⋅ By Denise Attaway ⋅
South Carolina farmers have a new tool this year to help identify and defeat diseases and pests in their row crops. A MyIPM for Row Crops app was developed at Clemson University in collaboration with specialists from a number of land-grant universities and the Southern IPM Center.
This free smartphone app is available for Android smartphones in the Google Play Store and for iPhones in the Apple Store. It includes descriptions and photos of key pests and diseases of row crops, as well as information on integrated pest management strategies, including registered pesticides for each pest.
“The app currently includes sections on insects in corn, cotton, grain sorghum, peanut and soybean,” said Tim Bryant, assistant coordinator for the Clemson Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. “It also includes information about diseases in peanut.”
Additional sections on other pests and crops will be added in the future.
This new app is part of the MyIPM Smartphone App series originally developed in 2012 by Clemson professor Guido Schnabel and released by the Clemson College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences for management of diseases in several fruit crops.
Francis Reay-Jones, Clemson IPM coordinator at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center (REC), oversees a statewide research-based Cooperative Extension Service IPM Program and said the new app was developed using the same structure as the existing app.
A team effort
“The app content is maintained by Clemson researchers in collaboration with Cooperative Extension Service scientists at eight universities across the mid-Atlantic, southeastern and southern United States,” Reay-Jones said. “The information is constantly reviewed and updated so that users can be assured they are getting the most accurate information.”
Updates are instantly pushed out to all devices with the downloaded app.
Researchers collaborating with Clemson researchers to develop the MyIPM for Row Crops app come from the University of Delaware, Louisiana State University, Auburn University, University of Florida, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia.
The nitty gritty
Target audience is commercial row crop growers, farm advisors and specialists.
“The purpose of the app is to serve as a complement to our Extension production guides and pest management handbook,” Reay-Jones said.
“Because the app is entirely downloaded onto a smartphone, contents can be accessed from anywhere, including in fields where cell phone networks may be limited.”
The app is easy to use. The home screen lets users choose the crop and pest or disease. It also lets users update data from the external database. Users can go back to this screen at any time and add or delete a selection. On top of the home screen is a search bar that lets users search active ingredients and trade names. Results list crops products are registered for, rate per acre and efficacy rating.
Users also can choose pest or disease or tap on a crop, which opens up diseases or pests pages.
Pest-specific information includes an overview about each pest and its management. The image gallery features a number of insect or disease pictures and symptoms as well as pictures illustrating management solutions. Users can zoom in on each picture.
The app includes information about specific insects, diseases and organisms that cause the diseases (including disease cycle and symptoms and signs), chemical control information, pesticide resistance information and non-chemical control information (including biological control options, cultural control options and resistant varieties). The same features can be pulled up for any pest.
Active ingredient detail
Under the feature picture of every pest-specific page, users can choose to list active ingredients and trade names registered in the United States. Active ingredients are color coded according to FRAC (Fungicide Resistance Action Committee) code or IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee) code.
On the insect or disease page, tapping trade names displays many available pesticides for the specific insect or disease including active ingredients, efficacy rating, PHI (Preharvest Interval) values and REI (Reentry Interval) values. To quickly look up active ingredients and trade names for a specific pest, users can tap the insect or disease on the top and choose another pest on the drop-down menu.