NYS IPM’s Greenhouse Scout was featured recently in Greenhouse Grower’s online e-Newsletter as one of 15 apps for 2015. Here’s why.
In the pest-friendly environment of a greenhouse, you need all the friends you can get. So more and more growers are turning to biocontrol — to using beneficial insects, mites, and fungi to control pests.
Why? Most growers want to use the fewest pesticides possible. And say you’re a pest. Becoming resistant to a critter that’s built to eat you for dinner is a lot harder than becoming resistant to a pesticide. But pesticide resistance is a growing problem.
Yet biocontrol is an information-dense process. You’ve got to integrate a wealth of details if it’s going to work.
Smartphone apps can help do the data-crunching for you. Which is why NYS IPM, a Cornell University program, built Greenhouse Scout, a smartphone app that brings together:
- pest and beneficial ID and biology
- biocontrol application technology
- visual records of greenhouse pest populations throughout the growing season
Not only that, but Greenhouse Scout lets you tweak the system to your own production requirements. And it helps even if you don’t use biocontrol yet — the interactive scouting function lets you identify locations with QR codes, then enter and graph pest numbers according to which greenhouse bench you’re scouting. No more carrying a clipboard through the greenhouse or looking for where you jotted down those sticky-card counts.