Research updates on in-field monitoring and predictive models: how far have we got?
I am CABI’s newly appointed Research Champion, specialising in the biology, scouting, monitoring and surveillance of fall armyworm.
Following a pilot project where we tested different technologies for monitoring FAW in realtime, I wanted to ask how the different research groups present here are approaching the challenge of population monitoring/ modelling. This seems especially relevant to our colleagues in Australia given the recent invasion, although I think the reality is the majority of countries are struggling to develop good predictive models given the huge areas over which the insect is present and can disperse.
The most accurate large scale models I have come across are those from Trapview (https://www.trapview.com/v2/en/) who rely on digital pheromone traps to ground truth their biological models. However, I have only seen fully functioning version of the software for Helicoverpa armigera, where they have about 50 traps across a large coastal area of Spain. When we were using them to monitor FAW in Kenya as part of the Smart Armyworm project, we found the digital pheromone traps worked really well on large farms with huge acreages of maize, but were at all well suited to small scale agriculture. On small scale farms “analogue” bucket traps were far better at capturing adult moths at low population densities, but the challenge with bucket traps is (1) identification, as the insects lose all their scales and become very hard to ID (2) it’s almost impossible to get accurate, timely data back from the field.
I’d love to hear of any research updates you might have, as well as honest opinions of any new technologies you have tried, what you believe works and what doesn’t. If you know of any digital bucket traps, I’d be especially keen to hear more.
A very quick tag for of those who seem to be specifically interested in this area of the science, @MARYLUCY ORONJE @Giorgio @Dan McGrath @Adam Kleczkowski @Marcellin Cuma Cokola @Robert Meagher @Obert Maminimini @Lorenzo Meschiari @Hazel Parry @Jessica Lehmann @Olivia Reynolds @John Wightman @Lorenzo Meschiari @Greg Chandler @Ken Young @Robert Meagher