Management of Powdery Mildew (PM) relies on fixed or calendar-based fungicide sprays at high cost. However, this approach results in inefficient use of fungicides with applications well before PM is present. In addition to the unnecessary expense, over spraying can lead to fungicide resistance and crop loss, it is time-consuming, unhealthy and bad for the environment.
Using our patented technology our sensors allow the monitoring of PM spores in the air, delivering geo-referenced alerts of disease risk based on spore loads before symptoms are visible on the plants. This information enables growers to manage PM more precisely, stretching spray intervals when there is no threat and focusing scouting and cultural practices (e.g., pruning) in the right areas.
Our monitoring service operates by deploying a network of sensors to precisely monitor the concentration of PM spores in commercial vineyards.Our sensors actively draw air into a tube where spores are captured. The sample tubes are dropped off at local drop boxes 2 times a week by growers and sent to our laboratory, where our DNA-based platform allows the quantification of spores in the sample.
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.