Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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OMAFRA: Scouting orchards with drones?

December 21, 2022  By ONFruit

Yield losses to pest damage and costs of pesticides are repeatedly cited by growers as major impediments to the successful production of most horticulture crops in Ontario, including tree fruit and hops. Integrated pest management, including the ability to assess pest populations easily and accurately throughout the entire surface area of the crop, is critical to making cost-effective control decisions.

Current monitoring options for tall/orchard crops include using the naked eye, which is unreliable, or binoculars or ladders, which are time consuming and rarely used for routine scouting. The inability to properly assess pest populations in the upper portion of the canopy can mean that some pest populations are missed in their earlier stages, when they are easier to control, or that pest densities within a tree are under- or over-estimated. Utilizing technologies such as drones to provide an aerial view of the upper canopy is one potential solution to this problem. |READ MORE


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