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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Regional Implementation and Validation of a Smartphone and Web-Based Scouting and Decision Support System

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Continue to assist with the adaptation of AgScouter in Florida and assist in the development of the chemical management module for Florida production. 2) Evaluate the utility and benefits of using regional scouting data to base management actions through case studies of the whitefly-transmitted viruses Tomato yellow curl virus and Squash vein yellowing virus and the thrips-vectored virus Groundnut ringspot virus.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) Our cooperators have willingly given us access to their scouting reports to measure pest populations through their scouting efforts. A significant portion of the scouting reports have been provided by Red Gator Consulting. For this grant, Red Gator will continue to foster our relationships with the grower community and help to secure additional scouting records to continue to develop, evaluate, and promote AgScouter. The chemical management module that will be developed as part of this grant is intended to assist growers and scouts in streamlining activities associated with scouting and making management decisions and create a “one-stop shopping” tool for scouts. Data compilation will largely be conducted by personnel at ZedX and information will be pulled from both online (e.g., CDMS.net, greenbook.net, etc.) and printed resources (e.g., University pest management handbooks). Within the database, the relevant information (e.g., crop labeling, labeled rates, restricted entry intervals (REI), post-harvest intervals (PHI), and the EPA registration number) will be extracted from pesticide labels and included as part of the database. Validation of the database for Florida production will be done by personnel at Red Gator Consulting, Glades Crop Care and University of Florida because of their extensive knowledge of the agriculture chemicals used in Florida.

2) Red Gator will also assist in evaluating how use of regional scouting data (disseminated via AgScouter) can impact pest populations, pesticide usage, and factors associated with pesticide inefficiency. This will be done largely through data collection. We plan to document the changes in pest populations and pesticide usage prior to and after implementation of AgScouter on our cooperators farms. In Florida, we currently have a four year database of bi-weekly observations of whitefly densities and TYLCV incidences over a ~20,000 acre area of tomato production region in southwest Florida, encompassing three major producers and 2-3 mid-sized producers, and a three year database of a smaller region in west-central Florida. This database will serve as the baseline of average pest densities of whiteflies and TYLCV severities in Florida. This database also serves as the baseline for thrips and GRSV incidence. Our cooperators, thorough the assistance of Red Gator, have willingly provided us their scouting reports and we will continue to work directly with them to collect new data through the duration of the study to measure pest populations and pesticide usage after use AgScouter. We will work with Red Gator to establish new collaborations when feasible.


3.Progress Report:

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

Three cooperators have been enlisted to help evaluate the performance of AgScouter under field conditions, help develop the chemical management databases, and to assist with training sessions. Red Gator is one of the collaborators. At the time of this report, the cooperator has become familiar with the updates to AgScouter, including use of the new mobile applications. He has assisted in the validation of AgScouter and has provided a substantial amount of data for validation. The development of the chemical management database is currently underway. The database will consist of all registered chemicals and the relevant information on the pesticide label for the crops included into the AgScouter system. Plans for on-site training sessions in both Florida have been discussed, but none have been planned. Red Gator will play an important role by helping to promote AgScouter and the training sessions. ARS PI communicates on regular basis with the cooperator via E-mail and telephone communication.


Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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