Confidence to Spray Only When Necessary
Root Brings Agriculture into the Future
"If you are a really high pressure vineyard, you could definitely utilize this technology to help save money and help as an early warning system for when you have mildew coming into your vineyard. On the other side, if you are a vineyard that rarely gets mildew, you can really use this to extend your intervals and cut out passes during the season."
- Brad Kurtz, Vineyard Director, Gloria Ferrer
"Based on the strength of the timely data we received from Root, we were able to spray far less than we ever thought possible with an organic program."
- Caleb Mosley, Viticulturist, Matthiasson Wines
"For the first time ever we have real data regarding the timing and extent of Powdery Mildew’s presence in our vineyard. In our first year with the spore traps we were able to reduce our mildicide applications based on nearly real-time results."
- Jim Duane, Winemaker, Seavey Vineyard
Fully Automated In-Field Sensors
At Root Applied Sciences, we are building tools to alert farmers when fungal pathogens arrive. The insight that we provide eliminates the need to overspray fungicides by enabling farmers to spray only when there is a real threat. The reduction in unnecessary fungicide spraying results in enormous cost-savings, increased yield, and numerous benefits to farm workers, consumers, and the environment.
Electronics fully contained in weather-proof enclosure
View and interact with data in an accessible online dashboard
Drop samples at a local drop box where a technician will pick them up
Brad decided to lengthen his sprays because of our data showing that there was no powdery mildew in spring 2021. We didn't see any powdery mildew at any of Brad's five sensors until June 22, months after he began spraying. He lengthened the intervals between sprays from 8 to 14 days starting in May, cutting two sprays and saving $34,000. In addition, he was alerted when and where powdery mildew was present so that he could stay on control efforts at just the right time. Brad and his team first saw powdery mildew on July 7, more than two weeks after we first alerted him to the spores entering the vineyard. We also alerted Brad later in July to high pathogen pressure at only one of his sensors, which he confirmed was coming from a neighbor's vineyard.
Caleb had one of our sensors in a vineyard in Napa. Caleb started spraying much later than usual because our data showed that there was no powdery mildew. He also lengthened his sprays to every 21 days and stopped spraying altogether before powdery mildew first appeared in late July. He only sprayed three times in 2021 and never had symptoms until the end of July.
Kyle had three sensors in the Santa Cruz mountains, including one at a site that gets powdery mildew every year. The particular site is especially hard to spray as it is on a steep hillside. Historically, powdery mildew pressure is high even in the early season at this site, but our sensors showed that this year there was no powdery mildew until much later than expected. Our sensors detected powdery mildew's first arrival on June 8, and Kyle first detected symptoms on July 6.
Root gives growers the information to better manage the pathogen
Even in high pressure years, Root's pathogen monitoring system can help growers manage their crop more effectively. Just as spraying when the pathogen is not there is wasteful, not spraying when the pathogen arrives can create a domino effect that allows the pathogen to flourish. Moreover, knowing when and where powdery mildew pressure is very high can help growers better manage an outbreak through identification and elimination of pathogen sources, leafing, and adjustments to the spray program.
Spraying at the right time is the key to control the local powdery mildew population. Fortunately, Root identifies the spores when they are still in the air, giving growers at least a week to respond.
We are a group of scientists who believe that agriculture deserves actionable information. Our expertise includes plant pathology, entomology, ecology, microbiology, soils, and engineering.
Powdery mildew remains one of the world's most severe and persistent threats to grape production, with viticulturists using more chemicals to control this disease than any other vineyard problem. Traditionally, fungicide applications are timed according to the Powdery Mildew Risk Index (PMI). However, the PMI leads to over-applicating fungicides when disease pressure is low. Unlike the PMI, Root's technology allows growers to monitor disease pressure and accurately assess when and where interventions are needed.