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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378650

Research Project: Integrated Production and Automation Systems for Temperate Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: Ultraviolet-C light technology and robotics for autonomous control of strawberry diseases, insects, and mites

Author
item Takeda, Fumiomi - Fumi
item Janisiewicz, Wojciech
item Leskey, Tracy
item STAGER, ADAM - Tric Robotics Llc

Submitted to: Progressive Crop Consultant
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2020
Publication Date: 12/5/2020
Citation: Takeda, F., Janisiewicz, W.J., Leskey, T.C., Stager, A. 2020. Ultraviolet-C light technology and robotics for autonomous control of strawberry diseases, insects, and mites. Progressive Crop Consultant. November/December Issue, pp. 10-12, 14-15.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This article summarizes work conducted on strawberry disease and arthropod pest management using a robotic UV-C irradiation machine. Currently, pesticide-based disease and pest control methods have limitations such as build-up resistance by fungi and arthropod pests to chemicals, increasing consumer demands for pesticide-free fruits, and the need for automation to reduce labor input in the field. The use of UV light in crop protection, however, has been limited because of high energy costs and the doses required to kill plant pathogens usually caused damage such as leaf burn and defoliation. We have developed UV-C treatment methods that have high efficacy for disease and pest control, and not damage plants by refining the UV-C light regime and application technology for the commercial berry production environment. To make UV-C technology useful for commercial strawberry growing systems, a robot for applying UV-C was built and tested in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, there will be large-scale pilot studies on UV-C treatment of commercial strawberries which will compare UV-C light treatments for two-spotted spider mite and other pests, and compared to results obtained with season-long release of predatory mites.