Sclerotinia app helps with spraying decisions

REGINA — A Saskatoon genetics lab has launched an app to help growers make spray decisions.

“We have a Q-protect sclerotinia test that farmers can use to calculate or figure out the potential for the sclerotinia disease in their crop,” said Heather Deobald of Quantum Genetix.

She said farmers can get results as soon as they are processed.

Quantum Genetix can provide results on plant disease tests within 24 hours.

When a customer opens up the Q-protect app, they will see all of their fields displayed. They can then select a field to see its infection level.

Customers will then use the app to see if a fungicide application is likely to provide a return on investment.

“They can put in the sale price of their canola, the spray cost, and the estimated yield and click, get results. Then look at the risk barometer,” Deobald said.

She said agronomists are using the app to gauge infection levels in the areas they operate.

“If they have a number of farmers in the area that are using the test, they can pull up all the farmers in the area and get an idea of what’s going on, what level of spores are present,” Deobald said.

“Even if they are going to spray, they can use it (as) more of a timing tool of knowing when they should get out there.”

Retailers are also using the app to get an idea of the level and timing of disease risk in specific areas.

For instance, if a retailer gets a complaint from a customer on the efficacy of a fungicide, the retailer may be able to see if the poor performance is due to improper application timing.

“They can look up these levels in the area and they can go back to that farmer and say, ‘it looks like you may have just sprayed too soon,’” Deobald said.

She said retailers also use the test to help warn their customers who typically don’t apply a fungicide.

“If they are getting a lot of results back that are high in their area, they can go to one of their farmers and say, ‘hey you’re having a really good crop this year, we are seeing a lot of spore activity in the area, you might want to think about testing your field because you might have high spores also,’” Deobald said.

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