Here in North Yorkshire, Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) is hard at work investigating the efficacy of UVC light for incorporation into existing Integrated Pest Management strategies primarily for the treatment of Basil Downy Mildew (caused by the fungal pathogen Peronospora belbahrii), but also delving into the effects of UVC light on Botrytis and both pests and beneficials. Read More
UV - ROBOT - Innovative UV-robotics to improve existing IPM strategies and to benefit farmers, consumers and the environment
An important disease in many crops is mildew. Current horticultural practices rely on intensive pesticide use to counter it. However, the use of chemical crop protection results in spray residues on the harvested product and mildew infections cannot always be prevented. Scientific research showed that UV-C light has the potential to become a sustainable alternative for chemical mildew control. The application of UV-C still need to be optimized and automation is required to allow introduction in horticulture. UV-ROBOT will try to tackle these issues and has three main goals:
- Develop robots for autonomous mildew control
- Integrate UV-C in current IPM strategies
- Implement the innovation by growers
In the course of the project we will develop, test and demonstrate cost-effective UV-C robots to control mildew in three types of crops:
- Spherical: strawberry
- Vertical: tomato and cucumber
- Horizontal: lettuce and basil
Horticultural experts in Belgium and the UK will together find ways to incorporate UV-C in current IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategies of each crop. Belgian expertise in automation and French expertise in data analysis will jointly develop innovative robots that can autonomously apply UV-C. On top, the co-creation of innovative sensors for automatic mildew monitoring by a UK partner specialized in e-nose development will reduce the farmers’ workload and ensure tight disease control.
At the end of the project the developed robots will be available for growers with a user-friendly interface and a crop specific implementation strategy. Demonstration across the NWE region and extensive communication during and after the project will inform growers to ensure innovation roll-out. We hereby aim to lower growers’ dependence on chemical crop protection and thereby reduce pesticide use and spray residues in horticulture across North-West Europe.
Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt
STC Research Foundation
Stockbridge House Cawood
Selby, Norh Yorkshire
30 rue Marconi
Mt St Aignan
181 Wisbech Road
Comité d’Action Technique et Economique
Comité Départemental de Développement Maraîche
1 Maisons des Maraichers –, la métairie neuve
Pont St Martin
1 New Road, East Malling
UK ME19 6BJ
|Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt||Lieve Wittemansemail@example.com||Belgium|
|STC Research Foundation||James Townsendfirstname.lastname@example.org||United Kingdom|
|Roboscientific Limited||Stan Curtisemail@example.com||United Kingdom|
|Comité d’Action Technique et Economique||Marine Guerretfirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|Comité Départemental de Développement Maraîche||Brigitte Pelletieremail@example.com||France|
|NIAB EMR||Richard Harrison||Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org||United Kingdom|
At the end of March 2020 the new trial of the UV-ROBOT project was started at Research Centre Hoogstraten (Belgium). Read More
The investment of a UV-robot is a big step for commercial growers. In autumn 2019 Research Centre Hoogstraten investigated the possibility of complementing the UV-C strategy with biological sprayings so the grower can lower the frequency of UV-C application and use the UV-robot on a larger scale. Read More
On 12 and 13 of February all the partners of the project came together in England at Stockbridge Technology Centre for the General Assmbly Meeting. Read More
A new trial is planted today at the research station for vegetable production in Sint-Katelijne-Waver. The trial is being planted in a greenhouse with a high Bremia pressure. We will therefore not inoculate the lettuce afterwards, nor create a disease prone climate, like was done in previous trials. In those previous trials the Bremia infection was always too heavy to show significant working of the UV-robot. We hope the softer Bremia infection will lead to a better working of the UV-robot. Read More
Thursday 31 October 2019 Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt (Research Station for Vegetable Production) organized the first cucumber workshop of the UV-ROBOT project. Read More
Wednesday 20 September 2019 Proefcentrum Hoogstraten organized the first workshop of the UV-ROBOT project. This workshop about autonomous UV-C application on tabletop strawberries to control mildew gave the opportunity to present the project and the first results. Three speakers prepared a presentation for the audience containing strawberry growers, researchers and journalists. Read More
Mildew control with UV-C in strawberry is already well documented where the application of repetitive treatments can achieve a remarkable disease control. UV-C light causes DNA lesions that are lethal for mildew. In a new trial we further optimized the UV-C strategy. Read More
The UV-ROBOT trial on tomato has started in march at the research station in Hoogstraten (Belgium). Read More
Last winter we, the research station for vegetable production in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, investigated the ideal UV-C dose to efficiently combat Bremia lactucae in lettuce, without damaging the crop. Read More
Proefcentrum Hoogstraten organize a workshop about ‘Autonomous UV-C application on tabletop strawberries to control mildew: optimization and computability with IPM’. The workshop on September 18 2019 takes place in Hoogstraten and starts at 7 pm.
Location: Proefcentrum Hoogstraten, Voort 71, 2328 Meerle
Marieke Vervoort (PCH) will present a poster about ‘Autonomous UV-C application on tabletop strawberries to control mildew: optimization and computability with IPM’ at the APS annual meeting in Ohio.
The International Symposium on Advanced Technologies and Management for Innovative Greenhouses takes this year place in Angers. More information about this event can be found on https://www.greensys2019.org/. Marieke Vervoort (PCH) will give a presentation about Autonomous application of UV-C as an alternative to fungicides for powdery mildew control in strawberry table top cultivations.
At the beginning of February, the North American Strawberry Symposium takes place in Florida (US). The program of this event can be found on https://nasga.org/pdf/-2018/2019SymposiumFullProgram.pdf?V2. Marieke Vervoort (PCH) has a presentation about autonomous UV-C application on
tabletop strawberries to control mildew: optimalization and compatibility with IPM
On 31/01/2019 CATE (Comité d’Action Technique et Economique) will participate to “SMARTAGRI #3, Digital to the benefit of plants”. CATE will promote the UV-robot project. More information about this event can be found on http://www.smartagri.bzh/.
10/01/2019:International Soft Fruit Conference - Autonomous UV-C application to control mildew in strawberry: optimization and compatibility with IPM, 1931 Congrescentrum Brabanthallen Oude Engelenseweg 1 5222 AA ‘s-Hertogenbosch The Netherlands
The results of UV-C application on strawberry to supress mildew will be presented by Marieke Vervoort (researcher strawberry, research centre Hoogstraten (Belgium)) at the International Soft Fruit Conference on January 10 2019. The presentation is entitled "Autonomous UV-C application to control mildew in strawberry: optimization and compatibility with IPM".
For more information or to subscribe for this event: http://www.softfruitconference.com/#programme2019