Spensa Technologies‘ is enabling farmers to remotely monitor their fields’ pest population in real-time and take immediate action to protect their crops using a combination of a wireless “Z-Trap” and an online cloud service and dashboard.
The technology for the hardware platform was developed by Johnny Park and his team out of Purdue University with the mission to “reduce reliance on manual labor, foster eco-friendly farming and enhance crop production efficiency”.
The Z-Trap uses a pheromone lure to attract and capture a specific target pest. The pest count information is wirelessly passed along from up to 1 km away using a base station to the “MyTraps” service and a grower’s smartphone/computer. A grower is then able to view a satellite image of their field with counts of how many pests have been captured in each particular trap, along with details on historic trends and pesticide use.
By helping to automate the standard error prone process of checking insect traps and the guess work of determining where and how much pesticide to use in a field, the company hopes to mitigate the $20 billion dollars worth of damages in the United States due to the crop pests and the annual use of $4.1 billion dollars worth of chemicals applied in prevention methods.
Spensa Technologies is currently focused on monitoring codling moths in apple orchards, but will be expanding their traps to focus on other high-value crops such walnuts and other types of fruit in the near future.