Xarvio scouting app helps producers identify crop problems

LANGHAM, Sask. — A free app that helps growers identify weeds, disease and leaf damage is now available at Google Play or the App Store.

The Xarvio Scouting app is part of Bayer’s digital farming company, Xarvio, which was launched in 2017.

Warren Bills of Bayer CropScience Xarvio Digital Farming said the app was designed to help growers when conducting scouting trips.

“It’s using photo recognition and artificial intelligence to produce the identification of weeds and diseases and leaf damage, just by taking a simple picture with any cellphone that has a good camera on it,” Bills said.

“As opposed to a traditional app where you’re scrolling through menus and choosing different things, Xarvio scouting app uses this photo recognition technique and does instant identification.”

Users install the app on their phone and use it to take pictures of weed leaves or suspected diseases when on a scouting trip.

Xarvio will then send all the pictures from a scouting trip to a server that uses an algorithm to analyze the images against hundreds of thousands of images.

“Currently we are identifying 15 of the most common weeds in Canada,” Bills said.

“The app is launched globally so a farmer in China could be taking a picture of a weed that could then help with the identification for us here in Canada,” he said.

“From a disease standpoint we have featured many of the leaf diseases.”

The leaf damage function of the app measures the percentage of damage on a leaf.

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