BioPrio, a consulting company which is based on Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU), has developed a mobile app called “Jordgubbsappen”. Jordgubbsodlare is a Swedish word which means strawberry farmer in English. The function of the app is to identify and report the presence of pests in strawberry cultivation. The app focuses on everything from fungal diseases such as gray molds to insects and spider animals.
“What I know there is no similar reporting system for growers today, at least nothing that is equally open and easy to use”, says Johan Stenberg, founder of BioPrio and professor at SLU, to Rapidus.
By using the app, farmers report the observation of pests, which are sent to a common warning system. The reports help researchers to understand the underlying factors of pests’ outbreak. Of course, farmers can get information about which pests are active. It helps growers to use pesticides effectively, which can bring environmental and economic benefits.
In fact, strawberries are one of Sweden’s most sprayed crops. Strawberry growers often use several different pesticides and higher concentrations than necessary. With the app, they can hopefully reduce both the number of pesticides and the spraying opportunities, says Johan Stenberg.
BioPrio was formed in 2018 led by the founder Johan Stenberg, who is also a leader of The Strawberry Lab at SLU. It focuses on risk and impact assessments, lectures and minor R&D projects focusing on insect pests and plant protection. The development of the app was financially supported by Sten K. Johnson’s Foundation. Although the app is expected to be launched in late May, is already available online. The app is free for both advisors and researchers.