Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

‘App’-riculture

CALS experts develop mobile apps to bring science to farmers anytime, anywhere

Mike Cerny has been farming long enough to have a reliable intuition when it comes to decisions about applying chemical protection to his crops.

So it came as a surprise to the Wisconsin farmer when he downloaded a smartphone app — developed by UW–Madison field crops pathologist Damon Smith — and it told him he should hold off on spraying a fungicide to prevent an infestation of white mold on his soybean plants.

“I thought the conditions were favorable for the development of white mold,” Cerny says of the disease that can drastically reduce soybean yields. “But when I looked at Damon’s Sporecaster app, it said there was no need to spray. By not applying, it saved me more than $10,000.”

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