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Early detection and control of pests now possible through a mobile app

Early detection and identification of pests, as well as their control, can now be achieved through a sophisticated, yet very intuitive mobile app. It is the result of a project by a Valencian company that recently received a special mention at the 7th National Red Impulso Awards, which are dedicated to innovation.

We are talking about the Sensoplag project from the young company Locatec, which combines various technologies depending on the characteristics of the terrain, the crop and its size to facilitate the detection of pests early on.

"In the broadest layer of detection, we use satellite imaging technology, followed by the use of drones at lower altitudes and, at ground level, a combination of cameras located at strategic points and the use of electronic noses with ultra-sensitive sensors to detect the hormones released by pests when their presence already poses a threat," says Salvador Rodrigo, manager of Locatec.

"We have developed artificial intelligence algorithms to detect and identify pests through image analysis and recognition, as well as massive data processing," says its creator. "Different technologies with different costs are used, but we believe that the most attractive, without a doubt, is the mobile application, due to its low cost and ease of use from any mobile device," he says.

"In addition to detection, the application also uses an algorithm to automatically recommend phytosanitary products for the control of the specific pest found. It has access to a compendium of the products officially authorized by MAPA and to information about the authorized quantity in each case," says Salvador. "Thus, the app detects, processes and determines how to fight pests."

Locatec team, with an honorable mention at the 7th National Red Impulso Awards.

For now, the project, which has been backed with European funds and counts with the collaboration of the University of Valencia, AVA-ASAJA and the IVIA and AINIA institutes, is in the testing phase and, according to Salvador Rodrigo, has yielded very good results in the agricultural production areas of the Region of Valencia. It has already been used with pests such as cotonet in kakis and citrus, or HLB, a pest that poses a serious threat to European citrus and which has already been detected in Tenerife, Galicia and the south of Portugal.

"With the Sensoplag project, we are managing to minimize costs, achieve huge savings in phytosanitary products thanks to the early detection of pests, avoid production losses and minimize the environmental impact. We have made great efforts to keep it affordable, so that both large producers and smaller growers can use the tool," says the manager of Locatec.

For more information:
Salvador Rodrigo Cuñat
Plaça de les Escoles Pies, 2,
46701 Gandia, Valencia. Spain
[email protected]

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