A pest trap that uses image recognition to identify pests and beneficial insects is to be developed through a collaboration between BASF Digital Farming and Pessl Instruments. The two organisations have signed an agreement to collaborate globally on R&D activities to improve pest management in fruits and vegetables.
Pessl has developed iSCOUT®, a fully autonomous solar powered insect trap, and the plan is to combine this capability with image recognition and analysis provided by BASF Digital Farming’s xarvio™ SCOUTING app. This will provide farmers with near real-time, field level observations of crop health and pest risk.
xarvio delivers independent, field-zone-specific agronomic advice through a range of digital products to nable farmers to produce their crops most efficiently and sustainably. Its products SCOUTING, FIELD MANAGER and HEALTHY FIELDS are being used by farmers in more than 100 countries by millions of farmers and their consultants.
Pessl Instruments offers a complete range of wireless, solar-powered monitoring systems under the METOS® brand, which are are available to farmers and other clients worldwide.
Projects target pests of major economic importance
The first project of the collaboration focusses on the development of comprehensive pest monitoring and modelling for grapes and pome fruits, specifically apples, targeting the activities of the grape berry moth and codling moth.
This project began in early May 2021 and aims to create a fully automated pest recognition and monitoring service, initially for deployment in Argentina, Brazil, Europe and India.
The second project will look extensively at the row crops of soybean, cotton and corn. It will focus on the observation and modelling of stink bugs, corn earworm and fall armyworm.
Addressing challenge of real time monitoring
Bjoern Kiepe, Head of Agronomy for xarvio at BASF Digital Farming, says that one of the biggest challenges in fruit and vegetable production is getting timely field level pest monitoring data that can accurately identify the damaging or treatable stage within a pest life cycle.
He says: “By connecting xarvio SCOUTING’s image recognition and analysis with Pessl’s automatized iSCOUT pest trap we can solve this problem together. Precision farming helps ensure the more efficient use of crop protection applications, which is good for farmers, sustainability and biodiversity.”
“By monitoring pests, we aim to not just note the type of insects and the number of plants infected, but to help prevent the damage occurring in the first place. Precision farming equipment, backed with artificial intelligence, enables a more detailed analysis of in-field stresses and supports better decision making.”
Gottfried Pessl, founder and CEO of Pessl Instruments, agrees: “With the fully autonomous solar-powered insect trap iSCOUT we can monitor the pest risk 24/7, process this data and send it in near real time to xarvio SCOUTING for image recognition. This provides farmers with a stepping-stone to improved insect monitoring and better control anytime, anywhere.”