Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research
Project Number: 2038-22000-016-35-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2022
The objective is to develop a precision fumigation and crop rotation strategy for management of soil borne pests of strawberry and vegetable crops based on disease risk. This is a multiyear project involving a team of 12 researchers from the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), universities and commercial companies that is supported by a USDA-ARS Area Wide Pest Management grant. This specific agreement covers development and implementation of a passive precision yield data collection system.
Field surveys to evaluate inoculum levels of several important soilborne pathogens of strawberry using molecular assays and a GIS map of the field will be prepared. Based on this data and observations from the prior season decisions will be made on the appropriate rate of fumigant that needs to be applied to control the pathogens present in different parts of the field. Yield data will be precisely measured to the level of the number of bed feet needed to fill a tray of strawberries to provide data for an economic analysis of the alternative management approach. Remote sensing data will be collected on a weekly basis during crop production to assess plant vigor and model correlations with yield data. Imagery will also support field scouting to identify areas with lower vigor so assessments of to identify pathogens can be made. This specific project will support development of a GPS enabled sensor system coupled with a load sensor to measure the weight of a strawberry tray and the precise position in the field it was filled along with the software needed to streamline data analysis.