawn maps to allow us to match their fields to the satellite imagery. All other fields will be identified by persons familiar with the region. The database of crops, disease and insect pests for California will be developed by copying the list of crops and their common varieties, and their disease and insect pests from the UC integrated viticulture and vegetable specialist research/extension crop management handbook. Once compiled, the information will be given to ZedX to upload in to AgScouter database. Development of the chemical management database will be done in consult with personnel at ZedX by helping them to identify relevant pesticide label information from both online and printed resources. 2) In California, we will introduce AgScouter into on-going IPM development projects that already have outreach mechanisms that are familiar to growers. In the case of tomato, the California Tomato Research Institute (CTRI) works closely with University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) to deliver IPM information and to alert growers to new developments via the CTRI's newsletters and website and the UC IPM system. In wine grape production, growers receive information via UCCE county extension agents, the UC IPM system, the Integrated Viticulture program and the grape program of Foundation Plant Services. The GLRaV management social learning project being run by Co-PI's Golino and McRoberts is working with 35-40 of the Napa Valley's leading wine grape growers and wine makers and we will use the meetings and workshops associated with that project to introduce and promote AgScouter as a means to facilitate areawide disease management of GLRaV. 3) It will be impossible to fully evaluate how use of regional scouting data impacts pest populations, pesticide usage, and factors associated with pesticide inefficiency during the short funding period. However, many notable changes should be evident within the 3-5 year period following the implementation of AgScouter. We plan to document these changes by comparing historic pest and disease data with new data collected after the implementation of AgScouter on cooperators farms. For prior year data, a five year database of bi-weekly thrips density estimates and TSWV incidence in the Central Valley will be used as baseline data. For GLRaV, detailed records of disease incidence at one location in Napa extending for a period of about 6 years will be used as baseline data. New data will be collected after AgScouter is put into place with the cooperation of growers and their scouts. Lastly, a survey of grower’s attitudes will be conducted at workshops prior to and after the implementation of AgScouter.


3.Progress Report:

This research relates to in-house project objective 3: Develop or improve comprehensive integrated disease management strategies.

At present, we are working closely with our California collaborator to identify and map production fields in California. We recently hired a post-doctoral research associate (RA) to spearhead the initiative. The RA will contact growers, grower groups, and/or University of California Extension personnel to assist in identification of production fields. Once the maps have been developed they will be sent to ZedX to be included in the AgScouter system. Evaluation of AgScouter in California will also be conducted by the RA under the guidance of a cooperator at the University of California, Davis. Plans for training sessions in California have been discussed, but none have been planned. Evaluation of AgScouter is currently underway. ARS PI communicates on regular basis with the cooperator via E-mail and telephone to discuss project details and progress.


Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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