Autogrow recently launched a webinar entitled: ‘Uncovering warning signs of fungal disease in your growing environment’. The webinar was hosted by Kayla Waldorff, Autogrow’s Business Development Manager and Daniel Than, a Field Trial Specialist at Autogrow.
Kayla and Daniel discussed three topics:
- Common growing scenarios and their limitations for pest and disease spotting
- The climate warning signs which you should heed to avoid fungal disease
- A fungal disease case study delving into the outbreak, grower’s response and financial impact
A climate imbalance, perfect for Botrytis
“We worked with one of our growers to identify the issues they were having with Botrytis. By analyzing their microclimate data we were able to very accurately pinpoint where two distinct periods of very high humidity and low temperatures had occurred. Two weeks later there was a Botrytis outbreak,” Waldorff states.
Based on the information the team completed a case study highlighting the positive use of data, heatmap technology and the financial impact of fungal disease on the business. Autogrow firmly believes that richer climate data helps prevent crop loss, pest, and disease incursions.
Better understanding the greenhouse environment
Waldorff continues: “We talked with plant pathologist Dr. Nicole Gauthier who emphasized the good practices of cleaning greenhouses when switching crops. Botrytis is like the common cold, it is an opportunistic pathogen that waits for plants, like tomato or basil, to be stressed. Typically, growers have a limited understanding of what’s going on in their growing environment because there’s usually only one or two environmental sensors per hectare – that’s simply not enough.”
Looking at a heat map of relative humidity across the greenhouse, one side can be higher than the other. This directly impacts crops and the temperature levels. As stomates (a pore, found in the epidermis of leaves, stems, and other organs, that controls the rate of gas exchange) open at a certain light - and temperature level, many sensor readings are needed in multiple locations. “Crop loss isn’t just a financial setback, but can also be harmful to customer relationships,” Waldorff adds. “When you have contracts needing to be fulfilled, making sure your crop yield is on track is vital.”
Monitoring climate and humidity
“Our Folium sensors measure temperature, humidity, CO2, PAR, RAD and barometric pressure – six readings in a single unit. These are deployed as a network of 4-6 units to build a richer picture of climate conditions. They are wireless, easy to install and have a battery life of up to 12 months enabling growers to become more proactive when it comes to climate and humidity” Waldorff says.
“At the end of the day it comes down to using the data to create the best conditions for your crops and get the best money for the yield.”
If you’d like access to the webinar video CLICK HERE and see what Folium can do for you.