Fera and CHAP are pleased to announce that CropMonitor will be launching a new pest and disease risk forecasting service for potatoes in May. We are looking for volunteers to be part of a network of surveillance to report appearance of first symptoms in crops. Data will be collected from registered users via a mobile phone during the decision period for potato blight disease management. All data will be plotted in real-time on a map of the UK.
This new service is part of Fera’s CropMonitor platform with direct support from CHAP, is currently being extended and updated to form the core platform for a new national capability in decision support. The new service will deliver risk forecasts for pests and diseases of potato (launched in May), wheat, barley, oilseed rape using a bespoke weather monitoring network, national pest and disease surveillance data and advanced risk models.
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This new service will be available alongside the Fight Against Blight project (FAB, funded by AHDB Potatoes and managed by Fera). The additional activity is necessary because FAB does not currently collect negative findings, information which is critical to the validation of the SMART blight forecasting service, . The CHAP network will complement and extend the FAB network during 2018 with potential for a closer integration of the two initiatives in future years. CropMonitor will initially provide a forecast based on an existing blight risk model but the forecasting capability will be refined using the improved weather feed and disease modelling capability of the SMART platform.
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