Funding secured for gadget that identifies apple moth by its unique wing beat

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MothNet, a partnership between two companies, has secured funding from Innovate UK to develop a fully automated codling moth monitoring system, which the companies said will offer a multitude of benefits to apple growers.

The innovative project will exploit Agsenze’s innovative IoT systems and combine them with International Pheromone Systems’ (IPS) highly effective pheromone lures and traps to improve upon existing codling moth monitoring systems that are often unreliable and labour intensive.

Infestations of codling moth (Cydia pomonella) can reduce the apple harvests by up to 50% and account for 70% of the chemicals used by growers in their orchards.

Graeme Hartley, managing director of IPS, said: “Key to controlling infestations is using integrated pest management which includes both monitoring and control strategies, including mating disruption dispensers, and then using chemicals as a last resort.

“A reliable, automated pest monitoring system is a lower-cost alternative to time-consuming manual checks. The new system called MothNet will be able to pinpoint local outbreaks which can then be treated appropriately. Farmers will be able to reduce yield losses and reduce unnecessary pesticide use which means greater profit and environmental sustainability.”

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.