Feature Spornado: Fast Results Mean Better Decision-Making on the Farm

Spornado: Fast Results Mean Better Decision-Making on the Farm

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It’s a no-brainer that people in agriculture — growers especially — need to be able to make decisions fast. Mother Nature waits for nobody, and anything that can give a grower a better idea of what they’re dealing with becomes a valuable tool in the toolbox.

A great example is the Spornado, which I will have the pleasure of working with again in 2019. An exciting new technology that we launched in 2018, the Spornado is a passive spore catcher, first successfully deployed by potato growers in Ontario to detect late blight spores.

We’re now using it to detect sclerotinia stem rot of canola and fusarium head blight in cereals. The device, which resembles a futuristic weathervane, is placed in a field from late June to early August and a cassette inserted into the device traps any airborne spores that blow through it. The cassette is removed and shipped to our lab for analysis.

If you have the perfect conditions for these diseases — a host crop, adequate moisture and the presence of spores — this is a great weapon in the fight against these diseases. You no longer have to guess. You no longer have to use valuable money and fungicide to spray “just in case” spores might be present. Test results are available within 24 hours of us receiving the cassette.

You’ll know definitively whether or not there are spores in a given field and if there are, you can act immediately.

A technology like this:

Saves you money. The Spornado helps you to avoid unnecessary input costs. That’s huge.

Makes a Better Decision. You can have peace of mind knowing that if spores are present at the canopy later, you’ll be able to know for certain before it’s too late. This means you can take time to focus on other things. With people’s attention being pulled in so that different directions today, that’s a major asset. Timing for the application of your fungicide is critical in managing disease cycles. Knowing the spore load present in your field allows you to time your fungicide application when you are at the most risk of infection.

Helps you be a better businessperson. The more information you have about what’s happening on your farm, the more effective you can be at your business. Everyone’s looking for an edge, and this gives you a big one.

Curious about Spornado? Contact me!

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