New app to help make quick diagnoses

AHDB Horticulture is launching a new app to help growers, supervisors and technical staff make quick diagnoses while out and about.

The Crop Walkers’ Guide app is a user-friendly tool designed to accurately identify economically-damaging pests, diseases and disorders on tablets and smart phones.

The app, which is based on AHDB Horticulture’s Crop Walkers’ Guides, also allows users to log the GPS location where symptoms were spotted while on nursery, in store and out in the field.

Jon Knight, Head of Crop Health and Protection at AHDB, said: “We have responded to growers’ requests to provide the guides in this format so they can have all the information easily to hand and are able to integrate its use with other apps and programmes on their devices.”

The app covers the protected ornamental and edible sectors, as well as field vegetables, soft fruit and tree fruit.

High-resolution images show the key stages of each pest or pathogen, along with the typical plant symptoms produced and succinct bullet points to help with identification.

Users can also fill out a ‘create a report’ feature when they identify signs of a pest or disease, allowing them to keep a log of sightings by emailing a report to themselves. It details where the pest or disease was spotted by GPS location, with images and notes on the findings.

The team at AHDB Horticulture also receive the reports, which could be used in future to provide an early warning system to growers and their advisers. Dr Knight said: “If we can get enough people using this feature it could enable AHDB to provide intelligence to growers on developing issues and enable them to better prepare by undertaking additional monitoring or management actions.”

The app links directly to AHDB Horticulture’s new Publications Portal, a mobile-friendly tool where factsheets and reports can be downloaded or ordered in hard copy. Through the Publications Portal, app users can find out more about what they have identified by searching the wide range of supplementary materials.

Download the app from the Apple Store or Android by searching AHDB Crop Walkers’ Guide.

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